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The Hymnal in Every Home

March 30th, 2010
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Due to the — well, how else to put it than this? — spectacular success and reception of The Lutheran Service Book, Concordia Publishing House is launching an effort to place the hymnal into every home. Traditionally, for Lutherans, there have been three core books that have shaped and formed their faith and life: Bible, Catechism, Hymnal. Why the hymnal? The hymnal gives voice to faith, by means of the hymns that are beautiful poetic expressions of all aspects of our life as God’s people. Hymns give voice to our hope and fears, our sorrow and joy, our thanks and praise, that transcend any one of our ability to do so. Truly, we sing “with the whole people of God” as we use our hymnals, privately or alone, or in small groups. And so, in order to increase the use of the hymnal in this way, Concordia Publishing House will be featuring a regular series of articles on various aspects of the hymnal and encouraging our pastors and congregations to make a concerted “push” in their parish to get the hymnals beyond the pew racks and into the homes of our people. You can read more about this emphasis by visiting the CPH web site for the special Hymnal in Every Home campaign underway.

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Categories: CPH Resources
  1. Randy Bosch
    March 30th, 2010 at 09:42 | #1

    Bravo! Yes, the hymnal in every home is a key volume for daily use. A criticism, however: the title “…Service Book” teaches “for use in church only”.

    • March 30th, 2010 at 12:23 | #2

      Nothing we can do about the title, I trust our pastors to be able easily to explain what a blessing the hymnal is anywhere in any place.

  2. March 30th, 2010 at 11:05 | #3

    Any hope of there ever being:

    1) LSB with the complete Psalter (the most baffling aspect of the current Pew Edition by a long distance)?
    2) LSB Melody edition, small print?
    3) LSB Extended Pew Edition, with everything (Psalter, Propers LW-style, the hymns only in the Service Builder), for those with strong arms and back?

    With (1), every home with LSB would then really have the complete hymnal: Jesus’ and CPH’s.
    With (2), you could have a hymnal not only in every home but in every pocket.
    With (3), you would have a truly all-round resource, which together with the Treasury of Daily Prayer would have the potential to enrich Christian devotion and piety even more than is now the case.

    • March 30th, 2010 at 12:09 | #4

      @Pastor Simojoki:

      1) No, the Commission on Worship’s decision on this was, and still is, final and the hymnal won’t be changed from what was approved by our Synod’s convention, unless of course somebody would like to pursue this more formally via convention action. But the problem in doing this now would be that it would entirely change the pagination throughout the hymnal and we would have the horrible situation of having copies of hymnals using different page numbers. So, this is extremely unlikely.

      2) Probably not, though…we are considering a pocket edition containing everything in LSB without any music.

      3) Again, for reasons indicated in (1), no.


  3. Lora Gorton
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:06 | #5

    I’m somewhat new to the LCMS church and love my copy of the LSB. I use it all the time for devotional and when I’m teaching my 4-5 th graders. I only wish I could play the piano and sing all the things in it at home. Wish someone would record all the music on a piano or a real organ and put it online so we could use that to sing with. http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/r/i/rideride.htm
    recordings just don’t do it justice. It actually drives me crazy. Oh well I shouldn’t complain, I guess it’s better then nothing.


  4. March 30th, 2010 at 12:16 | #6

    Just playing devil’s advocate, but adding the missing 41 psalms wouldn’t change the “page numbers” since they continue on after the numbers for the 150 psalms.

    All 150 are in the LSB Altar Book.

    Love the idea of an LCMS-German-era text only edition.

    Thanks for the new campaign, Paul. I look forward to getting the congregational promotional material.

    • March 30th, 2010 at 12:27 | #7

      That is a very interesting point, and there is no need for you to be an advocate for Satan when you make it!

      The decision on this would be entirely in the hands of The LCMS Commission on Worship and would, perhaps, require formal convention action, but…thanks for alerting me to the fact that putting all 150 in would be no biggie. But it is a decision entirely out of our hands.

    • March 30th, 2010 at 22:05 | #8

      We aren’t putting out any special promotional materials, to my knowledge, on this. Just encouraging our congregations to promote the hymnal into every home.

  5. March 30th, 2010 at 13:46 | #9

    You can produce a pocket edition and still have the melody, just the melody, for the first verse.

    When the verses are kept together with no music over each line, the words also make much more sense. I prefer it for singing very much.

  6. Jesse
    March 30th, 2010 at 14:35 | #10

    Hopefully parishioners won’t interpret the message to get the LSB beyond the pew racks literally and start taking congregational copies home with them!

    • March 30th, 2010 at 16:00 | #11

      Hey, whatever it takes. We’ll be happy to sell new copies to congregations to replace “borrowed” copies that have gone missing.

  7. Brenda Higley
    March 30th, 2010 at 21:51 | #12

    I love having my own hymnal — I can study the hymns after church, and best of all, I can write in it. :)

    Brenda Higley
    Sammamish, WA

  8. March 31st, 2010 at 07:32 | #13


    Regarding (1): Who would I need to contact at the Commission for Worship? As your near-namesake points out, adding the psalms would be no trouble, and there isn’t much to argue for not including them all. As I said, it’s all very baffling!

    Regarding (2): Just a melody line with (or even before) the first verse would really add value to any pocket edition. I have several such hymnals (Lutheran and Anglican), some of them with 500+ hymns, the size of the old red Lutheran Book of Prayer (or whatever its title was). I know, a bit pricier to get the musical typesetting done, but well worth it in the long run. Methinks.

    Regarding (3): The page number nightmare could be avoided very easily: stick them at the end. Additional page numbers don’t cause problems. Except for weak backs.

  9. Robert Franck
    March 31st, 2010 at 08:55 | #14

    My suggestions for this project:

    1) I like the idea of promotional materials, but more importantly, restore (at least for a short time) the promotional pricing. If there were a period of time (where we knew ahead of time) that the price would be lowered, we could push this project, even make our own materials.

    2) I like the idea of a melody-only version, probably in a slightly smaller size. Words only would be a little too unusable for singing. I’m pretty familiar with many Lutheran hymns, but have fequently had to look up a melody when using the Treasury of Daily Prayer. Adding the other Psalms would be nice, too. And adding the collects would be a plus. I like the size of the leather-bound gift edition, but that is a little pricy for people to buy for every member of the family.

    3) Maybe a cheaper edition of the smaller version could be produced, either a paperback or smaller hardcover.

    Rob Franck

  10. March 31st, 2010 at 11:50 | #15

    Yes, lets have a full blown pro-mo. “A hymnal for every home”. Very catchy. And promotional pricing. Flyers. Yes. Very good.

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