Creating hymnal art can be an act of worship, an alternative way to study the Bible, or a fun way to spend time alone with God. Like most things in Bible journaling, there are no rules. However, I would recommend that you approach the process with purpose and intent. That way, you’ll get the most out of your time.
What is Hymnal Art?
A hymnal is a collection of hymns (worship songs) often sung in a church and bound into a book. Hymnals are usually hardback books designed to withstand the many hands that will hold it over its lifetime. Hymnals can be spiral-bound, paper-back, or printed individually.
Hymnal art is art that’s created in a hymnal book or on hymn music sheets. Hymnal art can be created with any medium, including acrylic paints, gouache, watercolor, and inks.
How to Create Hymnal Art?
I’ve seen many instructors teach hymnal art, and they all teach it differently. I’ve gathered the best of what I’ve seen to share it with you here. With much on the Internet, take what works for you…and leave the rest.
- Pray: Start by praying to God and giving Him this time of worship. Ask Him to reveal what He has for you or simply spend time with you as you consider how amazing He is.
- Select: Find a Hymnal in your book that you’re drawn to. Maybe it was a hymn your grandmother used to sing or one that makes your heart flutter.
- Research: Ask yourself, what verses of the Bible does this hymn refer to? For example, the hymn “How Great Thou Art” is originally inspired by the poem “O Store Gud” (O Great God) written by Carl Boberg (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden, in 1885. It was a paraphrase of Psalm 8 and was used in the ‘underground church’ in Sweden in the late 1800s when the Baptists and Mission Friends were persecuted according to Boberg’s great-nephew, Bud Boberg.
- Read: Read the Scripture that inspired the hymn.
- Observe: Observe what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to you. Maybe it’s something you missed before when you last read this Scripture. Perhaps there’s something in the song that you’re drawn to. Maybe it’s not even related to the Scripture, and that’s ok too. Go with it! Be spirit-led.
- Create: Creating is the fun part. You can create hymnal art in many different ways. Here are a few ideas:
- Background: You can create art directly on the hymn, and use the hymn as the background. Maybe you’ll paint the sun to represent God’s greatness or a girl with outstretched arms.
- Collage: You can rip up the hymn and collage it on a canvas as a background for another piece of art.
- Shapes: You can cut out leaves, feathers, or shapes to make things like angel wings, trees, and other objects.
- Fold: You can fold the hymn in different shapes (think origami) and attach the finished piece to a project.
- Tip in: You can place the hymn in your Bible. The hymn, How Great Thou Art would be perfect next to Psalm 8.
- Frame it: You can frame the hymn by itself or write words over it.
- Journal: You can write your thoughts on it and use it as a journal.
- Share: Share your work to inspire and encourage others to grow in the Word creatively!
Hymnal art is fun and there are so many things that you can do with a hymnal. Creating hymnal art in a hymnal, on a canvas, in a journal, or on any other substrate is a wonderful way to express your faith and encourage you to worship God in a creative way.
Is Hymnal Art Different Than Hymnal Art Journaling?
Not really. Hymnal art is the term used for any art created in or with a hymnal. Hymnal art journaling is typically done in the physical hymnal book or in an art journal.
How to Find a Hymnal
There aren’t many churches that use hymnals these days. In fact, my church has never had them. I have an old hymnal that was given to me by my grandmother’s pastor, and another one that friend gifted me when her mother’s church was getting rid of them.
I ‘ve purchased hymnals at thrift stores, book stores, on Amazon, and on eBay. I prefer old ratty ones that are falling apart for my body of work in collage and mixed media. Otherwise, I like vintage ones with sturdy spines for direct hymnal art journaling.
Recently I’ve created a hymnal journal, called This Is My Story, This Is My Song. It’s titled after the hymnal, Blessed Assurance. It’s one that I remember my grandma singing in church, and I loved singing it with her. They hymnal journal is designed to provide space for art AND space for journaling. You get:
- 17 Classic hymns: Blank pages behind each page so that markers and paint can be used without ruining the opposite side.
- 17 Traceable images: Trace them using carbon paper or cut, color, and paste them in your journal.
- 68 Lined journaling page: Share your story or use them in any way you see fit.
- 19 Verses: Verses are from the KJV translation to encourage you to lift up your voice and sing praise to our Lord.
From salvation to baptism, birthdays to holidays, this hymnal faith journal is a wonderful gift for any woman who wants to express her faith and document her journey in a unique way.
To learn more about hymnal journals, read this post.
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