Author Topic: Response to the LSB/ELW article on the page  (Read 2018 times)


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Response to the LSB/ELW article on the page
« on: September 10, 2007, 02:09:19 PM »
Congrats on the launch of the page. Very nicely done. Crisp, clean and ... well, shows the good effect of caffeine, I suspect.

I was reading the article reprinted from Cross Accent and was struck by the author's remark:

Concordia, the publishing house of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, also with a keen eye to marketing, could not countenance a book that could possibly draw off some of its own source of income, and so the 2004 convention of that church approved a “new hymnal,” Lutheran Service Book (LSB). The two projects did not simply go their own separate ways. There is abundant evidence that the LCMS project did not avert its eyes from the parallel work of the ELCA. And yet the result is two very different books, much farther apart than were their predecessors, Lutheran Worship (LW) and the Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW).

This is a significantly incorrect summary of the history. It leaves the reader with the impression that the Lutheran Service Book project was a "Johnny come lately" and a "me too" project launched in 2004 in response to the development of a new hymnal in the ELCA. In fact, quite the opposite is the case.

The LCMS launched its new hymnal work already in 1995. The first effort in this project was Hymnal Supplement 98 and in 1998 the LSB project was formally launched, with the goal of having a new hymnal in place. The ELCA began a "renewing worship" project after 1998 and it was not at all clear that there was any actual hymnal forthcoming. The talk was 2011 and 2012 for a new hymnal, assuming there would even be one, very much an open question. I believe that there is, in fact, good reason to believe that as it became apparent how well organized the LSB project, the publication date for ELW was moved up to coincide with the publication of LSB, much sooner than was originally announced or indicated. The author speculates that CPH was concerned about losing "market share" to ELW. This, I can speak with all assurance, was decidedly not the case at all.

As for who did the more copying from whom, obviously answers will vary, if it is true that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and let's just say that we have been very flattered by that certain other publisher during the course of the LSB project.

Readers might appreciate reading in Cross Accent: The journal for Church Musicians, the August issue, the side-by-side comparison of ELW and LSB. And, I won't spoil it for readers, but let 's just just say we were pleased by the review. It's in the same issue in which this article appears, ironically.

I wonder if ALPB might wish to seek permission to reprint that article too on the site? I think it would be of interest to ALPB forum readers.