Monday, October 15, 2007

The New Hymnal Has Arrived!

Our congregation started using the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW or Cranberry Book) last Sunday. The council had asked for donations, with the goal of 225 hymnals. Enough money was donated to purchase 244 hymnals, along with 5 accompaniment books.

The pastor has a plan to ease us into the new hymnal. For the first Sunday, we used a liturgical setting that was almost identical to one of the settings in the green book. We also sang hymns that were old favorites. The sermon traced the use of music and singing in the Bible story of our salvation, and we sang portions of hymns that carried this theme.

For the second Sunday, we sang some hymns that might be new to Lutherans but were actually old favorites for the Choir. For several years, the choir has used an number of hymns that have been published by Catholic music publishing houses. Now many of these are in our hymnal.

So far, there is nothing new there for me. And I do hope we soon try other liturgies since I never did care for the melodies of the green book liturgies.


  1. I bought 5 copies of the ELW for people in the congregation to check out and review. So far comments are coming back positive. I am thinking we will be moving in this direction sometime after the first of the year. Right now we have a memorial gift to buy 150 of the 200 hymnals we would need.

    I am glad to see that your pastor is easing the congregation into this.

  2. I hope y'all take to it well. We have been using ELW since June, and have had a pretty good reception to it. Thus far, we have stuck to using setting 4 for communion (which used to be setting 2 in LBW) and the service of the word (which has the music from WOV setting 5). We are planning on starting into some new liturgical music after the first of the year - hopefully by then people will have gotten used to navigating the book.

  3. The more I use ELW the less I like it. I try to keep an open mind but the book itself is difficult to navigate.

    Most of all it is not user friendly. In order pack ten communion liturgies between the covers they included the prayers and other common rubrics only within setting 1. This won't affect too many life long Lutherans who know the liturgies by heart, but unless you are in setting 1, new comers are immediately lost. I have seen many simply give up trying to follow along. Consequently, many visitors don't come back.

    For me, there are more challenges presented in the new hymnal than there are benefits. Still, this is the worship book that the ELCA will be using so like I said, I approach it with an open mind.

  4. we haven't learned any new liturgies yet, and it's been a year. we lost our organist, so I think that's partly behind it.

    Pretty soon, though.

  5. oh, re David, the one thing I don't like so far is the lack of page numbers for the Psalms section. It's presented that they are the first 150 songs. But I think it makes them hard for people to find.

  6. add one more difficulty to the ever growing list Diane....sigh.

  7. Regarding the Psalms being the first 150 songs....the theory makes sense to me. In the green book it was always "page" X and Hymn # x. But the new book still has a separate numbering systems for the beginning of the book. And the pianist isn't always sure about what page WE are on when the choir is practicing the liturgy.

  8. well, in theory it makes sense, and would work better if each psalm had its own page. (like most songs...) just saying I've been using postit notes to find them!

    I do like the graphics, and really like some of the new and new/old songs...


And what do you think?