Bayern, USA, Deutschland

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lutheran Hymnals

Early this morning, I finished a project I had undertaken nine months ago: compiling the hymns from a number of American Lutheran hymnals. Praise the Lord! I cross-referenced all the hymns from the LCMS, ALC/ELCA, and ELS. The document ended at 49 pages.

I haven't done a detailed analysis of the hymn traditions between American Lutherans, but I did note that some hymns appear in every (or nearly every) hymnal. Obviously, "A Mighty Fortress" would be one of those hymns. I found also that you can visually see a hymn's genealogy among the LCMS and ELCA. Each of these synods has a very definite core of hymns unique to their history. It is also interesting to see what hymns were in early hymnals, but were dropped from later ones.

Now I can pick up in earnest my other hymnal project: translating untranslated hymns from Synod's German hymnal (i.e. those German hymns that never made it into our English hymnals).

1 comment:

Peter said...

In July, the LCMS expressed thanks to the committee for the recently published LSB (Lutheran Service Book). This morning the ELCA in assembly also expressed thanks to their committee for their recently published ELW (Evangelical Lutheran Worship). My personal experience with LSB has been very positive. Many others I have talked to also express the blessings of LSB. I haven't delved into ELW in great depth, except to look at the hymns. There is a great difference in hymnody between LSB and ELW, partially due to the old European ethnicities which comprise both church bodies, and also partly due to the direction both church bodies have taken over the past decades. Theologically, the LCMS and the ELCA are on diverging paths on several theological issues; their respective hymnals reflect that divergence. The saying is true: lex orandi, lex credendi (How a person worships shows what that person believes).