Carl P. Daw, Jr.


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 continues as an Adjunct Professor of Hymnology in the Master of Sacred Music program and acts as the Curator of the Hymnological Collections in the STH 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 England, Scotland, and Australia and have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, 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 four 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), and Gathered for Worship (2006). 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, SSJE, in creating the two-volume A Hymntune Psalter, which Church Publishing, Inc. issued, 1998–1999, as well as the later Revised Common Lectionary version, 2007-2008. With Thomas Pavlechko he compiled Liturgical Music for the Revised Common Lectionary (Church Publishing, Inc., 2007-2009), which provides scripture-based choir and congregational song suggestions for each Sunday of the three-year cycle. Other publications include Glory to God: A Companion (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2016). 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. In 2007 he was made a Fellow of the Hymn Society and a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music (U.K.) in 2011. He has received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Virginia Theological Seminary (2009) and the University of the South (2012).

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.