New hymnal contents released

‘Glory to God’ features more than 850 hymns, includes praise and worship, global music

April 13, 2012


The contents of the new Presbyterian hymnal, “Glory to God,” were released just this week, but hymnal editor David Eicher said he has already heard feedback from around the church.

On the hymnal project’s website, blog and Facebook page, some Presbyterians have expressed disappointment over not seeing a particular hymn included. But the overall feedback has been “overwhelming positive,” Eicher said.

“People seem pleased that the tradition is being honored,” he said, adding that the hymnal is “a good representation of the solid core of what has been our congregational song for generations. There will be some things that didn’t survive, and that’s true for every hymnal.”

Presbyterians will see a wider variety of musical styles, including global music from regions whose songs were not previously heard across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) — especially indigenous African and Asian music.

“Church music in the past 25 years has simply expanded,” Eicher said. “The ’90 hymnal did a terrific job of introducing global music to the Presbyterian Church.”

And although it won’t serve as a praise and worship hymnal, “Glory to God” will feature more praise and worship songs, especially those that have been tried and tested since 1990.

The hymnal’s website features several demo videos to help Presbyterians hear some of the new selections and learn how to play and sing them. Music conferences will also offer workshops and learning opportunities, Eicher said.

The denomination’s first new hymnal since 1990, “Glory to God” features more than 850 songs; the old hymnal has about 600. But thanks to innovations in printing techniques, paper and ink, the new book will be about the same size and weight as the 1990 book.

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 and studied other denominations’ hymnals, global music, contemporary trends and previous Presbyterian hymnals. PCOCS also reviewed new submissions — anonymously — and made selections based on a variety of factors, including hymns that address a new topic or fill a gap.

“They were making what they prayed were faithful choices,” Eicher said.

A sampler of the new hymnal will be available this summer, and music from the new hymnal will be featured in several denominational gatherings, including the 220th General Assembly in June and July. After the Assembly, a copy of the sampler with a full list of contents will be mailed to every PC(USA) congregation.

Pre-orders for the new hymnal are now being accepted, and the hymnal will be available for shipment in September 2013. The following per-copy prices are in effect:

  • $15.00 for orders and pre-payment by June 30, 2013
  • $17.50 for orders by June 30, 2013, with payment due upon publication
  • $20.00 for post-publication orders and payment

To download a PDF of the contents list, click here.  

  1. Does this hymnal have a new version and melody of the ageless "The Lord's Prayer"? I certain hope it isn't the one! Boooo if it is. Thank you, John

    by John DeVoss

    January 8, 2015

  2. Answers to a few questions: * Customer Service is always available to help! 1-800-533-4371. * The font in "Glory to God" is larger and darker than fonts in previous Presbyterian hymnals. * 88 texts moved into "Glory to God" from "Sing the Faith". * Unless the hymn/song is public domain, it is illegal to reproduce material (copy, project, insert into program, etc.) without explicit copyright permission. Purchasing copies of a tangible resource do not allow the same number of reproductions without copyright permission. For a more thorough discussion, please refer to this blog post:

    by Meg Flannagan

    August 18, 2014

  3. Did Tim Moe's question about percentage of Sing the Faith songs in Glory to God hymnal ever get answered? What's the answer?

    by Susan Tarr

    August 17, 2014

  4. Do these new hymnals have the same size type as the old ones? I'm concerned whether they will be as easy for the elderly to read, since so many more hymns are packed into the same size book

    by Becky 'Romanowsky

    June 18, 2014

  5. Can I copy a few hymns out of the 1990 Blue hymnal to include in our Annual Soring Gathering brochure without breaking the law? We only have about 50 of the actual hymnals.

    by Melissa Scott

    February 13, 2014

  6. Eric, I too would love your list!

    by Katie Treadway

    November 26, 2012

  7. I would love to have the lists Eric Schonblom has! How do I get it? Is the question about copyright answered by someone?

    by Kathleen Splitt

    November 4, 2012

  8. How many of the hymns in Glory to God come from "Sing the Faith"?

    by Tim Moe

    September 23, 2012

  9. I would like to know the percentages of hymns from the blue hymnal, the red hymnal, and the blue supplement, "Sing the Faith".

    by Tim Moe

    September 21, 2012

  10. I LOVE the short story about the hymn at the bottom of each page. This is unique among hymnals that I have seen. I also like putting the "technical information" (tune, author, meter) at the bottom of the page, instead of at the top. The pages seem uncluttered - a very good thing. I'm also glad to see chords for accompaniment on many of the hymns - the more the better.

    by Jim Renfrew

    September 11, 2012

  11. We are moving away from using hymnals at all. Will there be an electronic version that we can purchase and use without having to waste money on all those books?

    by Tim Dalstrom

    July 31, 2012

  12. Eric, I would love to see your list...

    by Doug Frank

    July 19, 2012

  13. I was quite underwhelmed with the sampler. As church musicians, we already struggle with the editing in the blue hymnal. This hymnal (at least in the sampler) seems to have gone even more down the wrong road in terms of editing! The hymn titles are insufficient to evaluate the editing. Is an electronic copy available for evaluation?

    by Doug Frank

    July 19, 2012

  14. 7/12/2012. Hi, Ed White, Goodbye to Richard Avery and Donald Marsh, nowhere in Glory to God. Someday all hymns will be on electronic tablets in the pews, saving weight, time, money and appeal. Best wishes and peace in a new effort to at least pay off.

    by Charles G. Yopst, D.Min.

    July 12, 2012

  15. I have been through the list of new hymns and have sorted them into three categories: (1) those that were in the "blue hymnal", (2) those that were in the old "red hymnal", but were not in the "blue hymnal", and (3) those that are entirely new or which have new music. I also made a list of those in the "blue hymnal" that will not be in the new hymnal. I would be willing to share these lists, but since they include entire listings (title, tune, librettist, composer), I may be violating copyrights to do so. Does anyone know?

    by Eric Schonblom

    July 10, 2012

  16. I wish that a document could be prepared that would list each hymn/song title vertically and then each date (Sundays) horizontally so we could "check" the weeks that each hymn is sung during the year. The Methodist Church offers this annually in their choi driector's plan book.

    by Amanda R. Klimko

    June 5, 2012

  17. I'm confused about the free shipping offer for the new hymnal. Do they have to be ordered and paid for by June 1 2012? The announcement reads: Those churches that order prior to June 30, 2013, and send payment with their order will receive a per-copy price of $15 for the pew edition. Free shipping for orders paid for in 2012, an estimated savings of $1 per copy ordered. So I guess my question is when in 2012 do they have to be paid for? Doris B. Reed Elder & worship Committee chairman !st Presbyterian Church Georgetown, KY

    by Doris B. Reed

    May 23, 2012

  18. I wish they had not removed Faith of our Fathers. I also wish they had gone back to the original wording of God of Our Father, Whose Almighty Hand. God of the Ages just does not seem right.

    by Lynn Davis

    May 4, 2012

  19. So what do churches do w/ the old hymnal? Is there a "green" way to recycle them? Seems a huge waste of resources just to toss the old hymnal

    by Beth Marsh

    April 18, 2012

  20. I refret that the hymn "Oh God of Earth and Altar" was not included. It describes our present reality more than any other hymn.

    by Edward A White

    April 18, 2012