RELIGION

Church of Jesus Christ’s new hymnbook, including children’s songs, expected by end of 2026

Sep 29, 2023, 12:20 PM

The Church announced Friday it will publish a new hymnbook, "Hymns — for Home and Church," by the...

The Church announced Friday it will publish a new hymnbook, "Hymns — for Home and Church," by the end of 2026 in four languages. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

SALT LAKE CITY — “Hymns — for Home and Church” — the new hymnbook that was initially announced in June 2018 — will be released in four languages by the end of 2026, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Friday.

The book will have between 450 and 500 hymns and children’s songs, combining the current hymnbook and “Children’s Songbook.” The news release said the combined book “will be representative of the communal nature of music and worship,” with a single collection.

“Children will feel that they belong in sacrament meeting when we sing from the inspiring collection of children’s songs that will be included in the new hymnbook,” President Susan H. Porter, general president of the Primary organization, who is an advisor on the new hymnbook, said in the news release.

A consolidated version of the new hymnbook will be released in the first half of 2024, with some of the songs being released in small batches digitally, according to Friday’s announcement. This version will include music composed within the church after 1985, music borrowed from other faiths and some of the 17,000 songs submitted by church members for the new hymnbook.

The church news release said many, if not all, of the songs digitally released will be in the new hymnbook, and the consolidated hymns will be used along with the current hymnbook until the full version is released.

“What a blessing ‘Hymns — for Home and Church’ will be for all of us!” said President Porter. “I love the power of the hymns to touch my heart as I sing about the Savior and his gospel of joy.”

The church announced Friday it will publish its new hymnbook, “Hymns — for Home and Church,” which combines the current hymnbook and “Children’s Songbook” by the end of 2026 in four languages. (Photo: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Over five years ago, the church asked for feedback on the current hymnbook and member submissions of hymns, songs and music. Since then, over 150 reviewers have evaluated the 17,000 new song submissions.

“We want to thank those who submitted music for their patience as we treat every submission with great care and appreciation,” said Steve Schank, a member of the hymnbook committee.

Everyone who submitted a new song will be contacted about the status of their submission after the selection process is completed.

The announcement said the project has been “complex,” as hymns are being revised to be more “globally relevant,” outdated language is being replaced, doctrine is being clarified and lyrics and musical styles are being altered to be “more universally inclusive.”

This is all in addition to translating the hymns into multiple languages and retaining “doctrinal clarity and poetic beauty” in each language.

The full hymnbook, “Hymns — for Home and Church” will be published in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French in 2026 and in 50 total languages by 2030 — with consistent hymn numbers across each language.

Other languages in areas where the church is still growing will receive a smaller collection, called “Selected Hymns,” with about 60 hymns and children’s songs “as soon as reasonably possible,” the news release said.

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “One way God helps us to feel the Spirit and motivate us to live the gospel of Jesus Christ is through sacred music.”

He said the new book will help deepen members’ conversion.

“We pray that it will bless, edify, comfort and cheer you in the coming years,” Elder Renlund said.

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Church of Jesus Christ’s new hymnbook, including children’s songs, expected by end of 2026