So far in this series about music used in Chinese churches, I have highlighted hymns from the hymnal used in registered churches, both translated and indigenous. This week and next I will introduce songs that are more commonly used in house churches.
Beginning in the late 1990s Christians in house churches, particularly those in the countryside, began using songs from a collection called Canaan Hymns (迦南诗选), written by a young woman from Henan named Lu Xiaomin. Drawing on traditional Chinese musical styles, the songs are simple, and thus easy to learn. While they were initially popular in rural churches, they are also sung by Christians in urban settings and by Chinese Christians worldwide. You can read more about the Canaan Hymns here.
One of the popular songs is ”Five O’clock in the Morning in China.”
At five o’clock in the morning in China you can hear people praying.
They are rejoicing in the Great Love that unites all the peoples of the world.
These prayers soar over the highest mountains and melt the ice off the coldest hearts.
There is no more bondage.
There are no more wars.
Hearts receive blessings from above, and destinies are changed.
It is going to be an excellent year for the harvest.
That clip is taken from a video documentary series produced by China Soul for Christ Foundation in 2000 called The Cross: Jesus in China. The fourth video in the series is about the Canaan Hymns. You can watch the entire episode here.
Music sheets (in Chinese) are available for free download from China Soul for Christ Foundation.
I love the imagery of God’s people praying in the early morn. May we be that kind of a people as well.
Correction made to Chinese name for Cannan Hymns on August 31, 2019.
Image credit: Huangshan’s Sunrise, by David Almeida, via Flickr
Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio
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