From the General

Salvation Army Song Book to be revised

by Shaw Clifton, General –

Following discussion in recent meetings of the International Management Council, an agreement has been reached that it is time to begin work on a new edition of The Song Book of The Salvation Army. The current edition was published in 1986—twenty-three years ago. Since then, hundreds of new songs have become available for use in Salvation Army worship—from a variety of sources, including from within our own ranks—and many have already become much-loved by Salvationist congregations. Some originated as songs for songster brigades, some have come from other branches of the Christian Church and have been introduced to Salvationists at ecumenical gatherings. Whatever their source, they have enriched the corporate and personal lives of Salvationists and now deserve a place in the official English-language song book, with the provision of appropriate music accompaniment.

I have therefore decided to establish a Song Book Council which—under my own chairmanship—will revise the existing Song Book, enhancing its usefulness in line with the needs of contemporary Salvation Army worship. Salvation Army favorites which have kept their popularity through the years will be retained, as will many of the classic hymns of the Church, but we will add contemporary songs of quality, which offer biblical truth expressed through sound theology, in the music style of today.

Territories and Commands will be invited to offer, in writing, their considered views on which songs could be deleted from the current Song Book, and to suggest new songs which might be considered for inclusion in the new edition. You will be hearing more about that soon, and I ask that, at that time, you provide your responses without delay, in order that the Song Book Council can proceed, unhindered, with its work.

Simultaneously with the Council’s work on song selection, preparatory work will be taking place on the music accompaniment for the chosen songs. New tune books will be required for both keyboard and band use and the plan is for these to be published with the new Song Book.

The Song Book of The Salvation Army has never been a mere collection of songs. It has been well described as the Army’s ‘sung theology’.

A new Song Book is timely. I urge you to receive, and to disseminate, warmly this news of its preparation.


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