Faith Alive Christian Resources, the publishing ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) and resource provider for the Reformed Church in America (RCA), announces the release of "Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs."
After research was conducted in 2010 that noted a continued presence of hymn singing, Faith Alive made the decision to release its first comprehensive hymnal in more than 20 years. The research, which included focus groups made up of RCA and CRC leaders, other denominational church leaders, worship leaders, and congregants of all ages, pointed to the need to provide a wider variety of songs for use by all generations while keeping the classics intact.
"So much has changed in the past 20 years," says Rev. Joyce Borger, worship and music editor at Faith Alive. "With more focus on social justice issues, creation care, authentic emotions and global awareness, along with greater ethnic diversity, we are a different church. Songs need to be added to the existing repertoire of our churches to reflect these changes, while maintaining the timeless classics we've grown to know and love."
"Lift Up Your Hearts" builds on the existing repertoire currently in use by the RCA and CRC by including many of the same songs but providing a breadth of music and variety of genres from classic hymns to contemporary world music. It is divided into two main sections. The first section reflects the story of redemption from creation to the new creation and includes Christ's life. The second section follows the traditional order of worship featuring songs for the opening of worship through the concluding blessing.
In addition to the hardcover pew edition of "Lift Up Your Hearts," digital editions of the complete hymnal and music and words for projection will be available at the end of August. A spiral edition of the complete hymnal is also due for release in May 2013.