Singing to pre-recorded accompaniments

This is a tricky topic, and I must admit that I have no experience with it. I'm just a hoity-toity big city organist. But recently I have had several requests to provide complete recordings of hymns so that they could be used by small congregations who have no musical resources.  It's something I'm happy to do, in the interest of making as much music as possible throughout the church.  However, I'm still curious as to whether or not this is a satisfying musical experience.  If you use these hymn accompaniments below, perhaps you would let me know how they work for you and for the people you worship with.  Does it bring a sense of community and joy to be able to sing together, or does the accompaniment feel dry and disconnected from living, breathing worship?

A few things to note:

  1. these are recorded on the piano because I think it is easier to sing to recorded piano music than to recorded organ music.  The piano has a percussive sound and helps to communicate the rhythm more clearly.
  2. there is an introduction and all the verses in each file.  The introductions are short, because I imagine that everybody has their hymnal open to the page before somebody presses PLAY to start playback.
  3. each file contains all the verses as found in Common Praise.  As you know, I feel strongly that we should respect the integrity of a hymn text, and not sing only some of the verses.

To save a file to your computer, simply right-click on it and select "Save file as ..."

Here are a few goodies for Holy Week and Easter.

CP 182 - Ride On, Ride On In Majesty

CP 192 - Were You There

CP 198 - O Sacred Head, Surrounded

CP 203 - Jesus Christ is Risen Today

CP 205 - The Day of Resurrection

CP 210 - Yerz be the Glory

CP 230 - The Tomb is Empty! Come and See

CP 239 - Jesus Lives! Thy Terrors Now