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Hymnal FAQ

Q: What are the principal benefits of hymnals over disposable worship aids?

A: Hymnals offer choice: hundreds of choices, giving you more options for each liturgy you prepare. You will never run out of new, worthwhile material to explore. Hymnals are permanent: the community grows into and gets to know their hymnal/service book, always finding familiar items in the same place. Plus, once new repertoire is learned, you will never have to worry about losing it. A beautiful hymnal lends dignity to worship; it says we are serious about praising God through song. Hymnals are cost effective: your parish will save thousands of dollars compared with the never-ending subscription prices of a disposable worship aid.

Q: Aren't hymnals more expensive than disposable worship aids?

A:Use the enclosed worksheet to do a little math. Parishes generally use a hymnal for eight to twelve years. Multiply the annual cost of your subscription worship aid times the average of ten years. Then multiply your most recent shipping charge times 60, plus another 10 times for annual music issues. Now factor in inflation—prices will certainly rise over the next ten years. Now, do the math for a hardbound hymnal: figure the cost and one shipping charge. You own them for as long as you wish to keep them.

Q: Aren't you "locked-in" with a hymnal?

A: Ask yourself: How many hymns, psalms, and songs does my congregation presently know? One hundred? Two hundred? Don’t forget Christmas carols and other old standbys! Okay, perhaps two hundred fifty? The average congregation knows roughly two hundred songs after nearly forty years of Vatican II liturgy. A hymnal such as Gather Comprehensive—Second Edition with its 576 songs and hymns and 200 pieces of service music offers more new music than any community will ever learn in a lifetime! Remember that the advantage of a hymnal is choice—over 700 items from which you do the choosing. All that is needed is your thoughtful and creative liturgical planning.

Q: What about new songs?

A: With the purchase of any GIA hymnal, we will either give you a permission to copy GIA-copyrighted congregational music free of charge for two years, or you may choose to have GIA purchase a one-year license from for your parish, covering congregational reprints for over 15 publishers including GIA! When a new song that you really want to sing comes along, simply reprint it in your Sunday bulletin, or on a single-sheet handout. Have the best of all worlds!

Q: Even though hymnals are less expensive in the long run, what if we can't afford the expense all at one time?

A: GIA pledges that no parish should have to go without hymnals due to cost. We’ll let you take up to five years to pay for your books with a minimum of interest. You can have the hymnal you want while paying just about what you are now paying for disposable worship aids. In five years, your payments are over and you own the books!

Q: Is there a way to get hymnals without extended payments?

A: Simply ask each family in your community to donate a hymnal in their name or in the name of a deceased loved one. We’ll supply donor bookplates to be affixed inside the front cover of each book acknowledging the donor and/or the person memorialized. This has proven extremely effective for many communities.

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