SILVER SPRING, Md.— In a move that has sent shockwaves of enthusiasm across the world, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has announced its decision to commission Pulitzer, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning singer, composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda to compose a new and updated version of the church’s English Hymnal.
The popular Puerto Rican-born Miranda is perhaps best known for his composition work for the soundtracks in the recent Disney movie Moana, as well as the hit Broadway play Hamilton.
“What can I say, except, you’re welcome,” said Miranda on the unique honor, quoting a line from a popular song he wrote for Moana.
The English Language hymnbook, which has not seen an update since 1985, has been a source of tension in many churches.
“This is a travesty!” said Melody Desame, a protester outside of the General Conference. “Why do you even need to change a hymnal? God’s laws never change, neither should our hymnal. Next, they’ll want to rewrite the Bible! You can expect many angry anonymously written letters in the next few months.”
“Mr. Miranda brings to this project a breadth of musical skill and knowledge that is exactly what we need,” said a source within the General Conference’s music committee who chose to remain anonymous due to fear of being targeted by groups like Ms. Desame’s.
“His songs and their lyrics are instantly recognizable by people of all ages and backgrounds. The same can’t be said for our hymnal.”
“It’s time that we brought our church’s songs into the 21st century and expand our musical library so that people aren’t only singing hymns written and composed by people of Anglo-Saxon decent,” the same source said, “Our church has become a global church and our Hymnal should reflect that reality.”
When asked for details of the deal, including compensation for Lin Manuel’s involvement, however, this source became unusually quiet. He nervously whispered, “We have to pay him?” before turning around, and quickly leaving.
Still, the details don’t seem to bother Miranda. When reached for comment, he said repeatedly, “I am not throwing away my shot. I am not throwing away my shot.”
Many thanks to thehaystack.org writer Nelson Fernandez for the guest post. Find him on Twitter @NelsonF610