FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What are congregational anthems and how can they best be used?
A: Congregational anthems have quickly become Celebrating Grace’s “signature” resource. Simply said, congregational anthems are “through composed” settings of hymns, with each stanza individually treated. The congregation sings the melody from the hymnal while the choir “decorates” their singing with interesting choral parts. The single download includes the accompaniment plus a separate part to be duplicated for the choir. Use congregational anthems to introduce a less familiar hymn or to bring new life to a classic hymn.
Q: Why are there blank pages on the choral part for the congregational anthem?
A: The choral part is designed to be printed duplex on legal size paper (8 ½ x 14). The pages are laid out to facilitate duplication. When copied, folded and punched, the choir part should use no more than two pieces of paper and will fit neatly inside a choir folder.
Q: Our church often uses “free accompaniments” on the final stanza of a hymn. Does Celebrating Grace offer these?
A: Yes, the piano/organ accompaniments include two settings—the first is standard hymn harmony and the second features a reharmonization and/or embellished accompaniment for use on the last stanza. Accents from Celebrating Grace include a part for the pianist to complement the organ part.
Q: I don’t have the resources of a full orchestra. Will the hymn orchestrations work with fewer players?
A: The orchestrations are designed to complement the hymnal harmonies. Fewer parts will work as long as you also use piano and/or organ. At present, we offer only the full orchestration as a download; however, individual parts are on the way! You will soon be able to purchase and download the specific parts you need.
Congregational anthems provide another resource for a small number of instrumentalists. With varying instrumentation and skill levels, you are sure to find arrangements that can be adapted to fit the proficiency of instrumentalists in your congregation.
Q: What are Festive Finish hymn orchestrations?
A: Festive Finishes bring a hymn to a thrilling conclusion! These full orchestral arrangements match the reharmonization and embellishments featured in Setting II of the piano/organ accompaniment. Approximately 60 titles feature a festive finish (purchased separately in addition to the hymn orchestration).
Q: Are the handbell accompaniments challenging?
A: Our handbell accompaniments feature two settings, both compatible with the hymn harmony. The first setting employs primarily block chords while the second offers advanced ringing techniques for more experienced players.
Q: I’m not finding resources for a certain hymn. Will additional titles be added in the future?
A: Yes! Nearly 500 more accompaniments and congregational anthems are in production. While we do not intend to provide resources for every hymn in Celebrating Grace Hymnal, we have tried to focus on classic hymnody and new material. Also coming soon—vocal solos (for medium voice) with keyboard accompaniment.