Ethical use of music resources

While many congregations have purchased hymnals and the music for worship, owning these materials does not guarantee permission to stream the performance of that music to a wider audience. Even printing the words in a handout or posting them on a screen requires permission, unless the materials are in the public domain. There are FAQs available on appropriate use of hymnals and resources published by Brethren Press.

This is important as our congregation ethics polity asks that congregations seek permissions when using resources and music.

Thankfully, this is an easy issue to resolve. There are two main providers for permissions to use music in worship: OneLicense and CCLI provide permissions to reprint and other streaming licensing. Both service providers have two different licensing products—one just for reprinting permissions and another that includes streaming rights.

Both these services, and any effort to reach composers, authors, or publishers for resources not covered by OneLicense or CCLI, assure that the work is compensated.

For music and resources found in Hymnal: A Worship Book, congregations may use anything in the public domain or anything that fits into the categories outlined in the first paragraph on page 862. The same goes for Hymnal Supplement (refer to the acknowledgments section in the back of the hymnal). Obtaining a license from OneLicense or CCLI will cover most of the remaining hymns. If you have questions about a particular hymn or resource, contact