Catching up with the WELS Hymnal Project

Various subcommittees of the WELS Hymnal Project continue to make progress on the development of the synod’s next hymnal. The current hope is that the hymnal and accompanying resources would be available for purchase during the second half of 2021.

Congregational testing

As part of the hymnal’s development, WELS Hymnal Project subcommittees have been giving congregations an opportunity to use and review samples of the materials developed so far. These testing efforts include:

  • 25 pastors using and reviewing each of the three years of the new proposed church year calendar and lectionary.
  • 20 congregations sampling various typefaces for use in print and digital resources.
  • 125+ congregations receiving a variety of psalm settings for use during the festival half of the current church year.
  • 125+ congregations receiving an array of musical resources for six current Christian Worship hymns as well as six new hymns not currently found in WELS’ published resources.

By the time these testing efforts conclude, every congregation in the synod will have had the opportunity to participate in one way or another.

Hymn feedback

Starting this July, Forward in Christ magazine will run a series of nine articles that focus on the use of hymnody. Along with those articles, the WELS Hymnal Project will be publishing online the current list of Christian Worship and Christian Worship: Supplement hymns, indicating which hymns have been selected for inclusion in the next hymnal and which ones have not. All members of the synod will have the opportunity to offer feedback on this preliminary list. Watch for these articles and the list this summer.

National Worship Conference

The hymnal project will have a significant presence at this summer’s National Worship Conference in June.

  • Project Director Rev. Michael Schultz will be giving the keynote address, “A Reformation Perspective on Worship” as well as sharing an update on the WELS Hymnal Project’s work in one of the breakout sessions.
  • Prof. James Tiefel will be presenting on the WELS Hymnal Project’s liturgical philosophy.
  • Rev. Daniel Witte and Mrs. Grace Hennig will be presenting on psalmody.
  • Rev. Caleb Bassett will be presenting on the use of screens in worship.

This summer’s worship conference will also mark the deadline for submitting original or third-party content for inclusion in the new hymnal. Anyone is invited to submit content through the hymnal project website’s public submission form through June 30, 2017.

Learn more about the hymnal project at