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Use of UM materials in online worship

Worship resources for online use

Easy access to essential worship aids continues as the United Methodist Publishing House extends permission for use of UMPH copyrighted materials through December 31, 2021.

July 2021 | NASHVILLE – The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) is extending full permission to all churches for use of UMPH copyrighted worship materials through December 31, 2021. Due to the extraordinary challenges faced by churches and others, UMPH (Cokesbury and Abingdon Press) is assuring easy access to essential aids and use of the Common English Bible for online worship and studies.

The copyright page in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship grants permission as follows: 

  • “United Methodist congregations may reproduce for worship or educational purposes any item from The United Methodist Book of Worship for one-time use, as in a bulletin, special program, or lesson resource, provided that the copyright notice and acknowledgment is included in the reproduction.”  
  • Each worship service is one-time use. Therefore, churches are free to reproduce the liturgical text as needed (with the exception of the copyrighted service music on pages 173-223).

Further, during the COVID-19 crisis, UMPH is waiving the need to ask permission to livestream and/or record worship services that read, perform, or display liturgical text from the UM Book of Worship. UMPH encourages churches to utilize streaming licenses from OneLicense or CCLI to stream copyrighted service music from The United Methodist Hymnal. Many items appear in the UM Hymnal by permission of the copyright holders and UMPH cannot grant blanket permission to use their intellectual property.

No additional permission is required for any United Methodist congregation to reproduce the liturgical text in the context of an online or physically gathered worship service or, during the COVID-19 crisis, to livestream worship services and/or record and post them on a private site during this period. 

This permission does not extend to events other than worship services or events where admission is charged or registration fees are collected or copies are duplicated in a resource for sale.

When quotations from the Common English Bible (CEB) are used in non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies, or similar media (which includes one-time use during live audio or video streaming), the initials (CEB) may be used at the end of each quotation.

The CEB text may be quoted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor account for twenty-five percent (25%) of the written text of the total work or live event in which they are quoted.

Questions? Please address inquiries to permissions@umpublishing.org.