Hymns Ancient and Modern is a hymnal in common use within the Church of England and resulted out of the efforts of the Oxford Movement. Over the years it has grown into a large family of hymnals. As such, the Hymns Ancient and Modern set the standard for the current hymnal in the Church of England. The Oxford Movement, an ecclesiastical reform movement within the Anglican Church, wanted to recover the lost treasures of Breviaries and Service Books of the ancient Greek and Latin churches. As a result Greek, Latin and even German hymns in translation entered the mainstream of English hymnody. Besides stimulating the translation of medieval hymns, and use of plainsong melodies, the Oxford Reformers, also began to write original hymns. The growing popularity of hymns inspired the publication of more than 100 hymnals during the period 1810 – 1850. The sheer number of these collections prevented any one of them from being successful. The Hymns Ancient and Modern was a rather eclectic collection of hymns that blended a broad series of hymns from different religious traditions in order to achieve a standard edition. It experienced immediate and overwhelming success, becoming possibly the most popular English hymnal ever published. The music, expressive and tuneful, greatly assisted to its popularity.Total sales in 150 years were over 170 million copies.
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