When did work begin on the new hymnal?
The 217th General Assembly (2006) authorized the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC) to create a new hymnal. David Eicher was then called as Hymnal Editor. Presbyterians applied for membership on the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS). Fifteen people -- pastors, musicians, and members -- were called to participate; they began work in 2008. The PCOCS’s final meeting was in January 2012. Remaining work will be done by PPC staff. Typesetting, proofreading, and education will continue through Glory to God’s publication in fall 2013.
Who decided the contents for Glory to God?
The PCOCS consulted various PC(U.S.A.) constituencies through surveys and focused consultations. All submissions were discussed by the committee; author and composer information was hidden to encourage honest dialogue. To move a song forward, a 2/3 majority vote was required for approval. Hymns and songs were examined by task forces before coming to the full committee. The PCOCS’s spent their final meeting examining and singing through the complete contents in their proposed order.
When will the contents list be available?
The complete contents of Glory to God will be available on our website Easter Monday (April 9, 2012). The list will also be printed in the hymnal sampler, which will be distributed at summer conferences and later mailed to all PC(U.S.A.) congregations and institutions.
Some of the language choices (pronouns, images for God,
names for the people of God) in the 1990 hymnal were controversial. How
will this hymnal compare?
Early in their process, the PCOCS adopted a language statement and a theological vision statement. Following denominational practice, the committee used “inclusive language with reference to the people of God, and expansive language with reference to God”. Some pronouns referring to people were updated from “men” to more common words such as “people” or “folk”. Hymns and songs represent the wealth of images for God in Scripture, spanning from the Mother Hen (23:37) to Abba (Mk 14:36) to Creator (Is 40:28) and Lord (Ex 3:15). In some cases the PCOCS restored original language; the final verse of “Be Thou My Vision” summoning the “High King of Heaven” will be included in Glory to God.
Besides English, what languages will be represented in the
Glory to God includes a number of hymns and songs from the global church. Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Latin, French, Sotho, Swahili, and other languages will be printed where appropriate. Although this songbook is not primarily a multilingual hymnal, it will represent some of the diversity in The Church. Languages that use characters instead of letters will be printed with the actual characters.
What is the first hymn in Glory to God?
The new hymnal will be organized according to the history of salvation, beginning with creation and finishing with The Church’s hope for the Lord’s return . “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord, God Almighty” is planned to be the first hymn.
Will the psalms be together in the middle of the book?
The psalms will not be in a separate section. They will be dispersed throughout the book into topical sections. There will be a sung setting of each Sunday’s lectionary psalm. An index of all psalms included will be available.
What will be included in the worship material section?
Thirty pages of liturgy will be printed in the front of the book. The orders follow traditional Reformed worship practices. A complete Service for the Lord’s Day (including the Lord’s Supper), a service of Baptism, and services for Daily Prayer (Morning, Evening, and Prayer at the Close of Day) will be included. These services will be coordinated with the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship and the Directory for Worship.
What songs in Glory
to God will be guitar-friendly?
Guitar chords will be printed over many unison-melody songs to aid worship leaders. Some songs included were specifically written to be sung with guitar and other instruments. “Shine, Jesus, Shine”, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”, and “Step By Step” are among those often led on guitar.
What color is Glory
Red or purple. Each congregation can choose between two subtitles, The Presbyterian Hymnal (with a PC(U.S.A.) seal on the spine) or Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs. Both subtitles are available in both cover colors.
The eBook edition
will be for anyone
who wants to view and use the hymnal via
mobile devices. Pastors who plan
worship away from their office,
congregants who want to keep the hymnal
them where they go, or members who have particular needs for font size
color, or book weight.
The projection edition will be formatted for easy projection in worship.