Critical reviews (by Lutheran pastors and church musicians) of books and other resources for Christian worship, preaching, and church music from a perspective rooted in Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and good common sense. LHP Quarterly Book Review asks, "Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?"
Music Directors and Pastors: As a general rule, sing all the verses of a processional or recessional hymn. Good hymns have a textual integrity that is lost when we sing hymn-excerpts rather than hymns. It doesn't take that much more time to sing all six verses of "For All the Saints" or all four verses of "Crown Him with Many Crowns"; cutting such great texts by two-thirds or one-half inevitably sends the signal that music in the liturgy is filler—and there is no room for filler in the sacred liturgy. [emphasis mine]
On New Year's Day, not exactly the highest attended Sunday of the year (at least I hope not), we sang all stanzas of "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come" during the distribution. Well, let me rephrase that. The distribution was completed by stanza 5 or 6 at each service but we kept on. We had a cantor give the folks a break by singing stanzas 5 and 11 but we sang them all. People used to say something to me about singing all the stanzas but hardly anyone does anymore -- because they know how ever many stanzas that hymn has, that is how many we will sing. Period.
So, if you won't listen to a nobody like me, listen to George Weigel -- acclaimed columnist, well published author, and esteemed commentator on things religious and cultural. Sing em all, boys. Sing em all!!