22 September 2011

New Methodist Hymn Collection Published

After seven years of deliberation, theological scrutiny, musical collaboration and editing, Singing the Faith has been published; a new authorised collection of hymns and songs for the Methodist Church.

Published by Hymns Ancient & Modern, Singing the Faith contains 840 hymns and songs, including 50 canticles and psalms, and would take an estimated forty hours to sing in total. The Music Resources Group, which was responsible for selecting and compiling the book, sang every song, as well as examining it for musical merit, before allowing it to be added to the collection. Meanwhile, the Church's Faith and Order Network scrutinised each song for theological value and content.

"I opened a music copy at the end of last week and felt quite emotional," said Barbara Bircumshaw, Chair of the Music Resources Group. "Having been part of the project from the outset, it was like seeing the birth of a baby - exciting and beautiful. I thought of the many people who've been involved along the way; there have been a few rocky times but God has journeyed with us. Through the Spirit's power, we've been enabled to publish a new resource of Singing the Faith we proclaim 'to serve the present age'."

The book is now available in three editions; music, words and large print words, and can be purchased from Methodist Publishing, with special discount prices on all editions available until December 2011.

"Worshipping in music and song is at the very heart of what it means to be a Methodist," said the Revd Leo Osborn, President of the Methodist Conference. "Every item in this collection has been carefully chosen and considered suitable for publication. I have no doubt that Singing the Faith will enhance and enrich the life and worship of the Methodist Church."

An electronic words edition will soon follow and the collection will be supported by the regularly updated Singing the Faith Plus website, which will feature search tools, week-by-week song and hymn suggestions and guidance for using the collection as a tool for personal devotion, as well as space for worship leaders to share their own ideas. 

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