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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Hardcover – January 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: MorningStar (January 1, 1996)
  • ISBN-10: 0944529186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0944529188
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,360,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By K. R. Taylor on August 18, 2013
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I am, according the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which published this volume, a hellbound heretic. I am a liberal Episcopalian. But I recognize a good service book when I see one. And, when I find the good, I like to praise it. So I praise the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary, successor to both The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) and The Lutheran Hymnary (1913), which contains lovely services and retains stately language while making the transition successfully to contemporary English.
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This EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN HYMNARY from 1996 ("hymnary" in this case meaning "hymnal") is a publication of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a conservative, 19,000-member Lutheran denomination headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota. It is my understanding that the Evangelical Lutherans started compiling this hymnal because they were unhappy with the way another small denomination, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) was taking when it compiled its own hymnal, CHRISTIAN WORSHIP (published 1993, which I reviewed back in July of 2003). Quality of fabrication of this black hymnal is absolutely first-rate. Roughly the first 200 pages of the volume consists of doctrinal and liturgical information, including the full Augsburg Confession. An index of 'Translated Hymns' toward the back of the book clues us into the fact that a vast number of the hymns were translated from the German, and quite a few from Scandinavian sources, most of them, unsurprisingly, Norwegian, given the Synod's Norwegian heritage. As with many other Lutheran hymnals, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" appears in two settings, the more modern Isorhythmic and the older Rhythmic, which has a distinct "Renaissance" sound to modern ears. Also like other Lutheran hymnals, the second line of the first verse is translated "A sword and shield defending" and not "A bulwark never failing." The Lutheran way is more correct: Martin Luther wrote "Ein gute Wehr und Waffen," much closer to the first translation.

People who have followed church hymnals over the years will know that some hymns, immune to mere linguistic freshening or bowdlerization, get cut out of modern hymnals by more Mainline organizations: the E.L.C.A. and even the Missouri Synod expunged "The World Is Very Evil" from their hymnals some years ago.
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