How to Lead Hymns
Hymn singing is the time for the
congregation to meditate upon God’s love, grace, and mercy through the singing
of hymns. The role of the hymn leader is to guide the congregation in singing
praises to the Lord as well as to prepare their hearts for the service. Music
is a divine gift from God, so we should use this wonderful gift to edify men
and to glorify His name. Apostle Paul exhorted the believers to “admonish one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our
hearts to the Lord” (Col 3:16).
- Pray for the guidance and
abidance of the Lord.
- Select hymns:
- Choose hymns related to the
sermon topic, if applicable.
- 2-3 hymns for a 5-minute
hymn-singing session; 4-6 hymns for a 10-minute hymn-singing session.
- Prepare back-up hymns for
- Consult the Chinese and English
hymnals and take note of the following for each hymn:
- Number of verses – if the
number of verses differs between the Chinese and English versions, decide how
many verses are to be sung.
- Tempo – decide upon the speed
of the hymn.
- Fermata – look for the “pause”
signs and decide how long they are to be held.
- Beat pattern – practice in
front of a mirror beforehand until you are familiar with the pattern.
PREPARATION ON THE HOUR
- As hymn leaders are visible to
the congregation, dress and groom yourself
appropriately to serve God and represent the church.
- Arrive at least 5 minutes before
the hymn-singing session.
- Write all the hymn numbers on
the board or projector (or inform the audio-visual personnel).
- Make sure the accompanist is
present, and discuss any necessary details (such as the hymn tempo and fermata
- Identify the sermon speaker
(which will be relevant in Procedure 4).
“In the name of Jesus Christ, we begin our
“Please sing hymn number ____.”
a. Introduce the hymn or quote
relevant Bible verse
b. Mention the verses to be sung
c. Cue the accompanist on the
tempo before each hymn
d. Say the number of the next
verse prior to singing it (helpful for people coming in late)
Make eye contact with the sermon speaker near
the end of the hymn to confirm whether the speaker is ready to deliver the
sermon; if not, continue with another hymn.
“This concludes the hymn-singing session.”
Erase the hymn numbers written on the board or
- Be prepared to translate if the
congregation is multi-lingual.
- During the hymn-singing session,
do not be too concerned with conducting; just make sure to lead the
congregation through each hymn.
- Be assertive in leading the
congregation to praise God.
- Relax and move your arms
naturally to the music.