Community of Christ Sings, our primary source for songs since 2013, articulates the identity, mission, message, and beliefs of the church. Belief and song are interrelated in crucial ways: “We believe what we sing and we sing what we believe.” The songs we sing shape our discipleship. The texts and tunes in this hymnal represent the diversity and global nature of Community of Christ. Cross-cultural words and music enable sharing with “one voice” while, at the same time, helping to expand our worldview. Through historic hymns and songs, we honor and affirm our rich heritage as members of a universal body of Christ as well as our identity in the Restoration movement. This resource also speaks clearly to the current context of human life, using metaphors and rhythms of the twenty-first century and the church’s place in contemporary society.
Congregational singing has been an important part of Community of Christ gatherings from the founding of the church in 1830. Members have been blessed with the continuous availability of hymnals since the publication of Emma Smith’s first collection of hymns in 1835. Undergirding this newest volume is an understanding of the importance of song in our journey and the vital role that rich four-part singing has had in our congregations and gatherings. The aim has been to achieve a balance of old and new, celebration and contemplation, and a variety of styles while being mindful in the process that the words we sing are foundational. The preparation of Community of Christ Sings was guided by the distinctiveness of Community of Christ’s theological tradition, the global membership of Community of Christ, and the diversity within the church. The recognition of the rich heritage of hymns within Community of Christ, the wider Christian tradition, and other faith traditions, as well as the desire for meaningful experiences of congregational singing were central to the process.
Community of Christ Sings provides resources for use in worship services throughout the liturgical year with stories, metaphors, and texts that support the various worship moments in the life of the church. Included are words and music relevant to disciple and Christian community formation in today’s world, with inclusive references to humanity, relationships, and the Divine. At the same time, consideration was given to words and music that represent with integrity the period of history and cultural context from which they come. Community of Christ Sings also helps bring awareness and more understanding of the church to other denominations. Since its launch at the ecumenical The Hymn Society conference in 2014, Community of Christ Sings has been positively reviewed and received by many denominations.