The hymns sung by Jehovah’s Witnesses at their meetings are called “kingdom songs,” after God’s Kingdom. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has been publishing hymns since 1879. Songs of the Bride, published that same year, included 144 songs. The 1890 release of Poems and Hymns of the Millennial Dawn, featuring 333 songs, and served as the official hymnal of the Witnesses until 1928.
Beginning in 1966, official policy dictated that only songs written by Witnesses were to be included in hymnals published for use by the various Kingdom Halls. Singing and Accompanying Yourself with Music in Your Hearts was published in 1966 and featured 119 songs. Despite the new policy, several songs written by non-Witnesses were inadvertently included.
Sing Praises to Jehovah, a collection of 225 songs, was released in 1984. It included a number of songs included in previous hymnals. Two songs from the past appeared with different melodies and a number of textual revisions.
The 2010 edition of the basic hymnal Sing to Jehovah featured 135 songs – 93 previously published and 42 new songs – and was translated into 44 languages, including several variants of sign language. The newer releases have been made in various formats, and sometimes include piano instrumentals as well as orchestral arrangements, called Kingdom Melodies.
Jehovah’s Witnesses generally sing three songs at their midweek and weekend meetings. The congregation usually sings to a piano accompaniment on a compact disk player. Some larger meetings might have a live piano or even a band. The choice of songs matches the chosen theme of the particular meeting.
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