One of the main issues I face every week in preparing hymns and psalms for Providence Church is what hymn/psalm is most suitable for closing the service. The Cantus Christi provides several beautiful tunes with richly adorned theological lyrics, and an entire first section with Psalm selections.
But choosing a final hymn/psalm is not always easy. I ask these three questions before coming to a conclusion:
a) Is this hymn/psalm in any way connected to one of the lessons read or expounded during the service?
b) Is this a hymn/psalm that we have already mastered? This question is crucial because certain hymns/psalms can be relatively new to the congregation, but it is reasonable to sing it during one of the earlier portions of the CRW (Call, Confession, or Consecration), but the final hymn/psalm needs to be familiar enough, so it can be sung triumphantly.
c) The final question carries the weight of the second point, and that is, a final hymn/psalm needs to be joyful. It follows the Commission. The gathered army of God goes out with the Son of God to war. Thus, slow paced, Lenten-style hymns are inappropriate on the Lord’s Day, even if it is the Lenten Season.