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

Projecting Hymn Lyrics

Please help!
In the next few months our church will be undergoing renovations which will include an installation of a projection system. We currenly use Oregon Catholic Press's Today's Missal and Music Issue. When I contacted the company about projecting lyrics, I was directed to Has anyone used the site before? It didn't seem very helpful if you don't have an account.
I'm looking for a program that I can use that will have the musical notation included with the words.  I hate when just the lyrics to a hymn/song is printed in a worship aid or projected on a screen.  If you have any experience in this area I'd love to hear from you!  This is unchartered water for us and so I want to be make a decision that will user-friendly and not time-intensive.
Many thanks!  
Replies (5): Threaded | Chronological
on March 11, 2014 1:40pm is a company that provides the copyright licensing that grants you permission to reproduce materials - sometimes lyrics only, sometimes music only, and sometimes music and lyrics.  For every song that you use, the lyrics and the words will (usually) each have their own copyright.  We reprint music and words in our service guide for one of our services, and we purchase licenses with 3 separate companies in order to reproduce everything we use - CCLI,, and
These companies are not necessarily in the business of providing the lyrics and/or sheet music; they're just in the business of giving you the necessary permission to reproduce the information.  You can't project songs (or reproduce them in your service guide) without the proper licensing - it is illegal.
It is important to note that each of the 3 major licensing organizations (the ones I listed) all do business with different copyright holders.  That is why we, for example, have all 3 licenses.  Whenever I want to use a new song I have to look on the websites to see which company covers it, and then I inlcude that information when I print the song for our service guide.
I'm not aware of any company or website that provides music and lyrics graphics for projection on a screen, but I have not researched that much so perhaps someone else will chime in.  If I had a need to do something like that I would use music notation software to create my own image files; but then, that is what I do for our printed service guides already.
Julie Ford
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 12, 2014 9:28am
I sympathize with your preference for being able to see the music, Ron - based on practical experience in my small United Methodist Church, I think projecting the full treble/bass score may be more or less feasible & desirable depending on (1) the size of your screen, (2) the characteristics and limitations of any e-worship software you may use, (3) the degree to which your congregation typically finds the musical score useful.
As a musician, I always prefer to see music, not just lyrics (as do, surprisingly, quite a few people who don't read music) - but with most projection systems/screens and - for those not using projectors - large electronic screens/monitors, the full image of the score is likely to be too big to place in its entirety on the screen and still have words & music large enough to be easy to read. Viewing the words/music line by line may or may not work depending on the width of the screen.
The worship software my church has, e-Worship, limits the width of the image/line. This often makes it impossible to command line breaks - for example, when I have asked our tech assistant to set up the words on screen so that the line breaks in the lyrics synchronize with the musical phrases of the hymn, he seldom can do it because e-Worship fits line breaks automatically to suit the font size and number of lines on the screen. When the font is large enough to be read from the back pews, the entire musical/lyrical phrase usually doesn't fit the width of the screen on one line. I find this very frustrating because people find it much easier (especially when learning new hymns) to fit the words on screen to the tune they're hearing, if the line breaks coincide with the ends of musical phrases.
As regards licensing, our church uses CCLI and CVLI licensing.
Toni Gould
Northlawn United Methodist Church
Grand Rapids, MI
on March 12, 2014 12:57pm
I know that Newman Center in Eugene, OR, uses OCP and projects the lyrics/notation ( as seen in Breaking Bread). Perhaps they might have info.
on March 13, 2014 10:42am
I like Onelicense .net MUCH better than Licensing.  It is easy to access and you have lyrics and notation available.  That's what our church uses every Sunday.
Janet Marks
on March 13, 2014 12:53pm
I just want to reiterate the fact that these two companies do NOT cover the same music; so the choice of one over the other would be very much dependant on the repertoire one is planning to reproduce.  Onelicense covers companies such as Augsburg, Hope, and GIA, among others.  Licensingonline covers New Dawn, OCP, and Ylvisaker, among others.  It is important to make sure the words and/or music one wishes to reproduce is actually covered by the company with which one has a license :)  I've even encountered situations where the words were covered by one company, and the music was covered by another.
Julie Ford
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.