Cambodian Church Music

Currently, the music sung in the Church Meetings comes from a booklet of about 40 hymns and 5 children songs translated and published at least 10 years ago. While this is a real blessing to the Cambodian Saints, many wonderful church songs are omitted. To resolve this, the Church Priesthood Review Committee called two committees to review hymns and songs that had been translated.

Sister Tuck is on both music committees, one for the regular Church Hymnal and the other for the Children Sing songbook. The committees are called to review the translation and make sure the words make sense, fit the music and are doctrinally correct. Sister Tuck focuses on the words fitting the music. Since she does not speak the language, we have a translator go through the songs in Khmae and Romanize the words so that Sister Tuck can sing them. Kunthea, our translator has gotten very good at this and has found many translation errors and probably ought to be on the committee as well. Each committee has four people assigned to it with one of the employees from the translation department overseeing the review work. Committee meetings are held periodically to combine everyone’s findings.

So far, just over half the hymns and songs have been translated and reviewed by the committees and turned over to the translation department to consolidate the review findings.

After this phase of the review process completes, a Priesthood Review committee will do another review then the books will be sent to be typeset, reviewed again, and then printed. Since the finished products will be the standard Cambodian Hymnal and Children Sing books for years to come, it is imperative they be done correctly, and the committees Sister Tuck is on is only an early step in the process. While we would like to take the completed books home with us when we finish our mission we do not expect the process to be finished in time.

Sister Tuck is pleased to be part of this project and is excited by the wonderful hymns and songs that will soon be available to the Cambodian Saints.

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