I have been thinking becuase of my work context on realities that impact brain chemistry in a positive way and the mind, body, soul, spirit, / Holy Spirit interactions.
In a admittedly fragmentory way...
There may be more to the Admonision to "Sing to the Lord a new song than we might imagine."
Recent Plasticity of the brain studies show that the brain continues to grow and recover over most of our lifetime if the conditions for brain growth are right.
Key to the right conditions is continued learning. The brain being challenged to learn, remember, retain, and use new ideas, concepts and exercise new actions. The more wholistic the learning the better.
Music also has the power to alter brain chemistry.
Communal actions have the power to redefine a persons sense of slef & Selfhood.
So maybe the churches in my community that feature hours of worship serveral times a week are actually providing a kind of healing community that is "transforming the minds" of many of the participants.
Here is a tension...
Anthems feed the sense of communal life. Their stability and not changing helps set the anchors for a community or culture/sub-culture.
New songs will adnvance change.
So we have the need for both the old and the new in any worship context.
If we only have old songs... or songs that no longer fit our world and context... boredom sets in and we lose the power that music and learning can have on the brain. Anthems are only meaningful if deeply felt.
all of these thoughts are fragmentory and in the raw...