Seventeen years ago, you said “hymnal” and everyone knew what you were talking about. In 2008, you say, “hymnal” and everyone thinks they know what you’re talking about.
Oh, by the way, if you don’t need a hymnal, It’s not a hymnal.
Because the LifeWay Worship Project has so many pieces, not just what people think of as a hymnal, we’ve had to come up with some new terms to communicate the new ideas that are embodied in the products that we’ve created. This post is about the first new idea…
There are only so many songs or hymns that you can fit in a hymnal. We know, because we’re in the pew/auditorium chair business too, that after a certain page count, the book is too thick to fit in most seating!
Also, there are just some songs that don’t translate well to the printed page. When you print a song in a book, you usually print either the whole song, or just the chorus. Darrell Evans’s Trading My Sorrows is a great example. It has a wordy, syncopated verse that is difficult for a congregation to master… let alone musically notate, and a chorus that is literally two words over and over again. It doesn’t need to be translated to the printed page in order to be successfully integrated into a congregational worship experience.
Those two factors were just some that contributed to a decision to make this resource unlike any other congregational worship resource before it. The accompaniment editions have more arrangements in them than the pew edition does. The pew edition has 674 hymns, songs and worship songs in it, and the extended collection is the additional 251 arrangements that are included on the WorshipChart PDF CD-ROMs, the WorshipTrack accompaniment tracks and some of the WorshipMedia visual products.
Allowing ourselves the flexibility to have selections in the extended collection rather than pew edition gave us the ability to add songs that we would never have been able to include in a traditional product. It also opened a new door to allow us to include different arrangements of hymns that were already in the pew edition. For instance, “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” is in the pew edition, and it’s also in the extended collection in a new arrangement.
The extended collection is also something that lives on beyond the physical products that include the initial compilation. LifeWay Worship is going to be continually adding new arrangements of songs and hymns at LifeWayWorship.com to extend the extended collection with the goal of going ad infinitum. We’ll pursue new songs as they rise to prominence in the worship life of churches and continue to explore the depth of hymnody.
Download a list of titles in the extended collection of the LifeWay Worship Project at launch.