Prolific Ulster hymn-writing couple Keith and Kristyn Getty are marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by calling on Anglicans around the world to “rediscover the power” of congregational singing.
The couple have written or co-authored more than 70 hymns, estimating they have been sung by about 40 million churchgoers each year for the past two decades. Keith is best-known for his 2001 hymn ‘In Christ Alone’. He was awarded an OBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The Gettys’ endeavour is inspired by the congregational singing, theology, and high artistic view of church music held by Protestant Reformer Martin Luther, “While Luther’s 95 theological theses opened the floodgates for the Reformation, his insistence was a return to and celebration of the sacred act of congregational singing in the people’s known language,” said Keith.
The Gettys, who live in Northern Ireland and Tennessee, launched the initiative ‘Sing!’ at a music conference in Nashville.
They currently lead gatherings in the US on the importance of congregational singing, and have relaunched their Christmas tour at venues including Carnegie Hall, New York and Kennedy Centre, Washington. A show is being screened on the US Public Broadcasting Service channel at Christmas.