The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC) began accepting orders for its new hymnal, Glory to God, in the summer of 2012. By the end of May 2013, more than 1,000 congregations and institutions (Presbyterian and ecumenical partners) had placed prepublication orders for the hymnal.
David Gambrell, staff representative to the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS) from the Office of Theology, Worship & Education, said, “The launch of any new hymnal — more than any other resource, event, or program — has incredible potential to transform the identity and mission of a denomination. The church’s eager embrace of this new hymnal — shaped by the biblical story, steeped in diverse ways of worship, seeking above all to give glory to God — gives me great hope.”
Members of PCOCS led many workshops around the denomination to prepare people for the new hymnal. After hearing a presentation by PCOCS Chair Mary Louise Bringle, the Rev. Peter R. Del Nagro of Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church in Youngstown, Ohio, echoed Gambrell’s hopefulness.
“Apart from the merits of the new hymnal, in listening to Dr. Bringle I was struck by the number of exceptional people there are in the Presbyterian Church,” Del Nagro said. “I’m feeling hopeful about the future of this denomination ... This new hymnal is going to pull a fractious church together and help us get there.”
The 216th General Assembly (2004) initiated the hymnal project by authorizing research into a new denominational songbook. PCOCS was formed in 2008 under the leadership of hymnal editor David Eicher and Bringle, the committee chair.
PPC presented the complete list of contents to the 220th General Assembly (2012) in Pittsburgh. The Assembly then dismissed PCOCS with thanksgiving for their service and commended Glory to God for use in congregational worship.
The hymnal will be published in September, in a variety of print and digital formats.
Other hymnal news and resources are also available on the blog, which can be found at blog.presbyterianhymnalproject.com.