A range of comments have been submitted relating to the new family of Singing the Faith editions. If you have a question, you may find that it has already been asked and answered. Have a look below to see if your queston is here. If your question remains unanswered, do add it to our new Notes & Queries page.
What does Singing the Faith contain?
The collection contains 748 hymns and songs and 42 liturgical settings (e.g. of the Kyrie, the Sanctus and the Lord’s Prayer as well as material from the Taizé and Iona traditions). There are also 50 canticles and psalms. The canticles are the same as those in Hymns & Psalms. The psalms have been selected on the basis of their use within liturgy and the lectionary. The canticles and psalms are not set to music but contain suggestions for responsive reading.
The music edition contains the following indexes: Biblical texts / liturgical / material particularly suited to all-age worship / tunes – alphabetical / tunes – metrical / composers, arrangers and sources of tunes / authors, translators and sources / first lines with tunes. The words edition contains an index of first lines.
Download a PowerPoint presentation, Get to Know Singing the Faith (rev. Jan 2016).
What is copyright situation for Singing the Faith?
Go to our Copyright matters page.
Where can I find any corrections that have been made in later printings?
As new impressions of the book are printed, corrections are incorporated. You can find the most up to date list of corrections on our Book Corrections page (in the Resources drop-down menu) as PDF and Word documents. Corrections are also noted in the information about individual hymns on this website.
What happened to ‘w’ in the index?
Those who welcomed the early copies of Singing the Faith (music edition) through the post may have noticed that the very last section of the First Lines index is missing. (Some of the ‘W’s and ‘Y’s have gone walkabout.) This is not a problem in the words edition of the book or in later music copies.
The publishers have apologised for this error, and have provided a solution. An erratum slip is available from Norwich Books & Music on 01603 78592501603 785925 . It has an adhesive back and will fit comfortably on to the existing last page. It can also be downloaded here if you don’t mind inserting the page yourself.
Are there cross-reference lists to other hymn and worship books?
We have placed lists on the site that cross-reference hymns in Singing the Faith with its predecessor, Hymns & Psalms. (See the Find hymns and songs page.) We appreciate that many worship planners will need to prepare worship using both books for some while to come.
We have considered publishing further lists of cross-references with other publications. However, after a lot of thought, we feel that to do so could be less, rather than more, helpful owing to the very many differences between versions of hymns in different publications.
Why were changes made to older hymns and songs?
Broadly speaking, four principles were applied both to new material as well as to old:
- Where it could be sensitively done in relation to the context and style of the hymn, gender exclusive language with reference to people has been replaced (in unison with other collections where possible).
- “Thee” and “thou” have been replaced where the usage is not rhyme-dependant and where such a change does not damage the overall quality of the hymn.
- Where an author has produced a revised or definitive version of a text that is still in copyright this has been used. (See, for example, notes to StF 398.)
- Translations of non-English language hymns and songs have been provided.
Read, also, the criteria for selecting new material (agreed by the 2009 Conference) included in the introduction to both the Words and Music editions.
Why publish a new hymn collection?
Over the 30 years since Hymns & Psalms was produced by the Methodist Church in Britain, there has been a wealth of new material published elsewhere. Consequently, many churches have supplemented Hymns & Psalms with other hymn and song books. While these collections enrich worship, they sometimes tend towards a theological perspective not reflective of the breadth of Methodism. Furthermore, some are not widely representative of contemporary hymnody, focusing largely on worship songs.
Singing the Faith bridges these gaps. It acknowledges the rich diversity of material published since 1983; it reflects the whole of the Methodist Church both in terms of theology and also in the variety of styles of worship; it is sensitive to Methodist heritage but also to the needs and practice of our contemporary fellowships. You can read the story behind the production process here.
What has been done to ensure the book reflects Methodist values?
Authorised texts such as Singing the Faith are those that have “undergone the scrutiny of the whole Church, through the Methodist Conference and its Faith & Order Committee, and are thus authorised by the Conference as the normative texts of the Methodist Church in Britain. These texts express the corporate doctrinal and liturgical mind of the Conference.” (Methodist Conference 2008)
This scrutiny process relates both to the complete collection and also to specific texts; not that each specific text must represent the corporate doctrinal and liturgical mind of the Conference, but that each text contributes appropriately to the whole collection.
What is meant by ‘authorised’?
The Methodist Church has a heritage of singing the faith; exploring and expressing our emphases of Christian beliefs through hymnody. When a hymn collection is authorised by the Methodist Conference it signifies that its content is consistent with our Methodist doctrine.
Are churches being asked to replace Hymns & Psalms?
Singing the Faith does not supplant or prohibit the use of other authorised Methodist hymn collections. Methodism does not de-authorise classic texts. As such Hymns & Psalms remains as an authorised collection of Methodist hymnody, just as the Methodist Hymn Book (1933) also remains as an authorised collection. While it may be that the new collection replaces Hymns & Psalms as the hymn resource ‘of choice’, it will not replace Hymns & Psalms in the sense of de-authorising the older text.