History of The Hymn Society

  • 1920-1930

    *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



    • Gospel Pearls
    • Ninde, The Story of the American Hymn
    • Pratt, The Music of the Pilgrims 



    • The Hymn Society founded; first meeting January 19
    • First search, for a tune to set Farrington, “I know not how that Bethlehem’s Babe”



    • Chisholm, “Great is thy faithfulness”; Runyan, FAITHFULNESS



    • Baptist Standard Hymnal 
    • Reeves, The Hymn as Literature
    • First public meeting, March 31, Chantry of Grace Episcopal Church; 75 present
    • Louis F. Benson, Henry Burton, and Frank Mason North named first Honorary Members
    • THS begins distribution of a Bulletin prepared by Perkins
    • Founder Augustus S. Newman donates his library



    • Johnson, Johnson, and Brown, The Book of American Negro Spirituals 



    • New Baptist Hymnal
    • Katharine Lee Bates and John Finley Williamson named Honorary Members
    • THS petitions Congress to make “O beautiful for spacious skies” the national hymn



    • Henry van Dyke named Honorary Member
    • THS searches for “a hymn expressing the missionary enterprise of today”; the winning hymn is Tweedy, “Eternal God, whose power upholds”
  • 1930-1940

    *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



    • Fosdick, “God of grace and God of glory”
    • The Hymnary of the United Church of Canada
    • Ryden, The Story of Our Hymns
    • Papers of The Hymn Society I, Benson, “The Hymns of John Bunyan”



    • “The Star-Spangled Banner” becomes the national anthem of the United States



    • Dorsey, “Precious Lord, take my hand”



    • The Hymnal
    • THS holds meeting at Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago



    • Psalter Hymnal 



    • The Methodist Hymnal
    • The Hymn Society of Philadelphia founded



    • Hymns of Universal Praise
    • Covert and Laufer, Handbook to The Hymnal
    • The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland founded
    • THS formally named The Hymn Society of America
    • The Diapason begins a regular column supplied by THS, which has designated the periodical as its “official organ”



    • The New Church Hymnal
    • HSGBI issues first Bulletin
    • British and American hymn societies begin communication about a supplement, or successor, to Julian’s Dictionary 



    • The Book of Common Praise (Revised 1938)
    • THS incorporated
  • 1940-1950


    *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



    • Broadman Hymnal
    • Foote, Three Centuries of American Hymnody 



    • Christian Worship: A Hymnal
    • The Church Hymnal [Seventh-day Adventists]
    • The Hymnal [Evangelical and Reformed]
    • The Lutheran Hymnal
    • Founder Emily S. Perkins dies



    • Polack, The Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal
    • William Walker Rockwell named first Fellow
    • Reginald L. McAll named first Executive Secretary



    • The Hymnal 1940 



    • Harry T. Burleigh named Fellow



    • Clarence Dickinson and Helen Dickinson named Fellows



    • World Council of Churches founded
    • Deane Edwards begins 21-year service as President



    • Choristers Guild founded
    • [Ellinwood], The Hymnal 1940 Companion (revised in 1951 and 1956)
    • Hostetler, Handbook to The Mennonite Hymnary
    • The Hymn begins publication
    • Office established in United Charities Building, 297 Fourth Avenue North, New York City
  • 1950-1960

    *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



    • National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America founded
    • Bailey, The Gospel in Hymns
    • First general meeting outside New York held in Cleveland with MTNA, enabled by Ohio Chapter
    • Chapter forms at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary



    • McAll visits HSGBI to discuss resumption of work on Julian replacement



    • Hauessler, The Story of Our Hymns
    • Chapter forms in Los Angeles
    • Three-day meeting, May 18-20, celebrates Society’s 30th anniversary



    • Harkness, “Hope of the world! thou Christ of great compassion”



    • Office moves to National Arts Club building,119 East 19th Street, New York City



    • The Hymnbook [Presbyterian and Reformed]
    • People’s Hymnal
    • 14 new and developing chapters
    • Leonard Ellinwood succeeds Henry Wilder Foote as Chairman of THS committee on replacement for Julian’s Dictionary 



