‘Colours of Grace’ contains hymns in 20 languages in all. Here the number of available translations varies. Hymns which have spread internationally in their original language have been taken over untranslated. These include liturgical hymns like Kyrie, Gloria and Hallelujah, but also spirituals and songs from Israel and Taizé. To help to understand them more precisely a non-singable paraphrase (in italics) has been added in the three conference languages of the CPCE.
Most hymns have been translated into different languages in the course of their dissemination. This process sometimes involved changes to content and melody. For the hymns in ‘Colours of Grace’ the verses in the languages concerned have been selected in such a way that they correspond in content. The verses have been numbered in the same way in each language. This makes it possible to sing hymns together in up to 9 languages. Where possible, the texts have been taken over from the current offcial hymnbooks in the languages in question. The degree of dissemination in the CPCE churches has played a key role in the choice or allocation of the melody.
In the printed book, the first line of text in the original language is put over each hymn. Abbreviations below this indicate the languages in which translations are printed. The text of the original language is in each case the first to be printed below; then follow, where they are available, the conference languages of the CPCE and after that further languages in alphabetical order. Many hymns have been given classic polyphonic settings; others are provided with simple harmonic indications for accompaniment with the guitar. Despite great efforts, not all the information about the origin and copyright of the songs could be obtained. The editor and publisher will be grateful for further details.