Hymn Pickers

Overview of the Hymn Selection Process

This information is for members of St. Andrew’s who have volunteered to select hymns, by month.

As a designated committee member, your job is to compile a list of four hymn selections: processional, gradual (hymn before the gospel), offertory, and recessional for each service in your assigned month. Send the draft list to the Vicar who has canonical oversight of music and worship. The Vicar will then forward the hymns to the Organist and the Worship Team. Any changes needed to your hymn choices will be conveyed back to you. Service Music and music for special services is selected collaboratively by the worship team, organist and Vicar.

Please submit your complete list of hymns for your assigned month no later than the Sunday prior that your assigned month begins. This will give the organist and the worship leaders time to prepare.

The Vicar or Worship Team will send the list to the supply priests serving in that month.

There are four resources for selecting hymns:

  1. The spiral-bound “Episcopal Musicians Handbook” (EMH) in the bookcase by the organ
  2. The information in our hymnal archive binder (situated on the bookcase by the organ)
  3. The 1982 Hymnal and it’s extension hymnal Wonder, Love and Praise
  4. Ask the Vicar or worship team for input/feedback

There is much overlap among these sources, but the objective is to choose hymns that are appropriate for the theme of the liturgical calendar.  It’s important to make sure that at least one or two of the hymns recommended in the EMH (#1 above) are keyed into major celebrations and feast days. For example, hymns with “alleluias” are not sung during the season of Lent. It is also appropriate that the gradual (hymn before the gospel) reflect the theme of the gospel reading or lectionary for the day if possible.

An archive of previous hymn selections can be found in this binder.  If you are considering using an unfamiliar hymn, the general rule of thumb is that, while it’s good to learn new music, one or two new hymns each month is usually plenty, and definitely not more than one per Sunday. A tune’s sing-ability cannot be overemphasized!

Please use good judgment about using hymnals other than those mentioned above. We can reprint lyrics, but not published pages of music unless the source clearly states it’s in the public domain or permission has been obtained through appropriate channels.  Photocopying copyrighted material is a violation of the law which our diocese asks us to take seriously.

The Worship Team will serve as a point of coordination and update the material in this binder.  Please consult with the Worship Team if you are unsure of the service schedule or which services need hymns.

Thank you for serving in St. Andrew’s music ministry!


  • Liturgical years begin on the First Sunday in Advent. The letter corresponding to the year (A, B, or C) can be found at the bottom of the back of the lectionary sheet used in the Sunday bulletin, and it can also be found in the upper left hand corner of each month’s page on the “Episcopal Kalendar” which is in the box of lectionary readings on the top left shelf of the bookcase by the organ.
  • If your assignment conflicts with your personal schedule or you are otherwise unable to serve, please swap your month with another member and let the Worship Team know.  If you cannot find a replacement, please notify the Worship Team as soon as possible and a replacement will be found.