A New Hymnal

Hymnal 1Attention spans are a funny thing. So is time. 12 years ago, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Denmark commissioned a group with task of producing a new hymnal. 12 years is, give or take, usually the duration of such an undertaking. But admittedly a long time in a fast-paced world such as the one we live in.

This week, the hymnal is finally complete, finished in printing, and being sent out to those who have pre-ordered. I have had the pleasure and privilege of sitting on the Hymnal Committee since 2000, being its secretary and responsible for the layout, among other things. It is not without a certain degree of professional satisfaction that I now hold the finished product in my hands. I am in no way neutral, but I do think this is one of the best hymnals out there.

Hymnal 2Many things have happened since 1995. Pop and rock music have replaced hymn-singing in some churches (including my own). New technology (PowerPoint) has, to some extent, diminished the need for printed hymnals in churches. And a new generation have grown up. Some—especially among these—may question the need for a new hymnal. And they may have a point. But I still believe that publishing the new hymnal is a milestone and that it will become an asset for the church.

Although other genres have made their way into the church (which is a good thing), I don’t believe hymns will—or should—vanish altogether. The collective memory and rich tradition entrenched in the heritage of hymn-singing has a lot to teach even our generation. Hymnals are always updated at certain intervals, and this new publication will help keep the tradition alive. Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Hymnal 3As for technology, PowerPoint is good, and there are plans to release an official CD-rom with .ppt files. But there is still a need for the selection and quality control that a thoroughly researched publication offers. Furthermore, a hymnal is not only for use in church, but also in the home—for family vespers, or for personal inspiration. For this, it still needs to be in print.

There are many good things to say about the hymnal, and a lot of hard work that now, finally, bears fruit. I hope that the release can help revive worship and singing in Seventh-day Adventist Churches and homes across Denmark. I will do my best to promote it, and look forward to opportunities to use it and promote it in my own church and others.


Author: Kenneth Mollerup Birch

Living north of Copenhagen, Denmark. MA in Information Science. Interests include communication, internet, sociology, language, politics, religion, theology, travel, music, and food.

2 thoughts on “A New Hymnal”

  1. Lad mig sige, at jeg er overordentlig tilfreds med jeres udarbejdelse, af den nye salmebog. Der er ganske vist sket meget mens I har værer igang, men jeg er glad for, at I har fået så mange forholdsvis nye sange med, jeres brede udbud af salmer (dejligt at få så mange af de gamle danske salmedigtere med), samt at alle vers i salmerne nu er medtaget.

    Den er en fornøjelse at bruge – men jeg skal lige vende mig til at den fylder så meget:)

  2. hello Everyone
    our church has just split from our main body due to changes in how the main body has chosen to conduct its self as we move into this new age. as of now our church has around 60 members who followed our pastor to a new location. we are now Kingdom Community Church in Struthers Ohio. a nonevengelical church, our problem is we are on our own pretty much, we are renting a building until we find one our congragation can afford. what we need are hymnals we need about 100 to start with is their anywhere you can recomend that we might find some for little or nothing, new or used it matters not.

    if you can help, my number is 330-953-1272
    and the pastors number is

    Kingdom Community Church
    Email: kingdomcommunitychurch@ymail.com
    586 youngstown-poland road.
    struthers ohio 44471

    Pastor Rusty and Linda Wills
    Thank You and God Bless

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