On April 13, people from the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America gathered in Sioux Center, Iowa, to get a taste of the new hymnal being co-produced by the two denominations.
They gathered in the morning for an introductory session where Dr. Martin Tel unveiled Lift Up Your Hearts, a hymnal that combines psalms and hymns. Tel is the C.F. Seabrook director of music at Princeton Theological Seminary and was a member of the 13-person panel who worked on the hymnal. Along with 80 advisors, the group worked to make the hymnal fitting for both denominations, all age groups, and musical accompaniments.
When asked what makes it different from other songbooks, Tel replied, “Lift Up Your Hearts is a songbook that has the DNA of the Reformed tradition. It seeks to serve both the growing diversity of our denominations, but also our core convictions.”
The evening hymnfest at Covenant CRC provided an opportunity to sing various songs with different accompaniments and arrangements. Tel said, “We made an effort to make songs that were easy to sing.” This comforted many in the audience, as some felt uneasy about the move to a new hymnal. After seeing the work that had been done they were excited.
Lift up Your Hearts will be available in June 2013.