Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs [Hymnal]

Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs HymnalPsalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs is a new hymnal for congregational worship. It is an original and fully edited publication and the work product of worship leaders, hymn writers, and tune composers, as well as evangelists, elders, and teachers. Its textual content, musical arrangements, style, format, and special features are intended to enhance the praise of God and the teaching and admonition of Christians. I’m thankful to have had a small part in its production as a technical editor and excited to see this long project finally come to beautiful fruition.

This hymnal is a work of art which employs several unique features, most notably, the Phrased Notation page layout (see samples below). Phrased Notation sets the width of a hymn on a page by the length of phrases that fit on a line; it then wraps the music around those phrases. The result is a series of unbroken phrases, clauses, and couplets, as would appear in a book of poetry. These unbroken phrases help the worshiper visualize and grasp the messages as they are being sung.

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs is made up of 850 titles that are both old and new, that represent a variety of musical and poetic styles, and that as a collection reflect an emphasis on quality and suitability for congregational worship.

  • Table of Contents
  • Sample 1 (psalm derivatives; folk tune arranged for congregational singing)
  • Sample 2 (Phrased Notation)
  • Sample 3 (modernized pronouns and verbs in older and unfamiliar hymns)
  • Sample 4 (Phrased Notation; music folk genre)
  • Sample 5 (ancient praise hymn, contemporary praise hymn, traditional praise hymn)
  • Sample 6 (key change for congregational singing)
  • Sample 7 (small caps when “Lord” refers to YHWH)
  • Sample 8 (Phrased Notation; New English Renaissance hymn)
  • Sample 9 (dagger footnotes: indicating two songs can be sung in sequence)
  • Sample 10 (missing verse reintroduced from archives)
  • Sample 11 (Phrased Notation; reintroduced missing verses)
  • Sample 12 (Phrased Notation; reintroduced missing verses; suggested Scripture readings)
The Sumphonia Hymnal site provides a wealth of insight on the nuts-and-bolts of the hymnal’s production:

One of the editors, Steve Wolfgang, presented a detailed introduction to the hymnal at the 2012 Truth Magazine Lectures. Also available:

  • Question and Answer Sessions with the hymnal editors (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)
  • Lectures from David Maravilla, one of the hymnal editors, on worship (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)

Finally, the Sumphonia CDs (audio samples are available here) have also been re-released, featuring 37 of the hymns included in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs:

Sumphonia has already announced other supplementary products that are on the way:

  • PowerPoint version of the hymnal
  • Digital Concordance
  • Worship Leader Preparation software
  • Interactive hymn notes

I highly recommend you get a copy of this beautiful hymnal and explore it for yourself. It’s available from One Stone Biblical Resources for just $12.95.

The editors’ prayer, as printed in the Preface is worthy of note:

The editors present this hymnal to the Lord and His people with the prayer that He is pleased with this work and the hearts that produced it, that all Christians—those with and those without a natural affinity for singing—will come to enjoy worshiping with this hymnal, that churches will use this hymnal to glorify God and teach and admonish one another, and that our children and grandchildren will use this hymnal after we are gone to grow up in all things unto Him who is our head—Christ.

About Jason Hardin

Jason lives in southern Indiana with his wife Shelly and their three daughters. He works with the Charlestown Road church of Christ. Jason has written three books and a variety of workbooks. He's a fan of photography, baseball, mountains, wildlife, BBQ, banana pudding, and coffee. You can contact him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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4 comments

  1. Andy Diestelkamp

    I am very much looking forward to the digital concordance. In my opinion it can’t get here too soon. I would use it often in my preparation of our song and prayer services. Any ideas on how soon we can be expecting that?

    • I’m not sure, Andy. I let Steve Wolfgang know about your question. We’ll see if he responds. I’m sure the digital concordance will be very useful to many. Thanks for reading!

  2. Just now seeing Andy’s question — and it’s a good one. We had a demo of the beta version at the lectures in Athens (it’s actually a part of a more “layered” work). There are some bugs needing to be worked out, and Ed Holder, who is heading that part of the project, has said any experienced programmers who want to jump in and help would be welcome! I am thinking it should not be too long, but then I am not the guy you want for IT! 🙂