GS 2022 art 71

GS 2022 Article 71 – SCBP – Section 2

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Report of the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise (SCBP):
    • 1.1.1   Section Two – Committee Proposals (
  • 1.2    Submissions from the following churches: Ancaster ( re further recommendations to update Hymn 1; St. Albert ( re the notation and wording change to Hymn 1 as recommended by the committee; Owen Sound ( re the recommendation to change the wording of Hymn 46; Willoughby Heights ( re proposed changes to Hymn 60:4; Orangeville ( re support for recommendations of the committee and a suggestion that publication of any changes be made in the next edition of the Book of Praise.

2.   Admissibility

  • 2.1    The report was declared admissible.
  • 2.2    The submissions were declared admissible.

3.   Decisions

Synod decided:

  • 3.1    Re SCBP 11.1: Amend the wording and musical notation of Hymn 1 and the Apostles’ Creed:
    • 3.1.1   To adopt the wording and notation recommendations of the committee, being:
  • 3.1.2   To send to the SCBP, for its consideration, the recommended changes to Hymn 1 made by Ancaster;
  • 3.2    Re SCBP 11.2: Hymn 46 – Proposed revision to lyrics in stanza 1:
    • 3.2.1   To maintain the current wording of Hymn 46 re “They that wilds inhabit shall their worship bring”;
  • 3.3    Re SCBP 11.3: Hymn 55 – Proposed revision to lyrics:
    • 3.3.1   To adopt the updated language of this hymn as recommended by the committee;
      •   Stanza 1
      •               Who trusts in God, a strong abode
      •               in heaven and earth possesses;
      •               who looks in love to Christ above,
      •               no fear his heart oppresses.
      •               In you alone, O Lord, we own
      •               our hope and consolation,
      •               our shield from foes, our balm for woes,
      •               our great and sure salvation.
      •               Stanza 2
      •               Though Satan’s wrath beset our path
      •               and worldly scorn assail us,
      •               while you are near, we will not fear;
      •               your strength shall never fail us.
      •               Your rod and staff shall keep us safe
      •               and guide our steps forever;
      •               no shades of death, nor hell beneath
      •               your people from you sever.
      •               Stanza 3
      •               In all the strife of mortal life
      •               our feet shall stand securely;
      •               temptation’s hour shall lose its power,
      •               for you shall guard us surely.
      •               O God, each day direct our way;
      •               renew us by your Spirit
      •           until we stand at your right hand
      •               through Jesus’ saving merit.
  • 3.4    Re SCBP 11.4: Hymn 60 – Proposed revision to lyrics of stanza 4:
    • 3.4.1   To retain the current wording of Hymn 60:4;
  • 3.5    Re SCBP 11.5: Hymn 58 – Propose to replace the melody:
    • 3.5.1   To adopt the change of melody as recommended by the committee, being:

Hymn 58 – “Our Children, LORD, as Covenant Heirs”

  • 3.6    To mandate the SCBP to publish these changes in the next edition of the Book of Praise;
  • 3.7    Prior to the publication of the next edition of the Book of Praise, the churches can either maintain past practices or implement these changes.

4.   Grounds

  • 4.1    Re 3.1.1: Although alternate notation and wording for Hymn 1 were submitted for Synod’s consideration, the recommended change to the wording by the committee was deemed better because it both removes archaic language and maintains familiar notation.
  • 4.2    Re 3.1.2: The comments of Ancaster can be considered by the committee (excluding their comment re “is seated”) for consideration by a subsequent synod prior to the publication of a new edition of the Book of Praise.
  • 4.3    Re 3.2.1: While the suggestion from the committee is meant to address potential offence, the expression “they that wilds inhabit shall their worship bring” beautifully articulates the call of the church to reach every remote region with the gospel, and the wonderful effect of such missional activity. In maintaining this wording, the concern of Owen Sound is addressed.
  • 4.4    Re 3.3.1: The suggested change by the committee removes and replaces archaic language in this hymn. This change can be made because the churches have the freedom to do so regarding copyright, and in doing so is consistent with previous synod decisions.
  • 4.5    Re 3.4.1: Hymn 60 is a Lord’s Supper hymn. The current version of stanza four retains the connection to Christ’s suffering and how it unites us to him and to each other, by the Holy Spirit, until Christ returns. The proposed version by the committee omits this connection and emphasizes the ascension, which is not the point of the hymn. This also addresses the concern of Willoughby Heights ( re a preference to return to the original form of the hymn or to delete stanza four altogether.
  • 4.6    Re 3.5.1: The new melody recommended by the committee is well-suited to the lyrics of Hymn 58 and serves to enhance the use of this baptism hymn, whereas the original melody feels unfinished and unresolved, which may be an inappropriate ending for a joyous occasion such as baptism.
  • 4.7    Re 3.6 and 3.7: While the churches have the ability and freedom to implement these changes locally with the available technologies, these changes do not warrant the printing of a new edition of the Book of Praise at this time.