In this article the convergence of the religion and national identity of the Afrikaner is examined and related to the influence of these views on the hymnological tradition of the Afrikaner. It is argued that some metrical psalms used to be particularly popular especially because of the parallels seen between Israel of the Bible and the Afrikaner nation. The hymns or metrical psalms usually sung on the Day of the Covenant are significant in indicating the `national' hymns - hymns or metrical psalms that played a role in promoting national identity. Folk hymn tunes that may be seen as part of the national heritage, and the influence of hymnals in Afrikaans on the national identity are discussed. It is shown that an overbearing demand for preservation and protection of the national heritage' has hampered the development of a true Afrikaans hymnody and that an inspired new Afrikaans hymnody is still to be developed.