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God has given us a song to sing. Singing and worshipping together are foundational ways we have lived out our faith for almost 100 years. It has been 25 years since the publication of Voices United, and it is time for a new resource to help all of us sing our faith into the next century. We have been called to develop new resources to support the changing landscape, addressing and anticipating the needs of our evolving church for the years to come. Then Let Us Sing! will increase the availability and accessibility of dynamic, multimedia resources, equipping United Churches for the next 100 years of worship and musical possibilities.
Who is producing Then Let Us Sing!?
United Church Publishing House is pleased and proud to be the publishers of Then Let Us Sing! The Publishing House is part of the large national Worship United committee. The committee is made up of elected members, representation from Music United (The United Church of Canada’s Music Association), The United Church of Christ Music Association, and ecumenical friends from the Presbyterian Church in Canada, The Anglican Church of Canada, and The United Church of Christ. The Worship United Resource Management Committee is made up of representatives from the General Council Office units of Church in Mission, Communications, and Finance. This committee oversees the day-to-day progress of the project and monitors the budget.
Why did you choose the name Then Let Us Sing!?
- It is invitational and encourages action.
- It is liturgical—a response to both lament and celebration.
- It reflects “A Song of Faith”, the United Church’s most recent Faith Statement.
- It comes from the hymn “When in Our Music God is Glorified” by Fred Pratt Green (VU 533).
What exactly is Hope Publishing’s role in the project?
- Hope Publishing is engraving the music.
- Hope Publishing will not be publishing any of the music—the copyright for the engraved graphics will belong to the United Church.
Will I still hold copyright to my work?
Yes. Text lyricists and/or composers all retain copyright to their submissions.
Will I be able to make, personally promote, and publish further arrangements of my music if it is chosen for Then Let Us Sing!?
- Yes. You will retain all rights for whatever you wish to do with your music.
- There is one restriction: If you wish to include the graphic from Then Let Us Sing! in a collection of your own pieces, you would have to ask the UCPH for permission.
How much will it cost to subscribe to Then Let Us Sing!?
Through our agreement with OneLicense through GIA, your subscription fee is guaranteed to be between 10% and 15% less than what you are currently paying.
How will the subscription make my life easier?
One subscription fee gives you permission to copy, print, project, and stream the content for worship.
What if our congregation doesn’t use projection technology in worship? What’s the advantage of Then Let Us Sing! for us?
- You will have the rights to print the music for worship, your choir, small gatherings, etc.
- In addition, a hard copy book of all the new music will be available to accompany your copies of Voices United, More Voices, and/or Nos voix unis in the pews.
Will everything from our previous hymn books be available online with Then Let Us Sing!?
- Not quite everything. Some hymns will be missing due to copyright changes or issues, or ethical and theological concerns.
- Psalms will be moved to the new online Gathering Worship platform.
When should churches start to budget for this resource?
If you already purchase an annual One License subscription, there will be no need to add any budget for this resource. It will be covered with your One License fees as it is currently billed, but with a 10–15% discount.
In 2024, congregations not registered with One License should budget for the cost of an annual subscription, which is based on your average weekly attendance.
Is this a new hymn book, or just digital?
It is both. A printed version will be available for purchase in 2025, and the digital version will be available in 2024.
How do we get the music for the new hymns before the printed version is available?
The licensing will allow for printing out new and existing hymns with the sheet music.
Will we still have access to all the other music on One License?
Yes—you will have access to everything in the One License collection plus everything available in Then Let Us Sing!
Will the hymns be downloadable?
Will the hymn be SATB, or just music/lyrics?
The music will be in a similar format to the hymns in our current collections (VU, MV, NVU).
The music will be laid out in a way that maximizes ease of congregational singing, while including as many languages as we can. This means that in some pieces where the melody does not follow the accompaniment, the melody might be pulled out for ease of use. It is really all about congregational song, so we are working on creating sheet music that will help people sing and make music together.
Will guitar chords be included?
Yes. Guitar chords have also been added to some of the Voices United hymns that did not have chords.
Will congregations be able to use the website to display hymns on PowerPoint? No more creating our own slides for each hymn?
That is not currently in the immediate plan, but having a lyric file is being explored.
Is there a plan to create accompanying music (instrumental and vocal) that congregations without much in the way of musicians can use for worship?
No, this is not part of the plan due to licensing restrictions. However, we realize how important it is to have accompaniment recordings and teaching videos, and as a result some hymns may be available from The United Church on our YouTube Channel.
Some of the hymns in VU are not covered by either license (One License or CCLI). Will that still be the case?
Everything on ThenLetUsSing.ca will be administered by One License (so you will be clear to use anything on Then Let Us Sing! for congregational worship usage). We are working to re-negotiate copyrights that are not currently covered.
Will the music be accessible to communities who do not have professional church musicians?
Having music that is accessible is one of the criteria of the search committee. We are focusing heavily on ways to support congregational song, which includes empowering communities without musicians or with volunteer musicians to help lead in music making.
Where is the funding coming from?
We are actively seeking donations for this important investment into the faith formation and public witness of The United Church of Canada. Donations can be made on this website and through your generous support to the Mission & Service of The United Church. We are currently in the grant discovery process.
How are we getting the word out to the music directors?
We are currently working on various communication methods to get the word out to music directors. Two members of Then Let Us Sing! are on the executive of Music United (MU the Music Minister Association).
Is there a different cost for multi-point charge?
The cost will be based on the current One License structure, with a discount of between 10-15%. The cost is based on the total attendance for all the congregations in a pastoral charge.
How contemporary will the songs be?
New music being considered will be from our open call for submissions, consultation with communities of faith and popular worship material that was published after More Voices and Nos Voix Unies.
When can we hear a new song from Then Let Us Sing!?
The curation team is carefully sorting through submissions and recent publication to select songs for the new collection. Once those are selected, a sampler will be produced.