The best hymnal for your local church is one that you produce yourself. It has all the songs your congregation knows and loves, and it leaves out the songs you know you’ll never use.
Most churches have never even considered the possibility of making their own hymnal; or if they have, they assume a custom hymnal would be too expensive. But in many cases, you can compile and print your church’s own hymnal at a comparable cost to purchasing an existing one. Here’s how the process works.
Step 1: Develop a list of songs
Make a list of the songs you want in your hymnal. This part takes time and is usually the daunting “first step” for church leaders: figuring out which songs they sing regularly, and which ones they want to include.
You can make changes to the list throughout the project, but it’s best to have the core of the song choices decided before we begin.
Step 2: Typesetting, editing, and layout
The bulk of the project is typesetting the songs you’ve provided. As I complete songs, I make them available digitally for you to check and approve. If desired, you can supply folks to help with the editing and proofreading. Then I compile the songs into a finished hymnal, with song numbers, topic headers, and indexes.
Step 3: Printing and Licensing
Hymnworks contracts with printing companies that use high-quality materials and a durable binding process, so you can be confident you’ll get a printed hymnal that is built to last. You should plan to order at least double the number of copies of your average Sunday attendance. So for a congregation of 250, for example, plan to print at least 500. The more copies you print, the cheaper they are!
Hymnworks also secures print licenses for all copyrighted material you want to include. It’s important to make sure your new hymnal is properly licensed.
The final step is the best: unboxing the pallet of your church’s own hymnals for the first time!
The overall cost depends on a number of factors. The most important are the number of songs and how many hymnals you print.
If you want a specific quote for your church, please contact me using the form below. I would love the opportunity to discuss how we can produce a hymnal for your church.
Please note: More than merely providing a professional service, Hymnworks is a religious organization that helps churches produce printed materials for the exaltation of Christ in their gathered worship. We reserve the right to produce only material whose content is in agreement with our Protestant beliefs regarding essential doctrines in Scripture, including (but not necessarily limited to) affirmation of one of the historic creeds, such as the Nicene Creed.