I find that if I know more about a piece of music that I appreciate it more. That is certainly very important with hymns and praise songs! I'm sad to admit that sometimes I sing along on the hymns, but don't really stop to think about what I am singing. When we think about the lyrics, the Scriptures that they come from, the stories and feelings behind the composers who felt moved to create them, we will understand more about our Maker and can truly use the songs to worship Him as we should! To help myself to do that more (and anyone else who may be interested), I have collected some websites which contain lyrics, sheet music, MP3's, composer information, Scripture references, and other little treasures! I hope they will be helpful to you!
Sacred Hymns & Their History from Invitation to Christ
Charles Wesley's Hymns ~ "Great Hymnwriter and Co-Founder of Methodism": Information regarding the hymns of Mr. Wesley.
Church Music ~ Search for sheet music for several hymns, children's resources including videos of ASL, and Learning Materials.
Great Christian Hymns ~ Hymn lyrics listed in several categories for easy searching.
Hymnary ~ Wow, this site has alot of stuff! I was a little confused at first, but once I made my way around, I liked what I saw. Search music by name, composer, lyrics, Bible reference to find sheet music, midi files, lyrics, and important related information. CCEH is a related site - I think it is their older version, but it had some cool stuff, too.
Hymn at Wikipedia ~ research the definition and history of hymns.
Hymn Lyrics ~ Well, Hymn Lyrics! It looks like it some a relationship with Rhapsody in some way, but I didn't read the details. It looks like it has interesting things, but some are by paid membership, others are free.
Hymnal Net ~ This site has the hymns in the categories of classic hymns, new tunes, new songs, children's songs, Scripture songs, and favorites. A midi track, lyrics, and guitar / piano leadsheets are available for free.
HymnSite ~ Find tons of hymns to download: lyrics, midi files, and sheet music; online hymn crossword puzzles, search indexes, and links to numerous other hymn sites.
Lutheran Hymnal ~ free MP3 recordings, lyrics, and more.
NetHymnal (Also known as Cyber Hymnal) ~ "Over 10,000 Christian hymns, Author Bios, Composer Biographies, Hymn Histories and Gospel songs from many denominations. You’ll find lyrics, scores, MIDI files, pictures, history, & more. Searchable, advanced Autoplay feature, free downloads. New entries every week. User friendly. This worship & teaching resource is provided as a public service."
Popular Hymns ~ Lyrics and stories of 100 popular hymns.
I have to admit I don't understand all the copyright laws as far as what is public domain and what is not, but I don't want to steal something that perhaps in a copyright infringement as I'm sure you don't either. Please view each site with careful judgement as to how you understand the rules. I am not trying to place judgement, I just know in the music world that it can be confusing at times even within a well meaning ministry. With that is mind, here are some others. ??
Gary LeBlanc Music Ministry ~ sheet music and midi files.