Would you like a sneak preview of Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, the new, soon-to-be-published joint hymnal of the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America?
If so, you can sign up online for a sampler of worship materials to read over and perhaps discuss with others.
Music at the bottom of the songs is blurred to emphasize that the sampler is to be used for information and background till June, when the full hymnal is released.
The download of the sampler selections and a copyright notice appear in your email inbox as soon as you sign up. There is no cost.
“The songs selected for this sampler provide just a taste of the larger feast that awaits the full collection,” says the introduction to the sampler.
Among its features, the sampler gives a sense of the multi-cultural emphasis of the new hymnal.
Besides musical items in English, the sampler includes materials in Hungarian, Indonesian, Spanish, German, Swahili and Korean.
Several years in formation, the new hymnal contains over 850 songs, including a wide range of music from the traditional hymn repertoire to contemporary worship music and from the music of North America to music of the global church.
An important emphasis of the new the hymnal, which is set to be published in June, is on making sure the materials are accessible to congregations for worship, small group sessions and devotional times.
Each song or hymn includes a keyboard accompaniment and chord symbols, helping worship leaders to weave the music into different settings.
The first half of the hymnal outlines the entire biblical redemptive history — first by following the biblical narrative from creation to new creation, including Christ’s life and the Christian year.
The second half of the hymnal follows the order of worship, from God calling people to worship through God blessing and sending people out to disciple others.
Prayers of praise and lament, services of prayer, and litanies for baptism and the Lord’s Supper are also found in the new hymnal.
“All materials, together provide an overview of the great story of God’s creation and redemption and the promise of the new creation perfectly restored in Christ …” says the introduction to the sampler.