I honestly can’t believe that this day is here. There is something very important about the prospect of the hymns movement going Spanish. In general, Spanish-speaking Christianity (at least of the Latin American variety) by and large is one of two brands—Catholic or Pentecostal. The latter, as far as I have observed, doesn’t often engage the rich history of hymnody that is a part of our Christian heritage. And, as I’ve advocated over and over again, hymnody indoctrinates. There is a robust theological education and a deep spiritual formation (not that the two don’t overlap considerably) when the people of God sing historic hymns. I have longed to see this hunger develop among the Latino culture in the US and broader west.
With the dawn of Alabanzaré, perhaps these hopes and dreams can harden into some real-world concrete. Their himnario features forty hymns at the moment. I noticed a Spanish version of Indelible Grace’s setting of “Jesus, Everlasting King”: “Señor Jesús, eterno Rey.” There are also original-tuned translations of popular hymns like “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “Be Thou My Vision.”
In my opinion, the next step for the outfit at Alabanzaré would be to work hard engaging the popular Latino musical idioms, seeing if hymnody can translate. It’s an experiment worth pursuing. Perhaps they could start by analyzing some of the popular contemporary Christian Latino worship artists like Jesus Adrian Romero and others (my knowledge is pretty limited!). It will be interesting to see what kind of traction the Latino hymns movement gets in the next five to ten years, but, until then, I salute the effort and hope that more will join their ranks!