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Title: New Lutheran Hymnals: Evangelical Lutheran Worship and Lutheran Service Book
Contributor(s): Knijff, Jan-Piet (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) both brought out new a hymnal at the end of 2006 (published by Augsburg Fortress and Concordia Publishing House respectively). As has become customary in the latter part of the twentieth century-for example, Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW, 1978), Lutheran Worship (LW, 1982), and With One Voice (WOV, 1995)-the titles of the new books reflect their character as "service books," not just hymnals. The ELCA book is simply called Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW has already become a familiar abbreviation), the LCMS book Lutheran Service Book (LSB). In this review I compare the two books in a general way. I will then discuss a number of issues I have met with in working with ELW during the past six months or so. Whenever possible, I compare the ELW situation with LSB. Since I am a professional musician and musicologist and at best an amateur theologian, I will concentrate on the music, though I also make some remarks that relate to the text of a hymn. That these two hymnals have actually come out as "hard copies" (rather than on CD or as a "virtual" hymnal in the Internet, with the possibility of downloading and printing out in service bulletins) is remarkable enough in the early twenty-first century. Surely, many churchgoers still enjoy holding a book in their hands to sing and pray from, but many younger people prefer a light-weight and user-friendly one-service-only bulletin. And perhaps even more prefer not holding anything at all but to read the words of a hymn (or should we say "song") projected on a piece of white wall in the sanctuary. How these tendencies influence the decisions of churches to purchase hard copies of a new hymnal for the whole congregation (often hundreds of copies) remains to be seen. Another possible problem with the introduction - at least in the ELCA - is that many churches have just become comfortable with the combined use of LBW and the more recent WOV. In many places, changing to a new hymnal will not be considered a high priority.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: CrossAccent: Journal of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, 15(2), p. 25-31
Publisher: Valparaiso University
Place of Publication: Valparaiso, United States of America
Field of Research (FOR): 220401 Christian Studies (incl Biblical Studies and Church History)
190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
190407 Music Performance
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 950101 Music
950405 Religious Structures and Ritual
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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