Carl P. Daw, Jr.

Lecturer of Hymnology, Curator of the Hymnological Collections, Retired

The Reverend Dr. Carl P. Daw Jr. is an Episcopal priest and writer who served as the Executive Director of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada from 1996 to 2009, while this ecumenical and international organization had its headquarters at Boston University School of Theology. Dr. Daw retired his post as an Adjunct Professor of Hymnology in the Master of Sacred Music program in 2019. He also acted as the Curator of the Hymnological Collections in the School of Theology Library.

In addition to his experience as a parish priest and university chaplain, Dr. Daw has served as a retreat leader, speaker, workshop leader, and guest lecturer at many conferences and seminaries throughout the United States. He has been successively Secretary and Chair of the Standing Commission on Church Music of the Episcopal Church and was a consultant member of the Text Committee for The Hymnal 1982, to which he contributed a number of translations, metrical paraphrases, and original hymns. His texts have subsequently appeared in most denominational and ecumenical hymnals published in the United States and Canada. They also can be found in hymnals in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and have been translated into Spanish, German, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. (In conjunction with his lecture tour of Japan in 2002, the United Church of Christ in Japan published a collection of 25 of his hymns in Japanese.) Anthem settings of approximately seventy of his texts are currently in print. Hope Publishing Co. has issued five collections of his hymns: A Year of Grace: Hymns for the Church Year (1990), To Sing God’s Praise (1992), New Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1996), Gathered for Worship (2006), and Prayer Rising into Song (2016). He was a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee for The Hymnal 1982 Companion and wrote the essay on “The Spirituality of Anglican Hymnody” in Volume I and numerous text commentaries in Volume III. In 1994 Church Hymnal Corporation published Breaking the Word: Essays on the Liturgical Dimensions of Preaching, for which he was the editor and contributor of two essays. He collaborated with Kevin R. Hackett in creating A Hymntune Psalter, initially issued in two volumes by Church Publishing, Inc., 1998–1999, then re-issued in a Revised Common Lectionary version, 2007-2008. With Thomas Pavlechko he compiled the three volumes of Liturgical Music for the Revised Common Lectionary (Church Publishing, Inc., 2007-2009), giving scripture-based choir and congregational song suggestions for each Sunday of the three-year cycle. His most substantial hymnological work is Glory to God: A Companion (Westminster John Knox Press, 2016), which provides that 2013 Presbyterian hymnal with historical background for each text and tune as well as biographical information about each author, composer, translator, and arranger. He has written a variety of articles related to liturgy and music and has reviewed related materials for The St. Luke’s Journal of Theology, The Anglican Theological Review, and The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Daw grew up in a succession of towns in Tennessee where his father was a Baptist pastor. He taught for eight years in the English Department of the College of William and Mary before entering seminary. Following his ordination, he served for three years as Assistant Rector of Christ and Grace Church in Petersburg, Virginia, and for nine years as Vicar-Chaplain of St. Mark’s Chapel at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He then spent three years as a resident Companion of the Community of Celebration in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and served in various interim and supply ministries in that area.