A Review of the Guitar Edition of the ”Christian Worship Supplement” from NPH

the Christian Worship Supplement

My church has recently ordered a copy the Guitarist’s edition of the CW Supplement for my use in worship.  Physically, it is a collection of 3-hole punched pages containing the lead sheets and chords of almost all of the new hymns and songs added to the new hymnal supplement.

Upon closer inspection, my smile grew bigger and bigger.  I am a picky guitarist.  I’m an old codger who’s been playing for almost 40 years now, and I know when chords have been simplified or when the guitar music has been written by a pianist.  This guitarist’s edition is first rate and extremely well done.  The chords are complex, but clearly illustrated, and the songs have been transposed into more guitar friendly keys where appropriate.  The editors and writers even knew enough to not transpose to a key above the third fret, which would force us guitarists to retune our guitars due to the intonation errors associated with such a high capo position.

All of the chords are clearly defined in a graphical format under each song.  In fact, the editors have included the original chord shapes and the new chord shapes in the songs that have been transposed.  This allows for both a beginner and an advanced guitarist to decide whether to play the song in the original key or at the transposed position.  A very nice feature indeed!

Another wonderful feature of this music is the fact that the chords have not been simplified.  There are some great slash chords such as C/E, D/F#, Bb/D, E7/G#, etc., suspended chords, major sevenths, and a liberal use of more intricate contemporary chord shapes (2s, 5s, +9s, etc.).  All of these chords are clearly identified in pictorial formats.

Another great feature is the fact that they have typically put all the lyrics under the melody line and the chord shapes.  There are very few instances where additional verses are written below the musical score and without chords.  This only occurs on the few songs that have many verses.

Lastly, I looked at a few of the hymns that were not put to guitar music and I can see why.  They are the types of hymns that would require a different chord for every note in the melody line.

Bottom line, if you are WELS, and a guitarist, you need this resource.  Kudos and a job well done goes to everyone on the hymnal supplement committee, the Commission on Worship, and the folks at NPH on this product, and not only for doing such a fine job, but for having the foresight to even include guitar music to the hymns.  I can’t wait to play some of these songs in worship.  This is a night and day improvement over the chords, or lack of chords (grrrr!), printed in the “Let All the People Praise You” songbooks.


4 thoughts on “A Review of the Guitar Edition of the ”Christian Worship Supplement” from NPH”

  1. I was raised WELS, however after a stormy separation from my wife and a joyful renewal, I am attending a independant Baptist church where I used to play with the praise band. I have longed for the WELS hymnal in a bass/guitar version and look forward to ordering it.


    1. Andrew,

      Thanks for the comment. Just to be clear, this guitarist’s edition is just for the hymnal supplement, not the entire hymnal that you are aware of. It contains a hundred or so songs.



      1. Hello, I am a guitar player that uses guitar to lead worship services 1 to 2 times a month at WELS Abiding Love in Loveland, CO. I have over 80% of Christian Worship transcribed for solo guitar including Liturgies and Psalms. These are very close to the actual organ arrangements and work well for the intermediate player. Be happy to share pdf’s. prsmau@yahoo.com


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