Keith Schwanz

Hymnals & Hymn Resources

I served on the Advisory Committee for the publication of the Sing to the Lord hymnal (1993). The publisher asked that I prepare two books as part of the Sing to the Lord catalog.

The Birth of a Hymn: Spiritual Biographies of 20 Hymn Writers and the Experiences That Inspired Them (Lillenas, 1997, 978-0-8341-9645-2) is a book about hymn writers and their hymns. All twenty writers in this book were part of the Wesleyan-Holiness Movement. I enjoyed doing the research for this project and regret that I failed to find enough information on another twenty hymn writers who played key roles in the Wesleyan-Holiness Movement.

Resources for Worship Planning: A Companion to the Hymnal Sing to the Lord (Lillenas, 1993, 978-0-8341-9404-5) was designed to help pastors and church musicians make good use of the hymnal. The first section shows how to use all of the indices, resources, and tables in worship planning. On a fairly regular basis someone tells me how helpful this volume has been. That’s nice.

Satisfied: Women Hymn Writers of the 19th-century Wesleyan/Holiness Movement was published in conjunction with the third international Wesleyan/Holiness Women Clergy Conference (San Antonio, April 23-26, 1998). At a time when often restricted, women hymn writers could thrive in gospel music. This small book provides a glimpse of the work of Phoebe Palmer, Mary James, Clara Tear Williams, Lelia Morris, and others.

I served as the music editor and project coordinator for Saintete a l’Eternel! Chants pour le peuple de Dieu (Holiness unto the Lord! Songs for the People of God). This hymnal serves congregations in the French-speaking countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America. Stephane Tibi, from France, did the language work, and Dani Gomis, from Senegal, guided the printing process in Africa.

The publisher of The Celebration Hymnal invited me to contribute to  The Celebration Hymnal: Songs and Hymns for Worship: Worship Resource Edition (Word Music, 1997). This book is similar to the Resources for Worship Planning book listed above.

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say.

— Sharon O’Brien

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