Why go to all the trouble of producing a new hymnal? The Gesangbuch commission of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada faced this question in 1961. The 1942 version, it was felt, lacked readability and a variety in tunes. Furthermore, the world of the early 1960s “demanded a broader witness,” with more vocational, youth and gospel songs. The conference needed a unifying hymnal. Although the adoption of a German hymnal of the Mennonite Brethren denomination was considered, “the fullness of time for a complete exchange of spiritual treasures seems not to have arrived” due to theological and musical differences. Visit bit.ly/37tLbA4 for the identity of Gesgangbuch commission members at this Winnipeg meeting.
For more historical photos in the Mennonite Archival Image Database, see archives.mhsc.ca.