Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Liturgical Year resources and databases

Hello Listers,

Here's the compilation of music planning resources for Lectionary A,B, and C
and databases for anthem organizing. Many thanks to all who responded. Here's
hoping we all get organized!

At Trinity Cathedral here in Phoenix, we save all of our church
bulletins back about five years, and we draw extensively on these for
going back and finding out what music has been performed and when.

I would like to be more systematic about recording when certain anthems
are performed, but at present we don't keep statistics on which anthems
are used and how often.  We have a fairly sizable library of both
smaller octavos and major works, and out of those we have a lot of "easy
favorites" that the music director trots out for special services with a
smaller number of choirs.

The database software that we use is an older program called "Choirs,
Claviers, and Computers", and it is designed specifically for church
anthems.  It has categories for all of the main things like Composer,
Publisher, Price, etc.  but also allows you to enter in a brief text
and/or description, scriptural reference, and appropriateness for given
services.  This is especially helpful when we come to Christ the King
Sunday or All Saints Sunday which don't necessarily have a lot of
anthems written specifically for them.

Even though having such a well laid-out lectionary allows us to plan
music far ahead, we usually do most of our selections "on the fly"
depending specifically on what strong voices we'll have the next week,
what we're performing in our bi-monthly concerts, and what pieces we can
put together quickly.

Martin Pommerenke
Administrative/Artistic Assistant
Phoenix Bach Choir
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

concerning organ music, Peter Planyavsky might help you (St. stephans
Cathedral Vienna, austria)

Ingrun Fussenegger
I use a database program (filemaker--but some of my colleagues use access)
and have created a page for each service which includes fields for all the
hymns, pre and postludes, anthems service music, etc.  From there one
search by any category and maintain easily-accessible records.
Clair Rozier

St. dAvid's Episcopal Church
Wayne PA


I seem to remember that the overwhelming majority of people preferred
Filemaker Pro to use as a database, and they just customize it according to
their needs. I have been using Claris Works database on a hand-me-down
Macintosh, and recently acquired a PC (another hand-me-down) and am trying to
figure out how to transfer the information. When our church gets a new system
(maybe I should have said IF...) everybody will have a PC.

Katherine Shaw, choirmaster
St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Huntsville, AL 35803


as the minister of music in a small episcopal church in southern maryland, i
use the episcopal musician's handbook published by the living church
foundation.  cost is about $24 a year and provides the readings and
offers suggestions for hymns.  also other information if you do morning
prayer, lessons and carols, etc.  our church just has the eucharist
service every sunday.
they don't suggest anthems or organ but with the readings given, i do find
certain anthems tend to "jump out". lyn schramm

if i am not mistaken, g.i.a. publishes a schedule that coordinates the
lectionary with hymns and anthem suggestions.

Phil Micheal
Director of Music
Jefferson Ave. Presbyterian Church
The consensus on this question is that a general database program
such as FileMaker is much better than any special-purpose music
cataloguing program. You can create your own fields for which Sunday of the
church year the anthem fits, when you've performed it, and
comments such as "triple divisi in the tenors" "sopranos have high C"
"difficult keyboard part" etc.

Allen H Simon
VP for Website Development
ChoralNet Inc.

Have you ever tried LitPlan through Oregon Catholic Press.  It may prove
to be what you are looking for.

Barbara Pinto-Choate
Director of Music Ministries
Cathedral of the Annunciation
Stockton, California
We have 400 anthems at St. Bridget and over a period of time and with the
help of retired people in the choir, we entered every anthem into a Word
database using tables.  One column lists the number, one the title, one
the composer/arranger, one the voicing and one with comments.  In the
comments column I list the key words and any scriptural or liturgical notes.&
nbsp; With all of that done, I use the "find" function in Word to search for
(e.g.) light, mission, Eucharist, John, Matthew, Psalm 42, etc. I can use the
"sort" function to sort by alphabetical or chorological, too.  Sometimes
we love the oldies but the goodies, even if we have moved beyond these in our
growth.  Anyway, I just tab through the finds and usually find what I
need.  The trick is to keep it up to date.  I am lucky enough to
have a librarian (unpaid) who really takes ownership of the database. 
I've also created a database for the instrumental music and I can search by
"string trio" or "brass quartet", too.

When I approached some of the older, retired persons who are computer
literate about taking 300 anthems home and feeding in the keywords, they were
more than happy to do so.  In fact, it gave them something meaningful to
do when the grand kids weren't around, etc.  Moreover, when I looked at
published software, you had to do the input anyway.  I merely read the
upcoming scriptures and search for the appropriate key words.
I just wish I hadn't waited six years to do this.

******************************In the Lutheran church, we use a resource called "SUNDAYS AND SEASONS"
published by Augsburg Fortress Press. It is a compendium of worship ideasfor each Sunday of the liturgical year. It includes lists of appropriate
hymns, anthems, organ music, and even handbell music. Of course, it's keyed
for advance planning. I would bet that the Episcopalians have something

I keep a music "log" - sort of like a diary, I guess - in a large,
looseleaf notebook to track what actually happens musically at my church.
The notebook has three dividers, one for each year of the three-year cycle.
Each Sunday and Holy Day has its own page on which I record the calendar
date, the liturgical "date", the titles and composers of the instrumental
and choral music, names and musical selections of soloists (if any), and
names and numbers of all the hymns.

