“Editor's Pick” – Worship Leader Magazine, October 2013, Issue

Lift Up Your Hearts has been chosen as an "Editor's Pick" by Worship Leader magazine. This honor is in addition to being chosen as "Best New Music Pick" in the September 2013 issue.

Each year in October, Worship Leader releases a "Best of the Best" list of resources they review throughout the year. “There is a multitude of resources available to worship leaders; so many, it can be overwhelming. So we took the time to put many of them here and in a manageable form. They represent the cutting edge of what is available in your area of expertise," says Jeremy Armstrong, managing editor at Worship Leader.

To see the entire "Best of the Best" list, pick up a copy of the October 2013 issue of Worship Leader magazine, or go to www.worshipleader.com to subscribe to the print or digital edition.

“Best New Music Pick" – Worship Leader Magazine, September 2013, Issue

Lift Up Your Hearts has been chosen for the Best New Music Pick award by Worship Leader magazine, one of the leading publications for worship leaders and worship planners today.

“This fresh-out-of-the-box hymnal is for all generations, and is drawn from across the church’s vast history, making it a valuable resource for any and all worship leaders,” says Phil Sillas, songwriter, music producer, and editor of Song DISCovery at Worship Leader.

The endorsement goes on to highlight the vast array of choices and useful resources in Lift Up Your Hearts, noting that “they are all here - all well-curated choices across genres and styles.”

To see the entire endorsement written by Phil Sillas, pick up a copy of the September 2013 issue of Worship Leader magazine, or go to www.worshipleader.com to subscribe to the print or digital edition.

Rev. Howard Vanderwell, Adjunct Professor of Worship, Calvin Theological Seminary

“In the process of looking closely for confessional linkages with the songs in LUYH, I am finding my gratitude for this work growing steadily.  In particular, I'm seeing such wisdom, thought, and care in the structuring of the contents—the major categories, and the carefully selected subcategories. The more I work with it, the more I am convinced of how superb and well-thought-through it all is. The more I get into it in this project, the more wisdom I see in it!”

Janet Danielson, composer, music theorist, instructor, author, and renowned lecturer, British Columbia, Canada

“I have just gone through every page of LUYH.  What an achievement!

Some notable strengths:

1) Text-setting—your committee displayed great sensitivity to word/music unity, and this will surely result in heartier congregational singing.

2) Scriptural emphasis—a glance at the index of Scripture references shows how extensively LUYH is permeated with Scripture, including much more OT than most hymnals.

3) Psalms—nearly 25 percent of the hymnal, with references to psalms in many of the other hymns.  It will help worship planners so much to have the psalms placed where they make liturgical sense.

4) Liturgical strength—as a liturgical resource, LUYH excels. Instead of ghettoizing the psalms, hymns, and creeds/confessions, they are beautifully integrated. I don't know of another hymnal in which this is so successfully done. The Prayer section with its pithy "Gathering Our Prayers" guide—what a treasure! I also appreciate the way the sacraments reflect the historic liturgy of the church. 

5) Breadth—the recent explosion of hymnody in the worldwide church is well represented: DT Niles, Daniel Chua, Swee Hong Lim, Taizé, Iona, Keith Getty, numerous Filipino composers, even a hymn from the highly secularized Japan!  This is balanced with contributions from the church of all ages from the Didache forward. And closer to home, I was happy to see some of the Moses Hogan and Richard Smallwood arrangements that our choir has loved singing now available for the whole congregation. The Navajo hymn is not a mere token but contributes a key insight from their traditional spirituality.”

David Schaap, president of Selah Publishing Co., Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“I just received a copy of LUYH. It is certainly an impressive production. I think you’ve done an admirable job of collecting the hymnody used in the collection. I like the ordering scheme and how the liturgy is interspersed with the hymns and service music. Highlighting the Scripture basis of the songs under the titles is admirable and will hopefully improve the biblical knowledge of the singers.” 

Rev. Randall Lubbers, First Presbyterian Church, Lake Crystal, Minnesota

“Personally I’m delighted with LUYH. I’m discovering wonderful surprises every morning! I’m particularly happy with how Lift Up Your Hearts and Psalms for All Seasons look side by side. I know that for anyone who loves hymns, there’s going to be a favorite or two missing, but overall I’m very happy and joyful in seeing the final product and discovering new treasures. To God be the glory!”

Dr. Larry Visser, LaGrave Avenue CRC, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"The new hymnal with more than 850 titles is a wonderful compilation of the very best of wide variety of types of congregational hymns and worship songs. Its content is firmly Biblical and deeply Reformed. It will not only allow our congregation to retain its rich tradition of singing beloved classic, traditional and time-honored hymnody, but also expand our repertoire to include new hymns and songs from a variety of genres, styles and traditions."

Rev. Paul DeVries, Brookside CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

"The new Lift Up Your Hearts Hymnal is a blessing for all those who love worship planning, leading and participation. Among the things that I have quickly come to appreciate about the new hymnal are:
    * the multiple versions of classic hymns (for example, there are three versions of Amazing Grace and two versions of What a Friend We have in Jesus)
    * liturgical resources for things like the Lord's Prayer, Apostle's Creed, and the Sacraments embedded right in the midst of the songs! What a blessing for harried pastors and planners who will find liturgical resources right by the songs they are selecting.
    *the fact that the Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions are frequently referenced or quoted in appropriate places throughout the hymnal (for example, Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 21 is quoted right after the song "We've Come This Far by Faith).
    *the rich use of Scripture throughout this hymnal in the form of direct quotes, responsive readings, and stylized prayers, and all of this scripture is embedded in appropriate places right in the midst of the hymns and songs.
All of the above elements of this new hymnal come in addition to the rich diversity of music and eclectic stylistic taste that the hymnal editors have employed in selecting what to include. It is clear to me that this hymnal was created to serve and meet the needs of the existing church, neither pushing us to worship in ways that are awkward for us or beyond our limits nor allowing us to settle for worship that is bland and dry."