Providing the Soundtrack of Life’s Most Sacred Moments

Contrasting or Complimentary? An In-depth Discussion of the Differences between Hymnals and Missals (PT. 1)

Part 1: Long-term Resources

Choosing the right worship aid for your community is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many aspects to consider and a wide variety of available resources from which to choose. How do you know what the right resource is for your church?

With the acquisition of World Library Publications, GIA now has a comprehensive and diverse selection of resources for worship. From long-term to subscription-based, specialty hymnals, hardbound, softbound, traditional, contemporary, and everything in between.

In this first installment we’ll define long-term worship resources and list their content, styles, and features.

GIA’s long-term resources include any hymnal (whether hardbound or softbound) that is meant to stay in your pews for an extended period. We recommend changing your long-term hymnals every 10 years. Some of the reasons you may want to consider updating your long-term resources include text changes, new music that is published, and potential wear and tear to your hymnals.

Primary long-term hymnals:
Gather, Fourth Edition, our most representative and relevant Catholic hymnal to date. It is 70% contemporary/30% traditional.
Worship, Fourth Edition, a comprehensive hymnal containing the finest organ-based hymnody. It is 80% traditional/20% contemporary.
Ritual Song, Second Edition, a balanced hymnals for communities that embrace a broad range of worship styles. It is 50% Contemporary/50% Traditional.
One in Faith, contains an ample selection of musical styles. It is 50% Contemporary/50% Traditional.
Bilingual and cultural hymnals


Spanish/English bilingual hymnals:

    Oramos Cantando/We Pray in Song, a side-by-side Catholic hymnal
    Santo, Santo, Santo, a side-by-side ecumenical hymnal

    Multilingual Asian/English hymnal:

      Sound the Bamboo, a multilingual hymnal that includes over 40 Asian languages along with English translations of the texts

      African American Hymnals:

      Lead Me, Guide Me—Second Edition, includes an extensive mix of music styles including a representative selection of music from Africa and the Caribbean
      One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, an ecumenical hymnal containing diverse styles and genres
      African American Heritage Hymnal, a compendium representing the common repertoire of African American churches across the United States
      Total Praise, a multi-faceted worship resource for traditional or contemporary worship
      Contemporary Hymnals
        Voices a 100% contemporary hymnal with music by the most popular composers of praise and worship.
        Cross Generation, a contemporary hymnal including the very best songs by established writers like Tony Alonso, John Angotti, Steve Angrisano, Ed Bolduc, and more.
        Hymnals for Youth
          Singing Our Faith, an exciting mix of great music, diverse styles, and broad scope. This hymnal for young people is truly a book that kids can grow with on their journey to full, active, and conscious participation in the liturgy.

          For more detailed information on each of the above listed resources, visit

          In our next installment, we will discuss the features of our subscription-based worship resources.

          Coming next week…

          Contrasting or Complimentary? An In-depth Discussion of the Differences between Hymnals and Missals—Part 2: Subscription-based Resources