The Rise of Digital Hymnals

While there was a time when digital hymnals meant this..there are now a number of groups beginning to experiment with posting their songs and materials online in a different kind of digital hymnal altogether…one that you can take with you wherever you are…for free. Where you can access mp3’s, leadsheets, and other information from the web.

Are Digital Hymnals a good idea? Some people hope that we are actually on our way back to a nostalgic time when people used to carry their hymnals around with them bound to their bibles.  For the past 3o years or so we’ve been lost between the hymals we got rid off and the CCM business model that made it difficult to get your hands on exhaustive collections of texts and tunes. That’s now changing, along with the whole music biz, as the internet makes access and copyright more fluid.

In the next 2 or 3 years even…most of us will return to carrying our hymnals around with us…they’ll just be packed onto our ipads, or kindle’s or whatever.  We’ll have access to all of our favorites worship songs, the texts, tunes, charts, and back ground info.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can switch songs around on the fly in church because everyone will have access to an E-reader.  I’m sure the Spirit is excited about that day too!  While we’re still not quite there here are a few folks blazing the trail in that direction!

If you know if any other digital places where we can access this kind of exhaustive, free information let me know!

Digital Hymnals


Indelible Grace
– The Igrace Hymnal was initially funded by a worship renewal grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship to make available the many new tunes being written from old hymn texts related to the college ministry of RUF at Belmont University (Led by Kevin Twit).  One of the fantastic products from this ministry has been their digital hymnal where you can access texts, tunes, demo’s charts, and other information all for free.


Sojourn Music
– Sojourn Church, based in Lousville, KY has been writing and recording original worship music since the early 2000’s.  Recently they’ve updated their worship website with an excellent collection of their more congregational pieces.


Red Mountain Music
– A collection of songwriters initially rooted in Birmingham, Alabama that recorded a number of albums based in the hymn texts of William Gadsby.  They have provided a ‘digital hymnbook‘ with chord charts, leadsheets, and mp3 samples of almost all of their songs. Also check out Red Mountain songwriter Clint Wells who has a page with easy access to his many hymn retunes.


Getty Music
– Keith and Kristyn Getty have provided a wealth of information related to their compositions at their site.  You can see lyrics for all of their songs and get quick access to mp3 and charts.  They also have a free pdf that provides a topical index of their hymns.


High Street Hymns – The ‘digital hymnal‘ from the folks at High Street Hymns includes selections from their past couple of albums.


Zac Hicks + Cherry Creek Presbyterian – A ‘digital hymnal‘ from their newest album “The Glad Sound”


Sound and Shape – The digital hymnal from Worship Director Chad Gray and Harbor Pres in San Diego, CA


Mars Hill Music
– We would expect nothing less than the musical behemoth in Seattle to have an excellent web presence.  Grab recordings and charts at their music site.

Also check out WorshipTogether (Contemporary, Modern Worship) and the Hymnary (Traditional, World) which are providing fast, and exhaustive resources for texts, tunes, lyrics, video’s, etc.

5 thoughts on “The Rise of Digital Hymnals

  1. Pingback: How to Choose Worship Songs « Superhua

  2. Wow…where can I get me one of the old-school ones?

    I’ve actually found myself wanting an iPad when I sit at my piano so I would not have to print off yet another few set of paged on my home printer that I would just discard later.

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