Chinese New Hymnal

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The Chinese New Hymnal (left, published by China Christian Council and printed by Amity Printing Co., Ltd) and The English-Chinese Bilingual New Hymnal (right, ditto)

The Chinese New Hymnal ( in simplified Chinese: 《赞美诗(新编)》; traditional Chinese: 《讚美詩(新編)》) was published during the early 1980s and is the predominantly most used hymn book at the worship of the Protestant churches in the present-day China.

Chinese New Hymnal[edit]

The Chinese New Hymnal was bugun being edited in 1980 when persecution against religion, especially against Christianity, during the Cultural Revolution subsided and public Christian worship restarted, with the intention to collect both domestic and overseas hymns. Its "Simple notation (in simplified Chinese: 简谱; traditional Chinese: 簡譜; pinyin: jianpu) version", using the numbered musical notation system, was published in 1983 and "staff musical notation version" 1985. The former version is predominantly used in the present-day China.

The Chinese New Hymnal includes 400 hymns, with the addendum of 40 "Short Songs". In addition to the songs from Europe and the Americas, special effort was made to collect the songs written by the Chinese people. It was printed by Amity Printing Co. and published by China Christian Council. "The English-Chinese Bilingual New Hymnal" was later published, in 1998, but is hard to obtain.

This hymnal features two indexes. The first one arranges hymns according to the first notes in the melody and the second one to the first line of text.

The Protestant churches in the present-day China almost exclusively select the worship songs from this hymn book. A new printing of the Chinese Union Version Bible by the Amity Foundation in 2004 also incorporates this hymnal under the same volume. Some of the Chinese-written songs have been adopted by the hymnals of other countries.

An additional collection of 200 songs used in worship have been compiled and published as a separate volume in October 2009. This addition contains some much-needed titles suited for various occasions as well as newly written pieces. About a quarter of the titles are locally made and the remainder are imported and Chinese lyrics set. The songs are indexed twice in the same fashion as its predecessor. Versions both in numerical and staff notation versions are available. Most of the titles were copyrighted at time of publication.

Songs in other hymnals are simpler and thus illiterate and under-educated people prefer hymnals like the Canaan Hymns, used widely in the Chinese house churches.[1]

Protestant worship in China[edit]

The Chinese Union Version of the Bible, the Chinese New Hymnal, the Lord's Prayer as it is written in the Chinese Union Version and the Apostles' Creed are usually used in the Protestant worship in China.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ *Strandenæs, Thor (2008). "The Never Ending Song: The Contextualization of Chinese Christian Hymnody". In Engelsviken, Tormod; Harbakk, Ernst; Olsen, Rolv; Strandenæs, Thor. Mission to the World: Communicating the Gospel in the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of Knud Jorgensen. Oxford: Regnum. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-870345-64-4. 

General references[edit]

  • 《赞美诗(新编)》 (The Chinese New Hymnal). Published by China Christian Council. First printing in April, 1983; New arrangement in January, 2001; First printing in January, 2002.
  • 《赞美诗(新编)(中英文双语本)》(The New Hymnal (English-Chinese Bilingual Edition)). Published by China Christian Council, 1999.

External links[edit]