Following are some suggestions in regard to hymnals:
LIVING HYMNS was first published by Al Smith in 1972; the latest edition is published by Paul Chappell’s Striving Together Ministries. It has 887 songs and hymns. There is no author index, but I tried to look at the author of every song. There are two by the Gaithers but none by any of the other contemporary worship artists, as far as I could see. It has hymns that are rarely seen, such as Charles Weigle’s lovely “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.” There are little-known hymns by old-time fundamentalists such as R.A. Torrey, James Gray, and Lewis Sperry Chafer.
MAJESTY HYMNS has a wide selection of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, many of which were written in the last 30 years. There are some entries that we would not use. (We don’t recommend Majesty Music’s latest hymnal Rejoice Hymns, as it contains many contemporary worship songs by Getty/Townend and others. It is very sad to see Majesty Music moving in this direction.)
SONGS AND HYMNS OF REVIVAL has a large selection. Some of the Gaither songs are included, which we don’t recommend. (We don’t recommend the Southern Gospel music published by Golden State Baptist College.) North Valley Publications, Santa Clara, CA, www.nvpublications.net.
PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS is a good resource for expanding a church’s repertoire. It has nearly 1,000 songs, more than 7,000 Scripture references, and 450 historical sketches about hymns and their writers and other interesting and educational comments. There are a great many rare old hymns, including ones by Baptist pastors of old, such as Benjamin Keach (9), John Leland (5), John Rippon (6), John Ryland (6), and Samuel Stennett (9). The hymnal restores lyrics that have been dropped in other hymnals, such as the full seven stanzas of “How Firm a Foundation,” the 18 stanzas of “O for a thousand Tongues to Sing,” the seven stanzas of “Amazing Grace,” the seven of “Grace! Tis a Charming Sound,” and the three stanzas that Baptist pastor John Rippon added to “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” The tune name and meter are given for each selection, thus allowing the songs to be sung by different tunes.
TRINITY HYMNAL (Baptist Edition) has 774 songs and hymns. The following description is by Thomas Ross: “The hymns almost all have the same sort of richness and content as the psalms God has given us both to sing and to model uninspired hymns after. There is very little that is vapid and trivial. Furthermore, they actually have hymns on things like believer’s immersion. If a hymn has a doctrinal problem they will fix it so we don’t sing lies to the Lord. (They are not perfect in this but caring and trying is very good.) It is much better than Living Hymns, in my view, and significantly better than Great Hymns of the Faith, although that hymnal is decent. I would love it if more churches would sing God’s glorious praise from a hymnal like that one.”
We also recommend singing the Psalms with psalteries such as Isaac Watts. N.A. Woychuk’s SINGING PSALMS WITH ISAAC WATTS is a good study of and presentation of Watts’ Psaltery. It includes the meter or tunes.