The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC) will release the list of contents for their new hymnal, Glory to God, on Monday, April 9. Hymns’ first lines (with common titles), tunes, authors, and composers will be listed online.

Among the over 850 hymns and songs, Presbyterians will find the beloved and familiar, as well as some new and challenging. A few of the new hymns on the list are:

  • “Come and Fill Our Hearts” or “Confitemini Domino, by Jacques Berthier. This is a popular short song from the Taizé community in France. It may be used in the confessional sequence of worship, or during the prayers of the people. Although it is familiar to many Presbyterians, this is its first inclusion in a denominational songbook.
  • “Lord, Prepare Me” or “Sanctuary,” by John Thompson and Randy Scruggs. Often sung as a call to worship, its simple text and singable melody have made this song a favorite of youth and young adults.
  • “Source and Sovereign, Rock and Cloud,” text by Thomas Troeger; tune (ABERYSTWYTH) by Joseph Parry. This new text sings the myriad of images and names for God. Each verse is formed solely from biblical texts; the refrain then reminds singers that language is limited when describing the mystery of God. 
  • “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” African American spiritual arranged by Robert Nathaniel Dett. This is another familiar text and tune, although it has never been in a denominational songbook. In Glory to God, it will be printed with other hymns and songs about living and dying in Christ: “There Is a Place of Quiet Rest,” “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart!” and “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”

Some new hymns and songs will be demonstrated on the hymnal Web site. Short videos will help pastors and musicians learn unfamiliar music, as well as see teaching and worship suggestions.

A new hymnal sampler will be available this summer. In addition to featuring 50 hymns and songs, the sampler will include printed liturgy and the list of contents for Glory to God. PPC will present the complete list of contents to the 220th General Assembly (2012) in Pittsburgh. The sampler will be used in worship at summer conferences and mailed to every Presbyterian congregation and institution.

The hymnal project began in 2004 when the General Assembly authorized research into a new denominational songbook. The Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS) formed in 2008 under the leadership of hymnal editor David Eicher and committee chair Dr. Mary Louise Bringle. The committee spent time analyzing other denominations’ hymnals, contemporary praise and worship trends, global music, and previous Presbyterian hymnals.

For more information about the Hymnal Project, visit the Web site. News and resources are also available on the blog.