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Spanish Hymnos 2016 Edition
Revision Process
Posted December 22, 2022

Updating the Spanish Hymnal

After almost thirty years, the need to review and update the Spanish Hymnal editions of 1979 and 1989 was evident. In addition to the deterioration that most hymnals had suffered due to the use over the years. The servants announced that work was under way to make a new Spanish hymnal to replace the 1989 edition in use. It was last printed in Saskatoon, Canada, by Prairie Graphics Industries, Limited and contained 256 hymns. It was a reprint of a 1979 edition. Another edition was used before that about which little is known.

After the decision was made to compile a new Spanish hymnal, each country designated a person to be in charge of the preliminary work, making up a panel. Juan Gunn, from Spain, supervised the entire process. The others were: Jonathan Wright, Richard Wulf, Percy Lealand Broughton, LeRoy Lerwick, Duane Hopkins, William Berger, Alan Anderson, Samuel Herrera, Álvaro Moreno and Armando Adan.

The process started at the beginning of 2015. Then in May 2015, the panel traveled to Panama City, Florida, US, with the goal of finishing the hymnal by the beginning of 2016. By the end of 2016, the new hymnals were printed and bound in Italy, and being distributed through R. L. Allan & Sons Publishers, Thorgood House, 34 Tolworth Close, Surrey, KT6 7EW, England. Copyright Pocock & Martin 2016.

There were two parts to the process. One was to evaluate the hymns in the current hymnal. They asked those who directed the meetings in each field to write down the hymns requested by each person in the meetings. After a while, a list was made of the most and least requested hymns. Later, each person was asked to choose their preferred hymns. All this information was taken into consideration in making the final selection of which of the current 265 hymns in their hymnal would be retained or omitted. Hymns that were not sung very often were excluded from the new hymnal.

The other part of the process was to evaluate the hymns some servants and saints had composed and to decide which would be worthy additions to a new hymnal. Adding new hymns to the hymnal was preferable to the separate pamphlet of all his hymns printed by Juventino Valdez.

Although many hymns were submitted for evaluation, not many were considered suitable, as some lacked poetic value, character, rhythm, etc., and some were often a repetition of thoughts already better expressed in other hymns. In addition, it was considered necessary to make certain corrections in the translations that would allow a better rhyme in the stanzas.

Therefore, the brothers were given a selection of 253 unpublished hymns written by servants and brothers in various Spanish-speaking countries along with others that were translations of English hymns. The brothers were asked to rate each hymn according to the following scoring method:

       20 points = excellent
18–19 points = admirable
16–17 points = very good
14–15 points = good
12–13 points = acceptable
10–11 points = adequate

It was decided not to include 12 hymns from the 1979 Hymnal in the new version (Nos. 10, 62, 69, 74, 91, 150, 151, 197, 198, 224, 234, 243). The words of hymn No. 85 would be replaced with the words of hymn No. 133 of the hymnal in Portuguese. The words of hymn No. 111 would be replaced with the words of hymn No. 182 from the 2014 supplement. The music of hymn No. 121 was changed to the tune of English Hymnal No. 277. Also, all the words referring to Jesus were capitalized. In the previous hymnal this consideration only referred to God.

Altogether, the new hymnal contained 401 hymns. It included 53 hymns by Juventino Valdez, from Mexico; 64 hymns by Sam Jones; 14 by James Jardine; and 9 by Ada R. de Carvallo (Brazilian-Venezuelan), and various other Spanish-speaking hymnwriters. Some hymns were translated from English and Portuguese (Nos. 72, 132, 147, 172, 192).

See Photo of Hymnbook ~ Scroll to right for Photo #2

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