More people are turning to hymns during this pandemic. According to Hymnary.org, users of the online database doubled as the novel coronavirus closed many church buildings this spring, and the website now is nearing 40 million page views for 2020, its highest ever.
"I do think that this time we're in when everything is turned upside down makes everybody search for meaning, opens them up to the presence of God, looking for ways to express their spirituality, so there are more people searching for such things," said Harry Plantinga, a professor of computer science at Calvin University and founder of Hymnary.org.
"There are also just the people who aren't going to church to worship. They're worshipping at home and they need the resources."
Hymnary.org is an online hymn and worship music database for worship leaders, hymnologists and music lovers, featuring more than 1 million hymns.
Plantinga founded the website in 2007, which now is funded through the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Over the past year, Hymnary.org saw a jump in users in March and April as many churches moved online to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That number likely will hit 7.8 million users by the end of the week, up 20% from the year before, according to the website.