LOUISVILLE

With prepublication orders from more than 600 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations, demand for the new hymnal has exceeded expectations fivefold.

The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation began taking orders for the hymnal, Glory to God, in the summer of 2012. The hymnal will be sent to the printer this summer and will be published in September, said the Rev. Meg Flannagan, hymnal advocacy and relations coordinator

“The enthusiastic response to prepublication orders has been in stark contrast to the ‘doom and gloom’ predictions of many who doubted whether congregational singing is still vital or simply a relic of the past,” said hymnal editor David Eicher in a press release.

Flannagan attributes Glory to God’s high demand to its contents.

“I think that the contents of this new hymnal are very balanced musically and theologically,” she said.

The hymnal includes traditional favorites like “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” alongside newer and perhaps more challenging songs.

“There really is something for everyone,” Flannagan said.

The hymnal project was initiated in 2004 by the 216th General Assembly, which authorized research into a new denominational songbook. The Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song formed in 2008 and spent time analyzing and selecting hymns, presenting its final list of contents to the 220th Assembly (2012).

A full list of Glory to God’s contents is available here.