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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077


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Millennial Praises: A Shaker Hymnal


Millennial Praises: A Shaker Hymnal Cover


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From the very beginning in the 1770s, singing was an important part of the worship services of the Shakers, formally known as the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing. Yet until the early nineteenth century, nearly all Shaker songs were wordless--expressed in unknown tongues or as enthusiastic vocalizations. Only when Shaker missionaries moved west into Ohio and Kentucky did they begin composing hymn texts, chiefly as a means of conveying the sect's unconventional religious ideas to new converts. In 1812-13, the Shakers published their first hymnal. This venture, titled Millenial Praises, included the texts without music for one hundred and forty hymns and elucidated the radical and feminist theology of the Shakers, neatly distilled in verse. This scholarly edition of the hymnal joins the texts to original Shaker tunes for the first time. One hundred and twenty-six of the tunes preserved in the Society's manuscript hymnals have been transcribed from Shaker musical notation into modern standard notation, thus opening this important religious and folk repertoire to modern scholars. Many texts are presented with a wide range of variant tunes from Shaker communities in New England, New York, Ohio, and Kentucky. Introductory essays by volume editors Christian Goodwillie and Jane F. Crosth-waite place Millennial Praises in the context of Shaker history and offer a thorough explication of the Society's theology. They track the use of the hymnal from the point of publication up to the present day, beginning with the use of the hymns by both Shaker missionaries and anti-Shaker apostates and ending with the current use of the hymns by the last remaining Shaker family atSabbathday Lake, Maine. The volume includes a CD of historical recordings of six Shaker songs by Brother Ricardo Belden, the last member of the Society at Hancock Shaker Village.

Product Details

Goodwillie, Christian
University of Massachusetts Press
Foreword by:
Patterson, Daniel W.
Patterson, Daniel W.
Crosthwaite, Jane F.
Christianity - Shaker
Hymns, English
Institutions & Organizations
Religion Western-American Religion
Publication Date:

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
Religion » Christianity » General
Religion » Christianity » Prayer and Devotion
Religion » Western Religions » American Religion

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