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Nashville, March, 2020 – The outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States and the resulting cancellation of group gatherings has led many United Methodist churches to plan online virtual worship experiences.

To assure that local churches have the resources they need, the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) announced that it is granting permission to use and post online selected contents from the United Methodist Book of Worship (BOW) as congregations care for their members during the international health crisis.

UMPH publicized that selections from the General Services (pages 13 – 171) in the BOW for which UMPH holds the copyrights, are available for use in streaming services at no cost through April 30, 2020.  Permission is granted only for content listed showing The United Methodist Publishing House, the Methodist Publishing House, or Abingdon Press as the copyright holder in the Acknowledgments section found in the back of the Book of Worship.

For hymns and tunes from hymnals and songbooks, UMPH recommends churches use a license from OneLicense or CCLI, both of which administer music rights for multiple copyright holders. OneLicense has also announced that it is granting free licenses for one month during COVID-19 pandemic.

 “John Wesley exhorted the people called Methodists to ‘sing lustily and with good courage’” said Rev. Brian Milford, UMPH President and Publisher.  He noted that “Wesley also urged that we worship with ‘an eye to God in every word’ we utter and in this period of crisis these wonderful resources for online worship may be used without cost.”

UMPH has granted permission for the free use of the worship aids through April 30, 2020.

UMPH sent this letter to the Council of Bishops (pdf)