Fred Hooper
Director of Music
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Camp Hill, PA

.I use a database called Access  or you could use Excel.........Then you
can set up the catagories you want to have in your music date
used, etc.....

Brent Miller
St. Johns Episcopal Church
Somerville, NJ 08876


Augsburg/Fortress has a brochure that lists suggestions for hymns and
for music along with the readings for each Sunday of the church year.
Additionally I think their catalog, and that of Concordia, too, is laid
out that way. Of course, they only list their own publications, but it's
a start. then click on Worship and Music - it
will take you to a lectionary link, plus many others.

Jim Davis
Wright State University - Lake Campus
Celina OH

Have you looked at the Augsburg Fortress publication Sundays and Seasons - a
worship planning guide based on the Revised Common Lectionary? Includes
hymns, anthems, inst. music, etc. Call 800-328-4648 to order.
Carol Carver
Acquisitions Editor
Choral Music
Augsburg Fortress
I use "The United Methodist Music & Worship Planner" published yearly by
Abingdon Press which is WONDERFUL for those churches whose pastors use the
lectionary.; There's also a "generic" edition called "Prepare!" ; Both of
these are by David L. Bone and Mary J. Scifres.  Wepurchase ours through Cokesbury.

The former lists the scripture, hymn and keyboard suggestions (from TheUnited Methodist Hymnal and The Faith We Sing - a new supplement), Psalter,anthems, vocal solos, contemporary suggestions, and Other Suggestions such
as visual, call to worship, response, benediction, etc.

Lois Yale
Chancel Choir Director
First United Methodist Church
Mount Vernon, WA

"Prepare" - a weekly Worship Planbook for Pastors and Musicians isavailable for each year, that is, one orders it yearly
from Abingdon Press.  Call toll-free  1-800-672-1789 to request.

        "Handbook for the Revised Common
Lectionary", Peter C. Bower, editor, is
useful and reusable since it contains
the three-year lectionary worship planning resource.  Pub. Westminster
John Knox
Press, 100 Witherspoon St.
Louisville, Kentucky 40202-1396Mary Legge Toronto, Canada

"A catalogue of anthems and motets for the Sunday of Lectionary Years A, B
and C" compiled by William Wunsch DMA. Available from the Rev. Thomas McCart,
P.O. Box 768, Hinton, Oklahoma  73047.  It's $20.00 - check made
payable to the Anglican Musicians Foundation. It doesn't answer the puzzle
for every Sunday, but I've found it helpful.

Barbara Luhn
Grace-Calvary Episcopal
Clarkesville, GA

Cynthia Powell
Christ Episcopal Church
105 Cottage Pl.
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

on April 4, 2003 10:00pm
I direct the traditional chancel choir at our Roman Catholic parish. Previous directors have prepared a sheet, monthly, to give to each choir member that lists all hymns, psalms, anthems, etc. for the coming month. They use this to prepare their music books at home before coming to church. The cantors love this because it lists the cantor assigned for that Sunday and the priest presiding. It takes work to put them together, but when they're done, I find that I relax because everybody knows everything. The organist gets his well in advance of anyone else. Today, 4/5/03, I have prepared these through June and have them roughed out through August. This summer I plan to rough them out for the season (September-June) and refine them as I go along. I say all of this to say: We have a file of these going back a few years. Boy are they helpful to me as the fairly new director!

I have logged all of our anthems into an Excel spreadsheet. I have found that LitPlan from Oregon Catholic Press is about the best search tool anywhere. You purchase an annual update each year for the current hymn numbers BUT you can also add you own hymns and octavos and key them to specific subjects or liturgical dates. It is quite powerful. In addition, it will print a planning sheet for you or anyone else who needs the order of service. Of course, it is Catholic through and through, but it might be useful just for the cataloging and searching tools.

John Steven Coke, Sr.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
on October 29, 2003 10:00pm
Concordia Publishing Company produces and maintains an excellent 3-volume set entitled "Worship" which includes vocal, choral, organ, and congregational music for each Sunday as well as commentary on the lectionary.
on July 17, 2005 10:00pm
We have a catalogue which is maintained on the web - it helps us as well as others who may be interested to see what we are up to!
The lists cover the period from 1989 to the present, so a variety of possibilities exists. The catalogue etc is available at:
It doesn\'t have a search utility, but it is not difficult to work out what goes where!
This may be of some assistance to those working in the field.

Andrew Blackburn
Director of Music and Coordinator of Uniting Arts
Toorak Uniting Church
603 Toorak Rd
Toorak Vic 3142

Tel + 61 3 9829 0340
on March 5, 2007 10:00pm
I love Hymnsite. You can look up the scripture so easily on the calendar for each Sunday. This way I can choose my anthem based on the general message of the litury. It also suggests hymns.