The Greek word hymnos means a "song of praise," prayer or adoration, normally to a god or religious figure. The roots of the word go back to the Hittites over six thousand years ago and mean "to sing. There were hymns in ancient Egypt and India; in the west, the Homeric hymns, praising the gods of Greek mythology, date from the 7th century B.C.
Praise is affirmative, so hymns are naturally positive experiences. Whether stirring and intense, or quiet and contemplative, the effect is to lift the spirit. It's a feeling that's abundant during the end of the year holiday season, a time when — against all odds — the human family renews its commitment to generosity, goodwill and peace.
On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a selection of quietly joyous hymns and instrumental prayers called HYMNOS, with music by LOREENA McKENNITT, JEFF JOHNSON, HILARY STAGG, DANA CUNNINGHAM, DAVID HICKEN, and BEN DOWLING.