What To Do With Old Hymnals

  1. Reuse: Find a New Home for your hymnals!
    1. The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada will post a notice in their widely read newsletter, The Stanza, regarding donated hymnals. Please send all pertinent information to office@thehymnsociety.org.
    2. Check with other churches in your area— those who continue to use the previous Psalter Hymnals may need to replace hymnals that are in poor condition.
    3. Donate them to the library—your church library, the local public library, school libraries, etc.
    4. Donate them to a retirement community or nursing home in your area.
    5. Donate them to Goodwill or another thrift store. However, it might be wise to make sure that they are not inundated with hymnals… Our best guess—no thrift store is going to want 300 copies of the same book on their shelves.
  2. Repurpose
    1. Use the pages of the hymnal for craft projects:
      1. Christmas ornaments (shred pages of a hymnal and put them in glass ball ornaments)
      2. Candle decorating
      3. Frame your favorite hymn
      4. Pinterest has many fun ideas! Simply search “hymnal” and you will find more than you know what to do with…
    2. Keep them as a “resource” book instead of the main book.
    3. Send them home with the congregation, and encourage them to also purchase “Lift Up Your Hearts.”
  3. Recycle
    1. Contact a local recycling center and see what their policy is regarding books.
      1. The 1987 Psalter Hymnal (gray) is smyth sewn and case bound—you will need this information for recycling.
      2. Having only a small number of hymnals to recycle can cause problems for some recycling companies. We recommend Mission Centers work together to help congregations locate brokering opportunities for recycling.
      3. Anyone who throws away large quantities of paper or books might know of local recycling opportunities. Contact paper mills, paper companies, or publishing companies.
      4. Ask the recycling center if there is a charge.
      5. Cellulose insulation companies are a good source to contact for recycling the hymnals.
      6. If the community has curbside recycling, check their FAQ sheet to see if they accept books.