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Methodist Church In Zimbabwe Shona Hymn Book

Methodist Church In Zimbabwe Shona Hymn Book

The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe (MCZ) is a Christian denomination that traces its roots to the Wesleyan Methodist movement founded by John Wesley in England in the 18th century. The MCZ is part of the World Methodist Council, which unites over 80 million Methodists around the world. The MCZ has about 1.5 million members and 2,000 congregations in Zimbabwe, making it one of the largest and most influential churches in the country.

One of the distinctive features of the MCZ is its rich and vibrant musical tradition, which is expressed through its Shona hymn book. The Shona hymn book is a collection of 352 hymns and choruses, written in the Shona language, that are used for worship and praise in the MCZ. The hymn book covers various themes, such as God's love, grace, mercy, power, holiness, creation, salvation, redemption, sanctification, resurrection, judgment, and eternity. The hymns are sung a cappella or accompanied by traditional instruments such as drums, rattles, mbira (thumb piano), and hosho (gourd shakers).

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The Shona hymn book was first published in 1933 by the British Methodist Missionary Society (BMMS), which had established missions in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) since 1896. The hymn book was compiled by Rev. John White, who was a missionary and a linguist. He translated some of the English hymns into Shona and also collected some of the indigenous songs from the local people. The hymn book was revised and enlarged several times over the years, with the latest edition being published in 1999 by the MCZ.

The Shona hymn book is not only a source of spiritual nourishment and inspiration for the MCZ members, but also a cultural treasure and a historical document. The hymns reflect the experiences, struggles, hopes, and aspirations of the Shona people throughout their history. Some of the hymns are based on biblical stories and doctrines, while others are influenced by African traditional religions and customs. Some of the hymns are patriotic and nationalistic, while others are ecumenical and universal. Some of the hymns are original compositions by Shona poets and composers, while others are adaptations or translations from other languages and cultures.

The Shona hymn book is widely used and appreciated by both Christians and non-Christians in Zimbabwe and beyond. It is regarded as one of the finest examples of African Christian literature and music. It has been praised for its poetic beauty, musical diversity, theological depth, and cultural relevance. It has also been studied by scholars from various disciplines such as theology, musicology, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and history.

The Shona hymn book is available in print and digital formats. The print version can be purchased from the MCZ offices or bookstores in Zimbabwe. The digital version can be downloaded from various online platforms such as Google Play or The digital version has some additional features such as quick search, index, favorites, recent list, English equivalents, weekly scriptures, text size adjustment, color modes, annotations, recordings, and personalization.

The Shona hymn book is a precious gift from God to the MCZ and to the world. It is a testimony of God's grace and faithfulness to his people. It is a celebration of God's glory and majesty in his creation. It is a proclamation of God's salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ. It is a invitation to God's sanctification and transformation by the Holy Spirit. It is a anticipation of God's judgment and eternity in his kingdom.

The Shona hymn book is a living and dynamic expression of worship and praise to God. It is a means of communication and communion with God. It is a way of learning and teaching God's word. It is a tool of evangelism and mission to God's world. It is a source of joy and peace to God's people.

The Shona hymn book is more than just a book. It is a song. A song that has been sung for generations and will continue to be sung until Jesus comes again.


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