Why use hymnbooks when you could use a projector?

  • When a church uses hymnbooks instead of a projector, there’s no annual copyright charge – and there’s no need to keep weekly records of songs used for the copyright agency.
  • Hymnbooks are good for people who have difficulty seeing the words on a screen due to eyesight problems -- or because they’re behind a tall person.  
  • Hymnbooks can be used when there’s a power failure or when the projector bulb blows.
  • Hymnbooks can be used when people are sitting around the room facing the centre – they don’t all need to be facing a screen.
  • If God speaks to you through a hymn, you might want to re-read the words after it has been sung. This is easy with a hymnbook, but a projected song disappears as soon as it has been sung.  Sometimes, only one verse is visible at a time.
  • People can own their own hymnbooks and take them home – to learn songs, to prepare for the service, or for devotional reading.  They can mark or highlight the songs they like.
  • People get to know and love hymnbooks – but this is not possible with ever-changing collections of projected songs.
  • A hymnbook is ideal for worship led by members of the congregation (open worship) because:
           The words of a hymn can be checked before the hymn is requested.
           Selected verses can be read aloud.
           Verses can be omitted on request.
  • Hymnbooks are great for song-times in homes.  They’re suitable for families, home groups and other small groups.
  • Although there’s a cost associated with the initial purchase of hymnbooks, there’s often a very large cost associated with the purchase and maintenance of projection equipment.
  • Operators for projection equipment must be recruited, trained and rostered.  There will inevitably be hitches with operator absences, equipment problems and selecting songs on the computer.
  • Although, in theory, people should sing better when looking up at a screen, in practice there is often better singing in congregations that use hymnbooks.
  • If hymnbooks are handed out, there can be a useful point of contact with visitors.