Lyngine posted a question to our church email list, asking people to list their favorite five hymns. Here is my response:
1. Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation (sung ONLY to Westminster Abbey)
2. The Church's One Foundation
3. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
4. At the Lamb's High Feast We Sing
5. Christ the Fair Glory, of the Holy Angels
You didn't ask, but here goes:
6. Alleluia, Sing to Jesus (sung to Hyfrdol)
7. Wake, Awake for Night Is Flying
8. The Glory of These Forty Days
9. Ah, Holy Jesus
10. O Come, All Ye Faithful
When I was a child (age 4 or thereabouts), my favorite hymn was At Calvary.
And you didn't ask, but my favorite service music in English, for the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei is the Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena by Healey Willan, for the Gloria is the Old Scottish Chant (which we sang at Carol Bolstad's ordination), and for the Credo, the Calvin Hampton setting in the 1982 Hymnal. I also love the Sanctus and Agnus Dei setting by Schubert in the 1982 Hymnal.
I love all of the Gregorian chant settings of the Mass (and everything else), but my favorite polyphonic setting of the Latin is a tie between Byrd's Mass for 3 Voices and Palestrina's Missa de Papae Marcelli for those that can be sung at a Mass and Bach's Mass in B Minor for those than can't. (Although I do love Vivaldi's Gloria as well.) I'm also quite fond of Bach's Magnificat.
My favorite setting for Evensong is probably Robert Parson's First Service.