In 1995, as recently or as long ago as that may seem, Southminster embarked in a massive change when we ordered new hymnals.
This wasn’t the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.
Our congregation is blessed to receive new hymnals once again! Jesus’ words are eternal, but the life and culture of the church is always changing. A generous donor has graciously stepped forward to provide our church with the new Presbyterian Hymnal, titled “Glory to God”.
Sample hymnals were purchased last year and we have been singing from them for the last 8 months. The hymnals have many of the classic hymns we love like “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory,” “Great is They Faithfulness,” and all the Christmas and Easter favorites! The hymnals also contain more recent additions to our church repertoire such as “Will You Come and Follow Me” and “Open the Eyes of My Heart.”
Someone asked me, “What makes these hymnals Presbyterian?” Great question!
The hymnal includes a few brief articles about the composition and theology of the hymnal. The short answer is that every hymn reaffirms our Presbyterian understanding of faith and scripture for today’s church. Some hymns that better suit other traditions have been removed, and additional hymns that have become popular in Presbyterian churches have now been included.
Some small word changes have been updated; things like “every man” will now read “every one” to be more inclusive. Also, depending on formatting, space, and layout some verses may have been added or removed.
Recognizing our international reach, this hymnal includes different languages so our brother and sister Presbyterians can sing each other’s hymns.
There are multiple indexes in the back to easily navigate the 850 hymns: Scripture references, liturgical theme, lectionary day, musical style, composer and first lines. The front includes several liturgical aids (which had to be inserted into the previous hymnal) we can now use for worship.
This hymnal is organized by category starting with “The Triune God” and “God’s covenant with Israel” all the way through the advent, birth, life and death of Jesus.
Then are liturgical categories like “Baptism”, “Discipleship and Mission”, and doxologies. See the insert for more info about the hymnals.
What a joy to have this treasure trove of resources for our music program!