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Mark Graham's Hymnal is Shipping

The hymnals are ready and I've already started shipping orders. In the United States, the cost (which includes all shipping) is $6 for one book, $5 each for two or more, and further discounts for large quantities (over 20).

Unfortunately, I can't offer those prices for those outside the U.S. The actual cost of a hymnal is $3. Mailing one to Australia costs $6.60 for regular air mail, or $2.96 for surface mail, which takes 3 to 8 weeks. I'm sure this would go down for orders of 2 or more, but still, the cost is high. The cost is nearly as much for Europe, $6.42 for air mail.

So, I will have to charge $10 (U.S. currency) per book for overseas orders. One possible alternative, if anyone is interested, is that because this is royalty-free, I could ship unbound copies of the hymns to someone in Australia or Europe, and someone there could print them. Or, they could be posted on a web page for downloading. Maybe creative types out there could come up with a better solution; I'd be interested.

I am working on producing a CD set of the hymns. Please allow me some time on this! 

The hymnal itself took two years, but I'm very happy with the results. It contains 87 hymns, each one of them a winner. 47 are taken directly from the psalms. Many of the rest are directly based on other scriptures, and about 30 of them are based on New Testament scriptures or teachings. It is a very church-of-God oriented, forward-looking collection. Many of the hymns are about Christ returning to establish his kingdom, and other parts of what we know as the plan of God, including his sabbath and keeping his commandments. 

You will recognize many of the melodies. Some are written by the old masters -- Mozart, Haydn, Tallis. Others are based on melodies from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Finland, Spain, China, Peru, Holland, Israel, the Ukraine, and Greece. There are two African-American spirituals, and one from the Kentucky Harmony collection. Many are ancient or from older psalters. Some, though still quite melodic and easily singable, push the envelope of rhythmic structure. 

It is definitely a modern hymnal, yet it relies heavily on the beauty and majesty of old hymns. I think it stands on its own as a work with a distinctive flavor, and if one were to read the lyrics from beginning to end, it even preaches the gospel.

I wrote about a dozen of the hymns, and contributed to the lyrics or harmonies of a few more. My work is copyrighted, but available free for any non-profit use. There are so many advantages to having a royalty-free hymnal that I felt is was worth forfeiting the other beautiful hymns that are copyrighted. As a result, there are no Dwight Armstrong hymns, but I was able to find many old hymns which are just as good, often using exactly the same lyrics Mr. Armstrong did. This hymnal can be photocopied by anyone in its entirety or in part, or can be posted on a website for downloading. There are plans to produce a CD of MIDI files of all of the hymns, soon. (I will record them myself now that I know the final contents of the hymnal.) Also, because there are no royalties, the cost of the hymnals will be quite low.

One other feature of the hymnal is that in addition to a regular index, the hymns are grouped by meter as well. This means that the words of any hymn in a group may be sung to the tune of any other hymn in that group, producing literally hundreds of combinations of music and lyrics. (Webmaster's note: if you are not familiar with the concept of metre, see our essay "What is Metre.")

Jim Hopkins has done a great job of figuring out paper stock, binding style, and size. The finished hymnal will be roughly the size of the current UCG hymnal or the old WCG gray hymnal, but with a sewn and glued binding that is very durable (I think it's called perfect binding). Christy Hooper of Cleveland designed a beautiful cover and title page. Jim tells me that we can print 1000 hymnals for $5 each ($5000 total), or 3000 for $3 each ($9000 total). Judging by response so far, there seems to be a demand for 2000 books, and I'm sure the rest will sell once word gets out,
so I would rather go with the bigger printing, plus it would mean the books would cost $3 plus shipping each.

Mark Graham
P.O.Box 770261
Lakewood, OH 44107-0019
Phone (216) 529-1380
email magraham@bw.edu

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Page last modified on: 07/29/2004