    • Baptist Hymnal
    • HSGBI approves concept of American dictionary of hymnology



    • Worship and Service Hymnal
    • McCutchan, Hymn Tune Names 



    • Pilgrim Hymnal
    • Service Book and Hymnal



    • American Choral Directors Association founded
    • Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hymnologie / International Society for Hymnological Studies established
    • Caroline Bird Parker is the last of Founders to die
    • Members in all 50 states, in all but 1 Canadian province, and in 24 other countries
  • 1960-1970

    *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



    • Sydnor, The Hymn and Congregational Singing
    • Office moves to The Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Drive, NYC
    • THS “has published exactly 100 hymns”



    • International Hymnological Conference
    • First annual meeting outside New York in Philadelphia, celebrating chapter’s 10th anniversary
    • Georgia chapter organizes



    • Three-day meeting, May 4-6, celebrates 40th anniversary of founding
    • Reid, Sing with Spirit and Understanding: The Story of the Hymn Society of America 



    • East Asian Christian Conference Hymnal
    • Reynolds, A Survey of Christian Hymnody (later editions with Price and Music)



    • People’s Mass Book
    • Reynolds, Hymns of Our Faith 



    • Kaan, “For the healing of the nations”
    • Lovelace, The Anatomy of Hymnody 



    • The Methodist Hymnal [titled The Book of Hymns in 1970]
    • Scholtes, “We are one in the Spirit”



    • Cymdeithas Emynau Cymru (Welsh Hymn Society) founded
    • New Orleans chapter forms



    • Vajda, “Now the silence now the peace,”
    • Schalk, Waters, “Herald, sound the note of judgment”
    • Wren, “Christ is alive! Let Christians sing”
    • Consultation on Ecumenical Hymnody launched
    • Louisville chapter forms



    • The Mennonite Hymnal 
  • 1970-1980

    *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



    • Douroux, “Give me a clean heart”
    • Hymnbook for Christian Worship 



    • Fishel, “Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks,” ALLELUIA NO. 1
    • Lafferty, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”
    • The Hymn Book [Canadian Anglican and United Church]
    • Worship (2nd edition, 1975)
    • Two-day annual meeting in Washington, May 7-8; 75 attend



    • The Worshipbook 
    • Cone, The Spirituals and the Blues 
    • Reid, Continuing Sing with Spirit and Understanding: The Story of the Hymn Society of America, 1962-1972 
    • Contests and searches have produced more than 225 hymns



    • Hopson, MERLE’S TUNE
    • The Hymnal of the Baptist Federation of Canada 



    • Christian Conference of Asia Hymnal 
    • The Hymnal of the United Church of Christ



    • Baptist Hymnal
    • Ohio Chapter hosts National Festival, Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio
    • Ralph Mortensen and Jan Bender named Fellows; “There are now eleven living Fellows of the Hymn Society of America.”



    • THS reorganizes
    • W. Thomas Smith named first Executive Director
    • Office moves to Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio



    • Australian Hymn Book 
    • Ecumenical Praise 
    • The New National Baptist Hymnal 
    • Consultation on Ecumenical Hymnody recommends 227 hymns for ecumenical use
    • The Stanza first published in February
    • Music: The AGO and RCCO Magazine (later, The American Organist ) begins inclusion of a column provided by THS



    • Lutheran Book of Worship 



    • Routley, An English-Speaking Hymnal Guide
    • Routley, A Panorama of Christian Hymnody
  • 1980-1990

    *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



    • Eskew and McElrath, Sing with Understanding
    • Hope Publishing Company becomes copyright administrator for THS
    • Gracia Grindal and Alice Parker lead first Hymn Writing Workshop



    • Routley, The Music of Christian Hymns
    • Songs of Zion
    • Lift Every Voice and Sing (second volume, 1993)
    • Stulken, Hymnal Companion to The Lutheran Book of Worship
    • First joint conference with The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the Internationle Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hymnologie in Oxford, England
    • First tour, to joint conference in Oxford



