Difference Between Anthem and Hymn

Key Difference – Anthem vs Hymn
 

Although the two terms anthem and hymn both refer to a song, there is a distinct difference between anthem and hymn. A hymn is a religious song of praise to God or a deity whereas an anthem is an uplifting song that symbolizes a particular group or cause. The key difference between anthem and hymn is the fact that hymn is a religious song whereas anthem is not. 

What is an Anthem?

The term anthem basically refers to a song of praise, loyalty, happiness or celebration. This song serves as a symbol for a particular group, body or cause.

A national anthem is a patriotic song officially adopted by a country as an expression of national identity. A national anthem usually pays homage to the history, traditions, culture and struggles of the people and provoke patriotical feelings. “La Marseillaise” (France), “The Star-Spangled Banner” (the USA), “God save the queen” (the UK), “Jana Gana Mana” (India), etc. are some examples of national anthems.

When the national anthem is being played, the people should always stand at attention. Although different countries have different etiquettes, standing during the national anthem is a common practice.

The term anthem can also refer to a musical setting of a religious text to be sung by a choir during a church service, particularly in Anglican or Protestant Churches.

Key Difference - Anthem vs Hymn

What is a Hymn?

A hymn is a religious song or poem of praise to God. Technically, the term hymn refers to the written text which is intended to be sung. The singing or compositions of hymns are called hymnody. A collection of hymns is known as a hymn or a hymn book. A hymn is addressed to a deity or deities and is specially written for the purpose of adoration or prayer. Hymns may or may not be accompanied by instruments.

Although the term hymn is usually associated with Christian churches, hymns are used in various religions, particularly religions in the Indian subcontinent.

Difference Between Anthem and Hymn

What is the difference between Anthem and Hymn?

Definition:

Anthem is a song of praise, loyalty, happiness or celebration.

Hymn is a religious song , addressed to a deity.

Symbol:

Anthem is used as a symbol for a particular group, body or cause.

Hymn is only used for religious purposes; it’s not used as a symbol.

Official Purposes:

National Anthem is officially adopted by a country as an expression of national identity.

Hymn has no official purpose.

Deity:

Anthem is not addressed to a deity.

Hymn is addressed to a deity or deities.

Music:

Anthems are usually accompanied by music.

Hymns may or may not be accompanied by music.

Image Courtesy:

“Worshippers at holy angel catholic church on chicago’s south side. It is the city’s largest black catholic church…. – NARA – 556238.” By John H. White, 1945-, Photographer (NARA record: 4002141) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

“Mexican Fans Anthem” By Santiago LLobet from Barcelona, Spain – Himno Nacional (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia