Hymns of The Bahamas & The Turks & Caicos Islands
The Anglican Theological Institute (ATI) seeks hymns, songs and short chorus submissions for its upcoming publication of hymns from The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
We encourage entrants to submit texts on a range of subjects, topics, and experiences. These include, but are not limited to:
- Biblical texts, e.g., a psalm
- Church liturgical seasons
- Care of creation
- Laments over violence in communities
- Bahamian cultural identity: food, industries etc.
The metre of each hymn/song/chorus (e.g., LM, 8848, CM) should be clearly indicated on the submission.
Authors are welcome to submit texts alone for consideration. If such a submission is chosen for publication the committee will pair it with an appropriate tune.
If tunes are being submitted, please note the following:
- Tunes can be in any style of music.
- Tunes should be singable by the average congregation.
- If hymns are to be sung to an existing tune, submissions should indicate the name of the tune (e.g., Wareham, Aurelia, Old 100th)
- If hymns include a new tune, sheet music must accompany the text. Music must include the melody and harmonization or chord symbols. Engraved/typeset scores are preferred, but neatly handwritten music will be accepted.
All submissions should be in PDF format.
The author’s name should only appear on the entry form, not on the hymn submission itself.
Submissions will be evaluated by a panel based on their poetry, imagery, theology, and originality.
The ATI Hymn Search Committee reserves the right to accept only the words, or only the music, of submissions, and likewise to reject any submissions considered unsuitable.
By submitting hymns for consideration, you give the ATI permission to use your hymns in this and future publications.
Submit your hymn/song/chorus here: https://forms.gle/fx8Jw6zP4AD5k3qb7
- Only one form per person is required.
- Multiple hymns/songs can be uploaded to the form.
Deadline is June 30th, 2023
Submit queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME TIPS FOR WRITING
Meter: the number of syllables per line and the rhythmic cadence per line.
Try to use the same meter in each verse of your hymn. This is not an absolute rule. But it is best to have a consistent meter unless there is a very compelling reason to add or omit a syllable.
The rhythmic cadence per line can be discerned by speaking the words out loud. You will be able to hear/feel if the words fall in the same way all the time (stressed vs. unstressed syllables).
One way to check for consistent meter is to sing your hymn to an existing tune of the same meter. While not a perfect tool, as the tune’s rhythmic cadence may be different, it will help to point out areas where words might need to be adjusted.
In the hymn below, under Rhyming, you will see that meter of 220.127.116.11.8.8. (eight syllables per line) is maintained throughout the hymn.
Most hymns use rhyming words at the end of each line in a consistent pattern, i.e., each verse uses the same pattern.
Example: John Newton’s Amazing Grace uses a rhyming scheme of ABAB for each verse.
Amazing grace – how sweet the sound – (A)
that saved a wretch like me! (B)
I once was lost, but now am found, (A)
was blind, but now I see. (B)
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, (A)
and grace my fears relieved; (B)
how precious did that grace appear (A)
the hour I first believed. (B)
Pay special attention to the choice of theme and how it is expressed in your writing.
No one hymn or song can cover everything that could be said about a theme or topic. It is best to focus on a specific theme or idea that can be developed throughout the hymn. For example, in All Things Bright and Beautiful, each verse speaks about a part of the created world which the refrain reminds us was created by God.
Questions you can ask yourself:
- What is this hymn/song about? (Ideally, this will only be one idea)
- Does each verse (or verse and refrain/chorus) contribute directly to that theme?