A complete rebuild of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ popular Sacred Music app released in July includes new features, improved functions and a more modern look and feel. It’s the first of several improved music experiences to come, say Church leaders and product managers.
For years, Latter-day Saints have widely used the Sacred Music app in home and Sunday worship. The app is one of several Church music resources meant to teach doctrine, increase spirituality and deepen faith and conversion to Jesus Christ and His gospel through sacred music.
“We are happy to provide these music resources that will strengthen worship at home and at church,” said Elder Valeri V. Cordón, a General Authority Seventy who serves as adviser to the hymnbook revision efforts.
“The Lord expressed His feelings about sacred music to Emma Smith in 1830,” said Elder Cordón. “He said that it pleased Him for the Saints ‘to make a selection of sacred hymns … to be had in my church,’ and that His soul delights ‘in the song of the heart’ (see Doctrine and Covenants 25:11–12). When we sing or play sacred music, we invite the Lord’s blessings into our lives, and we grow closer to Him.”
Sacred Music app’s new features
According to Ed Krenicky, a music product manager for the Church, the app’s improved user interface meets the needs of music listeners and music performers. “Music listeners will enjoy the ease of adding music they love to playlists,” he said. “Music performers will love the ease of finding sheet music for choir or for special musical numbers.”
- Improved searching and filtering (in Android).
- New functions for creating and managing playlists.
- User-friendly navigation.
- Share and print capabilities for sheet music (in iOS).
Improved searching and filtering
It’s now easier to find music users are looking for in the Android version. A topical index helps users search for music on a specific topic. The revamped search function includes a full-text search engine and various options for filtering.
New playlist functions help compile, manage and share playlists from various albums. Users can also download and easily manage music for offline listening.
Easily switch among various audio options and between views of sheet music and lyrics. Use additional options in settings to select a language, adjust for dark mode and choose the font style of lyrics.
Share and print capabilities for sheet music
In the iOS version, resize sheet music or select a PDF version that can easily be shared through digital tools or printed. This makes it easy for ward and stake choir directors to distribute music for free from the Church Music Library.
What’s still to come for Church music
“More resources will be delivered in the coming months and years, and we hope they all will help you grow closer to the Lord,” Elder Cordón said.
Those resources include improvements to the Church music web page as well as ongoing work by volunteers and Church employees, under the direction of Church leaders, to revise the hymnbook and “Children’s Songbook” to meet the needs of a global Church.
“Because this will be our first collection of sacred music in the digital age, these updates on our digital music channels will prepare the Church to interact with sacred music content in ways we never have before,” said Krenicky. “We are excited to share more of our sacred music efforts in the years to come.”
Frequently asked questions
1. Who is the main audience for sacred music content and what can sacred music do for them?
The app is especially useful for Latter-day Saints interested in listening to sacred music and finding sheet music, but everyone is welcome to use sacred music to:
- Increase faith in and worship of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- Teach and learn core doctrine.
- Joyfully sing praises to the Lord.
- Find comfort and peace.
- Feel unified with God’s children.
2. How does the Sacred Music app differ from the music offerings in the Gospel Library app?
The Sacred Music App contains the official music library of the Church, comprising over 5,000 songs in English and music content in over 50 non-English languages.
3. I have an idea or feedback for the Sacred Music app. How can I send it in?
A “Send Feedback” form is available in the settings section of the app. “Please submit feature requests, questions you have, bugs you are seeing, or if you just want to send a compliment,” said Krenicky. “We love hearing from our users.”
4. In how many languages is the app available?
The Sacred Music app is available in 28 languages, with more to come. Available content varies for each language. The language scope of the app will be expanded to allow for additional content to be published as it is made available.
5. Is all the music in the app available for use in sacrament meeting?
While all music content in the Sacred Music app may be considered for use at home and at church, music selections for sacrament meeting should be approved by local leadership. Church leaders and members with music callings should work together to intentionally select music to facilitate worship, complementing the spoken word in church meetings. Music selected for choirs and special musical numbers should be at an appropriate skill level for those involved in the musical number.
6. Where can I learn more about current Church music efforts?
- Hymnbook and ‘Children’s Songbook’ revisions
- Annual music submission
- Sacrament meeting hymns feature in Gospel Library
- Churchwide talent database