I’ve already blogged about why the new Presbyterian Hymnal is good in theory, but after spending the week at the Presbyterian Association of Musicians Worship & Music conference I am 100% in favor of Glory to God (G2G)!
Not all churches will be able to transition to the new hymnal right away. It’s a big investment, but here are my top 10 reasons I’m excited about G2G. Even if you’re not planning on buying it for your church, think about buying it for your choir.
Top 10 Reasons Emily is Excited about Glory to God
1. New music. We’ll be singing to the Lord a new song! Lots of new pieces that can be used for the congregation and plenty that could be used in the choir and for soloists & cantors.
2. Old music. Much of the blue hymnal is still around! There’s also some well-known hymns that haven’t been in a Presbyterian hymnal before. There’s even a couple of old hymns everyone else in the seminar knew but I didn’t. (Although I was one of three people to know “Shine, Jesus, Shine.”)
3. More world music with different language options. Great for my church which has a lot of people whose heart language isn’t English. Also lots of Taize.
4. Reflective Easter hymns. Good hymns to vary your Eastertide or to sing on Easter morning if Easter is a difficult time in your community.
5. 30 pages of worship materials. New worship material around the main parts of the Sunday morning service. There will also be references about where to find other resources.
6. Integrated Psalms. I love the Psalms. John Calvin wanted people to sing Psalms in their everyday lives as they worked in the fields, rocked an infant to sleep, or prayed before a meal. By integrating the Psalms into the sections of the hymnal it gives the congregation the change to sing Psalms during all parts of the worship service and liturgical year.
7. New layout. The front part is about God, the back part is about our response to God’s action in the world, and where those parts meet in the middle is the service music (gathering hymns, santcus’es, etc.) It makes a lot of sense and will refresh the idea about when well-loved hymns can be sung.
8. Thoughtfully paired with the lectionary text. Every text of the Revised Common Lectionary has hymns for it, and every Psalm in the lectionary has a verse in G2G. A lot of hymns tell biblical stories as well. Are you preaching the Parable of the Lost Coin? There’s a hymn for that.
9. It’s well-balanced. It will provide good support for many different styles of worship. There’s even an expanded section about Jesus’ life.
10. You’ll be able to get it on your eReader, project music & lyrics easily, and there will be an app! An app, I tell you! What else could you possibly want for worship planning, college ministry, youth retreats, and whatnot?!