Just to clarify my post…. in my area, the majority of churches no longer use hymn or song books, but read the words to songs off of a screen at the front, typed on a computer and projected. The music all comes out different, because a lot of the “worship leaders” also can’t read music, and write the guitar chords over top of the printed words that they figure out by listening to the song on a CD or Youtube. They play by chording on the piano or by ear or with guitars only. But with no Lead notes or time signatures to go by, the rhythm changes, and sometimes even what notes the words are placed with. Our church uses the screen mostly, but all the worship leaders read music, and so far they aren’t into modern choruses. But when we do use the books now, the congregation too often gets lost trying to follow the lines in the hymn book.
If people want to complain about no music class in school, they should be upset with churches that remove the use of hymn books as well!
When you take the hymn books out of church, you remove a sound teaching resource from your childrens grasp. I know, I know, we don't stand up at the front and give theory lessons with it, BUT you learned to read music as a graph, even if you didn't know the names of the notes, and you learned to look for D.S and FINE and Coda and knew to go back to a place on the page and where to finish, even if you didn't know the Latin terms.
We sang a song on Sunday from our hymn book, and only those trained in music knew how to read the song, as it had all these symbols in it, yet when I was a youngster, most people knew how to follow that same music.
My God is a God of order and clear direction. Printed words with no musical direction can be chaotic. It hinders us from feeling unified, because a chorus sung in one church is sang differently in another, which makes people more self conscious when they sing at a church they are visiting. I've even heard different worship leaders within the SAME church sing the same song differently.
I was talking to a local church leader who was proud that they talked their church out of the hymn books. "Get their noses off the ground (out of the books) and looking up for worship. Where does it say to look UP for worship? We are to look up for our help and strength. We are to lift our hands, but I was always taught we should bow in worship, and Hymn books had us pointing in that general direction.
( KJV references to bowing in worship- Gen 24:26,48,52 Ex 4:31, 12:27, 34:8 2 Kings 5:18 1Chor 29:20 2 Chor 7:3, 20:18, 29:28-30 Neh 8:6 Job 1:20 PS 22:29, 95:6 Dan 2:46 Matt 2:11, 28:9, 1 Cor 14:25, Rev 4:10, 7:11)