Steven, you asked:
a) what are some of the common hymns that I play
b) what are some of my favorite hymns to play
5 to 10 years ago, I played the organ more for "traditional" worship services, so you'd often see the same hymns come up during certain times of the year. Sorry, but it seems like the churches I've attended rarely ever use "Beautiful Savior". That is a great hymn and one that I do like to play. I don't know why it doesn't get used more often. (Yeah, things would be different if I was the one picking the hymns!!)
In the past 5 years or so, I've pretty much gotten away from the organ playing and "traditional" worship services. Given the option, I would attend a "traditional" worship service, but when I play, I prefer to play the piano for "contemporary" worship services.
In the "contemporary" realm, there is hardly a core of songs that are used, really. It varies from church to church. I have been playing at Family in Faith long enough that I do see certain songs come up time and again. (Lord I lift Your name on high, Deep deep love, Walk by faith, In the secret, Shine Jesus Shine) I don't expect you to recognize any of those titles.
This week I pulled out an old Amy Grant CD called The Collection. What a great album! I really do love the songs "Thy Word" and "El Shaddai", but I haven't played either of them in a church service in years! There are also some great songs on the Promise Keepers CD of The making of a Godly man. My favorites are "No higher calling", "Knowing You", and "No greater love". Again, I haven't done any of those songs since the old band was still together. There are also good songs on the Songs from the loft CD, but I've never done any of them in a worship service.
I'm running out of time to post for now. I plan on posting a list of my favorite "traditional" Lutheran hymns for you. I also want to find a good website to link to so you can see the text of the hymns as well.