Anchor Hymns, a community of Integrity Music songwriters and artists, will release their debut EP Be Unto Your Name tomorrow. This initial project was inspired by old hymns that have carried the Church for generations and across denominations.
Andrew Osenga (A&R Director at Integrity Music) explains that three pillars continually showed up in those formative songs: "frank honesty about suffering and doubt, an acute awareness that we are in one specific time and place, and the reassurance that God is with us right here, right now, even in our suffering and doubt."
Be Unto Your Name references the kind of music loved by this collective but rarely heard in church; full of soul and groove, these songs are unafraid to tackle the sounds of suffering and grief, as well as joy and celebration. The new project features instruments most churches have on a Sunday, showcasing them in a slightly different way, hinting that perhaps "it will give a church somewhere some kind of permission to try something new," Andrew adds.
Through this project and at their core, Anchor Hymns hope to communicate one of the greatest things about church hymnody: that it removes the pressure, and pride, of our own importance. Church hymnody has been going on for centuries and it will continue long after us, as Andrew concludes: "It's my hope that in this brief moment we are marked by truthfulness in what we say, usefulness in the way we offer it, and a kindness to whoever the Lord brings into our orbit."
The songs on Be Unto Your Name are for funerals and home churches alike, in both traditional and modern houses of worship worldwide.