Rejoice in the Lord
The General Synod of the Reformed Church in America at its meeting in 1979 appointed a committee to explore the possibility of producing a new hymnal. Acting upon the committee’s positive recommendation, the Synod of 1980 appointed a committee to prepare a new hymnal for the Reformed Church in America.
Rejoice in the Lord is now offered as an instrument for the praise of the people of God. While it has been designed with the needs of the Reformed Church in America in mind, we believe that it can be of wide use for all churches of the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition. We have sought to create a hymnal that is biblical in its basic design, Reformed in its theological orientation, and catholic in its scope. We have tried to avoid any exclusive use of one musical style or one theological period, attempting rather to provide as wide a range of hymnological material as is possible within the confines of a single book.
The plan of the book is very simple: the canonical order of the Bible has provided the outline for the selection and arrangement of hymns. The hymns begin where the Bible begins--with God’s act of creation—and they conclude where the Bible concludes—with the great vision of God’s eternal city. In between are hymns that celebrate God’s care for and salvation of Israel; the promise of the Messiah; the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ; the encouragement, comfort, and direction of the Holy Spirit; the worship, witness, and fellowship of the Church; the gift of Scripture and Sacraments; and the abiding promise of the sure and total triumph of God in Christ over evil.
Deeply mindful that it is our duty and delight to glorify God and enjoy him forever, we offer Rejoice in the Lord, a hymn companion to the Scriptures, for the use of the churches.