A hymnal or hymnary is a collection of hymns, usually in the form of a book, called a hymnbook (or hymn book). Hymnals are used in congregational singing. A hymnal may contain only hymn texts (normal for most hymnals for most centuries of Christian history); written melodies are extra, and more recently harmony parts have also been provided.

Hymnals are omnipresent in churches but they are not often discussed; nevertheless, liturgical scholar Massey H. Shepherd once observed: "in all periods of the Church’s history, the theology of the people has been chiefly molded by their hymns."


In the early stage, the Christian concept of an angel characterized the angel as a messenger of God. Later came identification of individual angelic messengers: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel. Then, in the space of little more than two centuries (from the 3rd to the 5th) the image of angels took on definite characteristics both in theology and in art.


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Wolfgang Moroder. Two Angels Stained glass window in the Saint Antony church in St. Ulrich in Gröden, Sketched by Sdcason.com, CC BY-SA 3.0

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