    • Hymns for Today’s Church (2nd edition, 1987)
    • Lutheran Worship
    • The New National Baptist Hymnal
    • Yes, Lord!
    • Van Burklalow, “60 Years of the Hymn Society of America: 1922-1982,” The Hymn, January



    • Hymns from the Four Winds 
    • Sydnor, Hymns: A Congregational Study
    • Dictionary of American Hymnology: First Line Index
    • Bibliography of American Hymnals
    • Annual conference held jointly with Experience



    • A. M. E. C. Bicentennial Hymnal
    • Crawford, The Core Repertory of Early American Psalmody
    • Schilling, The Faith We Sing
    • Office moves to Texas Christian University, Fort Worth
    • Dictionary of American Hymnology Project materials move to Oberlin, Ohio



    • The Hymnal 1982
    • THS hosts the HSGBI and IAH for a joint conference at Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania



    • The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration
    • Worship (3rd edition)
    • Book service begins
    • First students on scholarship attend annual conference



    • Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd edition, 2012)
    • Psalter Hymnal
    • Songs for a Gospel People
    • Wild Goose Songs 1 (later titled Heaven Shall Not Wait)
    • Lovelace, Hymn Notes for Church Bulletins 



    • Gather
    • Sing Alleluia
    • Christian Copyright Licensing International begins operation



    • Flor y Canto (2nd edition, 2001; 3rd edition, 2011)
    • El Pueblo de Dios Canta
    • Songs of Rejoicing
    • The United Methodist Hymnal
    • The Hymn Society of America becomes The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada
    • John Ferguson coordinates first workshop in hymn playing and improvisation
  • 1990-2000

    *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



    • International Songbook
    • The Presbyterian Hymnal
    • The Worshiping Church 
    • Glover, The Hymnal 1982 Companion 
    • Emily R. Brink becomes the first female President of The Hymn Society



    • The Baptist Hymnal
    • Hymnal Supplement 1991
    • Libro de Liturgia y Cantico
    • Songs and Prayers from Taizé
    • Acoustics for Liturgy; A Collection of Articles of The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada
    • The Hymn Society provides a toll-free number: 1-800-THE-HYMN
    • Joint conference in Louvain, Belgium



    • Hymnal: A Worship Book
    • Voices
    • Adams, Handbook to The Baptist Hymnal
    • Precht, Lutheran Worship Hymnal Companion
    • Spencer, Black Hymnody
    • Holding in Trust: Hymns of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada
    • George R. Black becomes the first Canadian President of The Hymn Society



    • Zschech, “Shout to the Lord”
    • Costen, African-American Christian Worship
    • McKim, The Presbyterian Hymnal Companion
    • Young, Companion to The United Methodist Hymnal
    • Joint conference with the Canadian Liturgical Society



    • Catholic Book of Worship III
    • New Songs of Rejoicing
    • Amazing Grace: Hymn Texts for Devotional Use 



    • Chalice Hymnal
    • Global Songs–Local Voices
    • Moravian Book of Worship
    • The New Century Hymnal
    • Boyer, How Sweet the Sound
    • Joint conference with Choristers Guild



    • The A. M. E. Zion Bicentennial Hymnal
    • Global Praise 1 (2 in 2000; 3 in 2004)
    • Mil Voces para Celebrar
    • Thuma Mina
    • Voices United
    • Cyber Hymnal founded
    • The Book of Psalms 
    • Mitchell-Wallace, The Art and Craft of Playing Hymns, released on VHS
    • Hugh T. McElrath Fund for Hymnological Research established
    • W. Thomas Smith retires and Carl P. Daw, Jr., named Executive Director
    • Office moves to Boston University School of Theology



      • The Book of Praise
      • Unisono
      • Wonder, Love, and Praise
      • Watson, The English Hymn
      • McKellar, “A History of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, 1922-1997,” The Hymn, July 1997
      • Joint conference in York



      • Africa Praise Songbook
      • Common Ground
      • Common Praise [Canadian Anglican]
      • El Himnario
      • Sing Justice! Do Justice!
      • Brink and Polman, Psalter Hymn Handbook
      • Forman, The New Century Hymnal Companion
      • Temperly and others, The Hymn Tune Index
      • Wasson, Hymntune Index and Related Hymn Materials 



