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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

September 2, 2009

New German hymnal (1)

Filed under UCG-Germany

We delivered the final edits to our printer today for the new German hymnal, completing a 20 month project.

When the United Church of God distributed its new English-language hymnal two years ago, I wondered how long it would take us to produce the German version. Our current German hymnal has some 120 hymns and is a bit out of synch with the hymnal used by UCG. We have several musicians in our congregation, so we assembled a task force and began distributing the new hymnal to the task force for editing, five hymns at a time. For the new hymns needing to be translated, we were helped by a member’s brother, a retired engineer who had considerable musical training. Slowly but surely we worked through all the hymns, smoothing out differences of opinion on wording and also making minor adjustments to the musical notation of several hymns where our task force thought it was needed. All work was done via email – we never had a face-to-face meeting. The first 191 hymns are identical to the English hymnal, and we added 17 hymns of our own at the end of the hymnal. After about 40 years, the German congregation now has an updated hymnal that should last for a number of years. Take a look at the new hymnal’s cover page.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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