Many hymns are great poems in their own right - they take us out of the daily round by expressing in images those feelings or thoughts which most of us find hard to put into words. Hymns are powerful communicators. Most spring from a deep personal experience, but it is of their essence that they should be shared in a communal act. Therefore, to know a little of the personal and cultural context from which they spring greatly enriches what is communicated in the act of congregational singing.It is with this in mind that Marjorie Reeves and Jenyth Worsley have brought together a unique collection of songs of worship that come from all ages and traditions. There are over 80 of the best-loved hymns, ranging from the early centuries of Christianity through the Middle Ages and on to the present day. Each hymn is presented with an illuminating profile of the hymn's author and the context in which it was written.