The rapid rise of technology has led to ways of worship that would have been unthinkable even twenty years ago. Then the Overhead Projector (OHP) with often handwritten transparencies was considered very daring! Now multi media projectors and sound systems are a regular part of worship in many churches. This enables those leading worship to use a wealth of material from outside the regular hymn-book. Using a PC (personal computer) or equivalent, brings a new form of creativity to a congregation.
For many, using a projector for viewing song or hymn words
is the easiest way of introducing fresh songs without the need
for additional sheets of
There are some other advantages in using the screen including
But beware - there are difficulties! Some people are prevented from using the screen because of poor eyesight. Provision in the form of sheets (preferably large print) should always be available for those that require them.
Presenting song words on to a screen can actually change the
way we think as we sing which is an important part of worship
- only one verse or a few lines at a time will appear on the
screen and this makes it difficult to anticipate the words to
come or reflect on what has already been sung.
If the main reason for getting a projector is because it is thought that it will no longer be necessary to print sheets for new hymns think again! There will still need to be printed copies and in any case you will still need to ensure that you, or your church, have copyright clearance to produce copies of, or display, these words.
There are several commercial packages available and a internet search brings up a good selection. These packages usually include good databases of popular songs and hymns, which can be quickly found and used in a service even when unplanned. Many newer hymnbooks include the words on a CD with the music edition.
Increasingly words can be downloaded from the internet. There are also large song and hymn databases included in software programmes such as HymnQuest (Stainer and Bell ) or Visual Liturgy (Church House Publishing). These packages allow for change of point size etc. Powerpoint can also be used but this does requires creating slides for every song individually. However it is popular and versatile.
Whether preparing your own slides, or using a commercial package which can be tailored to your own requirements is your chosen method the following are suggestions which you may find helpful:
Choice of Font: dont be tempted by the large variety on most computers. Choose a clear font like Arial or even Times Roman. Resist the curly fonts these look good on the computer screen but often do not translate to a larger screen successfully. The use of Bold or Italic can add some enhancement.
Size of Print and Line Spacing : for hymns 36 point
is ideal anything smaller than 32 point may give
some readers difficulties. Using 1.25 spaces between lines aids
legibility. Sometimes it is necessary to use to 2 slides per
verse, take care make the break sensitively - half way through
a verse, or, if there is a chorus putting
Remember that if there is a chorus it needs to be projected after each verse.
Colour: Many visually impared people find that black
text on white background is not the most visible combination.
Yellow on black,
The details of the author and copyright holder together with the CCLicence number should be printed at the end of each hymn.
When considering placing a picture or video clip as
a backdrop to song word remember that this can drastically affect
the legibility of the
USING THE SCREEN TO PROJECT WORDS FOR PRAYERS, MEDITATIONS,
Use words on screen to present special or
Make the service more user-friendly to
Put scripture readings up on screen.
Project prayers and responses.
AND DO REMEMBER THAT LESS IS MORE
Published by the URC Musicians' Guild 2009