For generations, Christians have celebrated holidays and seasons with special songs. We all have favorite Christmas carols or Easter hymns, and some of us associate certain hymns with events like Thanksgiving or the New Year. But often we overlook the fact that these familiar songs are also powerful works of devotional poetry.
This anthology of great hymns associated with the calendar year invites us to experience these works as poems—to slow down and savor their well-turned phrases, their surprising metaphors, and their evocative language. English professor Leland Ryken provides historical background and literary analysis for each hymn, finishing each with a Scripture reading to accompany it. The result is a wonderfully devotional and poetic study for the Christian’s year, drawing on hymns for the New Year, Good Friday, Easter, Christmas, and more.
Publication date: August 2020
Topic: devotional, poetry, hymns
“The reader will be doubly enriched—by the delightful poetry of the songs and by the instructive prose of a great literary scholar.”
— Karen Swallow Prior, Author, On Reading Well and Fierce Convictions
Leland Ryken, author of more than fifty books on biblical and literary topics, is the literary editor of the ESV Bible and emeritus professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois.