Nashville, April, 2020 – As we continue to receive requests for clarification about use of copyrighted resources online during the crisis, United Methodist Publishing House is emphasizing full permission for churches to use worship materials, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.
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 acknowledgement is included in the reproduction.”
Each worship service is a one-time use. Therefore, churches are free to reproduce the liturgical text as needed (with the obvious 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 which 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.
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.
“The preface of the Book of Worship entreats, ‘May God’s grace be with all who use this book,’” said Rev. Brian Milford, President & Publisher. “As we gather online for encouragement and worship while physically separated, the Publishing House wants every congregation to know that they are authorized to use this treasure trove of resources.”