November 29, 2019 Brethren Letter
Sometimes the question arises about the purple Worldwide Church of God hymnal, if we use that hymnal, and if we still approve of singing all the hymns in it. The purple hymnal released in 1974 is the same hymnal we use today. Mr. Armstrong approved every hymn that was published. I thought I would share part of a letter I wrote in 2018 discussing this subject.
Have a wonderful Sabbath!
In the front of the 1974 edition of the new hymnal, Mr. Armstrong included a two-page introduction to the hymnal above his signature. I will quote the last three paragraphs of what Mr. Armstrong wrote.
When we were able to print our first Church of God hymnal, not yet having a sufficient number of our own hymns we filled out our comparatively small hymnals with well-known Protestant hymns whose words were not non-scriptural – even having to change the words in a few instances. Gradually through the years succeeding editions of our hymnal have contained fewer and fewer of the old Protestant hymns, and more and more of those composed by my brother. For the past few years our congregations have been singing our own hymns almost entirely.
Now, at last, the time has come when we can omit the old Protestant hymns altogether, with more new hymns of our own added. We have retained two national hymns, and a few others whose words are proper, which we feel our congregations would want to sing occasionally.
It is indeed, a happy achievement to have, at last, God’s own hymnal for God’s own Church. It is a happy event, also that we now produce the hymnal with hard covers, and make them available to members to have in their own homes. I feel this is another mile-stone for God’s Church.
Herbert W. Armstrong
The new hymnal produced in 1974 was the same exact hymnal used in 1986 (except for small changes such as a few word changes), when Mr. Armstrong died. For nearly twelve years, [all of] the hymns remained in the hymnal, and [were] sung repeatedly. Mr. Armstrong attended services during this time-frame and knew exactly what was in the hymnal during that twelve-year span of time.
I can come to NO other conclusion — Mr. Armstrong APPROVED ALL the hymns contained in the purple Bible Hymnal that we use each Sabbath. All can be used today.