As worries mount about the global pandemic of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, ONE LICENSE is in a unique position to offer creative solutions to our License Holders to continue inspiring congregational song. Churches, schools, retreat centers, and other worshiping bodies are raising concerns, including limiting the use of hymnals, avoiding the use of shared worship aids, and also the added stress from reduced attendance as the unpredictability of the situation continues.
The ONE LICENSE team would like to offer the following tips on navigating community worship during this very challenging time. We believe that education is power and hope that you find these tips helpful and easy to implement at your organization.
If you prefer printed resources…
- Many communities are recommending that churches refrain from using hymnals or subscription-based worship aids. If you use hymnals or song books, consider wiping them down with a sanitizing wipe and storing them away for future use.
- Design a worship aid for your congregation, using a valid license. This can be as simple as a folded piece of paper with the congregational songs printed on it, which can be recycled following services. With a ONE LICENSE Annual Reprint License, you have permission to reprint anything from our catalog of 80,000+ titles from 180+ publishing houses and 110+ additional song catalogs.
- Need a more basic resource than a worship aid? Consider a one-page leaflet that has the music printed on the front and back. It doesn’t need to be fancy — just remember to include all copyright and licensing information. Although this would add a bit of waste, consider printing an individual copy for each person to eliminate the need for sharing.
- Already print a weekly bulletin? Consider adding a page with music or reducing your content to make room to include the congregational music in the bulletin for the time being. Since these are already individualized and leave with the person or family, this would cut down on waste.
If technology is at your disposal…
- Utilize a projection screen to display the words and/or music, along with your copyright and licensing information on the slide. This would reduce the amount of materials your congregation comes into personal contact with.
- While churches have always requested that personal devices be turned to silent during the service, perhaps the solution that is the easiest to implement is to encourage the use of personal devices during the service. All you would need to do is post the worship aid on your community’s website and then have those in attendance access it with their tablets or cell phones. This not only cuts down on waste from printed materials, but also limits the surfaces each individual comes into contact with. Regardless of a growing pandemic, this option is always available to License Holders—just be sure that the number of people accessing the music is in line with your average weekly attendance category and that all licensing and copyright information is included. For example: Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-007343. All rights reserved.
- Add a Podcast / Streaming License to your Annual Reprint License subscription. This will allow your organization to live stream or post pre-recorded services on your website, Facebook page, YouTube, email newsletter, or other social media. This can be especially helpful if you are in a high-exposure area or want to engage with members who are elderly, at risk, or have compromised immune systems.
We encourage all of our partners to continue engaging their ministries and inspiring congregational song while following the safety guidelines necessary for our collective health and heeding all official communications from their Diocese and leadership bodies. For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.
Did you find this helpful? Have another idea that would benefit your peers? Email us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image copyright: Nikko Tan. This image is available for free download at pexels.com.