African American Spirituals and the Lectionary: A Practical Guide for Worship by Nancy L. Graham is a new resource for musicians who want to incorporate spirituals into their Sunday worship. It adapts the spirituals included in the major hymnals and their supplements. There are spirituals relating to each lesson in the Revised Common Lectionary, and as the editor notes, “a congregation could sing four spirituals per week for three years and would probably grow from the experience.” In addition to the listing of the spirituals Sunday by Sunday, you can see which hymnals include each song. I recommend this new resource for anyone wishing to include the singing of more spirituals in their worship.
Ellen Johnston is the Director of the Center for Liturgy and Music.