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Hymn Books

Hymn Books

Here are details of the main hymn books that were used by the Welsh Methodists.
The importance of the hymns of Charles Wesley to English Methodists was always a problem for the Welsh Methodists. From the beginning great efforts were made to translate his hymns into Welsh by John Hughes, John Bryan and others. Bryan especially attempted to produce translations that would convey the poetic quality of Charles Wesley’s hymns. Despite these efforts it is the Calvinistic Methodist William Williams, Pantycelyn who has been the most important hymn writer for the Wesleyan Methodists.

Diferion y Cyssegr [Drops from the Sanctuary] (1802)
This first hymn book was prepared by John Hughes, one of the early missionaries to Wales. The influence of John Wesley’s A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People Called Methodists (1780) is clear in the arrangement of the hymns. The books contains 226 hymns, including some original Welsh hymns, especially those of William Williams, Pantycelyn, and also translations of English hymns, especially by Charles Wesley and Isaac Watts.
Revised editions were published in 1804, 1807, 1809 and 1812.

Casgliad o Hymnau [A Collection of Hymns] (1817)
Unlike Diferion y Cyssegr this new book was published in London under the authority of the Connexion. David Rogers, John Williams (1) and William Jones were chosen as editors. The book contained 421 hymns of which 250 were not in Diferion y Cyssegr.

Casgliad o Hymnau at Wasanaeth y Methodistiaid Wesleyaidd [A Collections of Hymns for the Use of the Wesleyan Methodists] (1845)
A revised edition of the 1817 book including 1040 hymns of which 223 were translations from John Wesley’s hymn book and its supplements.

Llyfr Emynau y Methodistiaid Wesleyaidd [The Wesleyan Methodist Hymn Book] (1900)
The book includes 928 hymns of which 131 are by William Williams, Pantycelyn and 108 are translations of hymns by Charles Wesley. This was the last time that a book for Welsh Methodists included so many of Charles Wesley’s hymns.
Revised editions were published in 1902, 1904 and 1916.

Llyfr Emynau y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd a Wesleaidd [The Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodist Hymn Book] (1927, with a tune book 1929)
This was a very important book in the history of Welsh Methodism. 770 hymns were selected, including 248 by William Williams, Pantycelyn. Since the panel responsible for the book gave priority to original Welsh hymns rather than translations there are only 22 hymns by Charles Wesley in the book.
A supplement containing 212 additional hymns was published in 1985.

Caneuon Ffydd [Songs of Faith] (2001)
This interdenominational hymn book was prepared by representatives of the Baptists, Independents (Congregationalists), Methodists, Presbyterians (Calvinistic Methodists) and the Church in Wales. The book is used today by the majority of Welsh-language Nonconformists and some Anglican churches. It includes 873 hymns. Distinguished Methodist hymn writers and translators from the twentieth century include D. Tecwyn Evans, Gwilym R. Tilsley, Tudor Davies and E. H. Griffiths.
Cydymaith Caneuon Ffydd [A Companion to Caneuon Ffydd] by Delyth G. Morgans was published in 2006.

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