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How to use with Hymns to the Living God

We have included several indices in Hymns to the Living God to aid in finding hymns. These include:

  • Index of Authors, Composers, and Sources
  • Index of Readings
  • Index of Scripture Paraphrases and Versifications
  • Metrical Index of Tunes
  • Alphabetical Index of Tunes
  • Alphabetical Index of Titles and First Lines

We are also very pleased that Hymns to the Living God has been indexed on, a website that indexes just about every hymnal, ancient and modern, and provides a plethora of helpful tools to use for planning services. This adds a whole additional level of ways to find just the right hymn in our hymnal.

I use every week in planning the services for our church (you can see how I use to plan our church’s services here), and so I’m thrilled that this tool is available for those who use Hymns to the Living God as well.

Here is a short tutorial of how you can use with Hymns to the Living God.

First, here is a link to view the hymnal:

You can see there that the Hymnal ID for the hymnal is HTLG2017. That will be important in a moment.

On this page, you can view all the hymns listed in order, as well as access several indexes such as Authors, First Lines, Tunes Names, Topics, Scripture References, Meters, and Elements of Worship.

Click on a particular hymn, and you can see all of the details of the hymn including author, tune, composer, meter, etc. I’m told images of each hymnal page will be available here soon as well.

Clicking on the hymn title in the left column will take you to what is called the hymn’s “authority” page. These authority pages contain a wealth of information about the hymn including every hymnal in which it appears, Scripture allusions in the hymn, every tune the text has been matched with, and much more.

The most powerful way to search for just the hymn you need is by using the Search boxes on the left side of the window.

You can use this powerful tool to search the entire Hymnary database if you’d like, but in order to search just Hymns to the Living God, you will want to type the Hymnal ID, HTLG2017, in the “Hymnal” field. Then you can search for hymns in Hymns to the Living God that match a particular Topic or Scripture Passage. I use the Scripture field the most when I’m looking for a particular hymn that will fit after a Scripture reading in our service or that fits with the sermon text of the day.

You can also click “Add a field,” which will give you many more search options such as Full Text. I often use this field as well when the Topics field isn’t finding what I need.

Another powerful feature of requires registering a free account. You can do this using the Register link in the top right corner of the site. Once you have registered (and logged in), you can select one or more hymnals to add to your favorites. You can do this by clicking “Add to my hymnals” on the hymnal page.

The benefit of adding the hymnal to your favorites is that if you search the full index without typing the Hymnal ID in the Hymnal field, the results will come from all hymnals on the site, but hymns that are included in your hymnal favorites will have a special icon next to them.

For example, if I search for hymns matching Romans 1, the results look like this:

Notice the icon next to the hymns in the list of search results that are in Hymns to the Living God (which is in my favorites).

If you have more than one hymnal in your favorites, hymns in the search results that come from any of your favorite hymnals will include the icon. If you click on the icon, it will give you a link directly to the hymn page from your favorite hymnal.

I usually search this way (without typing in the Hymn ID), because I want to see all the results, not just those in our hymnal. If I can’t find a hymn in our hymnal that fits what I need, I might find something else I can use and put the lyrics in the service order.

This just barely scratches the service of the wealth of information available on and the resources available there. Click around–who knows what you’ll find!

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.