      • This Far by Faith
      • Together in Song
      • Website established
      • Annual Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, focuses on global hymnody
      • Patrick Matsikenyiri and Pablo Sosa named Honorary Members
    • 2000-2010

      *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



      • The Faith We Sing
      • Sound the Bamboo
      • Bell, The Singing Thing
      • Wren, Praying Twice



      • Getty and Townend, “In Christ alone”
      • African-American Heritage Hymnal
      • Hymns for the Gospels
      • Worship and Rejoice
      • Music, Christian Hymnody in Twentieth-Century Britain and America
      • Temperly and others, The Hymn Tune Index online
      • Hymn Society in Japan founded



      • Songs of Remembrance



      • Hawn, Gather into One: Praying and Singing Globally
      • Schneider, Hymnal Collections of North America
      • Watson, An Annotated Anthology of Hymns
      • Dictionary of North American Hymnology released on CD-ROM
      • THS hosts international conference in Halifax
      • George Black Memorial Scholarship established



      • Costen, The Music of African-American Worship



      • Frank, Companion to the Moravian Book of Worship
      • Routley-Cutts, An English-Speaking Hymnal Guide
      • Routley-Richardson, A Panorama of Christian Hymnody
      • Westermeyer, Let the People Sing: Hymn Tunes in Perspective



      • Evangelical Lutheran Worship
      • Hymns of Universal Praise
      • Lutheran Service Book
      • Kimbrough, ed., Music and Mission: Toward a Theology and Practice of Global Song



      • Hymns for a Pilgrim People
      • Zion Still Sings
      • Ruff, Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform
      • Hymnary.org begins



      • Baptist Hymnal
      • Music and Richardson, I Will Sing the Wondrous Story



      • Hsieh, A History of Chinese Christian Hymnody
      • Dictionary of North American Hymnology merged with hymnary.org
      • Carl P. Daw, Jr., retires as Executive Director
      • Deborah Carlton Loftis named Executive Director
      • Office moves to Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
      • IAH hosts international conference in Opole, Poland
    • 2010-2020

      *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



      • The Roman Missal revised
      • Celebrating Grace Hymnal
      • Steel and Hulan, Makers of the Sacred Harp
      • Westermeyer, Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship



      • Total Praise
      • Worship (4th edition)
      • Loh, Hymnal Companion to Sound the Bamboo



      • Psalms for All Seasons



      • Community of Christ Sings
      • Glory to God
      • Lift up Your Hearts
      • Oramos Cantando / We Pray in Song
      • Hawn, ed., New Songs of Celebration Render
      • Watson and others, Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology



      • One in Faith
      • Budwey, Sing of Mary
      • “Lifting Hearts, Joining Hands, Raising Voices” campaign to increase endowment begins



      • Gray, Hermeneutics of Hymnody
      • Brian Hehn named Director of the Center for Congregational Song; Executive Director becomes part-time to enable enlargement of staff
      • Hymns in Time of Crisis published online



      • Ritual Song (second edition)
      • Daw, Glory to God: A Companion
      • Guenther, In Their Own Words: Slave Life and the Power of Spirituals



      • Kubicki, The Song of the Singing Assembly
      • Singing Welcome
      • Deborah Carlton Loftis retired as Executive Director
      • Jan Kraybill named Executive Director
      • Center for Congregational Song launched in Dallas



      • One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism
      • Ingalls, Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms
      • Evangelical Community
      • Phillips, The Hymnal: A Reading History
      • Jan Kraybill resigns as Executive Director
      • J. Michael McMahon named Executive Director



      • Santo, Santo, Santo / Holy, Holy, Holy
      • Herl and others, Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Hymns
      • Lamport and others, Hymns and Hymnody: Historical and Theological Introductions
    • 2020-Present

      *Bold text pertains to The Hymn Society*



      • World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
      • Voices Together
      • Songs for the Holy Other
      • Annual conference held virtually



      • Ruth and Lim, A History of Contemporary Praise and Worship
      • Annual conference held virtually