Thursday, September 2, 2010
Not Enough Change
Now a number of congregations who were like my home church have purchased the new hymnal -- no, not Lutheran Worship but Lutheran Service Book. Yet many of them have moved to a new book while preserving as much as possible everything from the old. It is as if the book changed but no one is really sure where. I suggest that it would a good thing to introduce those congregations to other settings from LSB. No, you do not have to change from week to week, but a little change is good and when that little change means becoming familiar with what is the ordinary service of most Lutherans within out Synod, then it is an even better choice.
One of the marks of the Church's unity is that we know a common song and we worship according to a common form (common meaning known by all). So even if those parishes love page 15 and believe that no hymnal could possibly replace TLH, it is a good thing for the sake of unity to learn one of the other settings of the Divine Service. Maybe not a different setting each week, but how about trying one of the other settings of the Divine Service over the course of 6 months to a year so that people can become as familiar with this form as they are their favorite one? Surely this is a small cost to pay for the sake of our unity. No, learning a new musical setting will not create unity of heart and confession but it is surely a good reflection of our unity that we do not demand everyone does it the same even if everyone does learn to know the same song.
So if you purchased LSB and have not veered off the page `15 path, I would suggest you venture into the unknown territory of diversity -- if not for you then for your brothers and sisters within this church body. A little change is a good thing when that change reflects the diversity fostered by the hymnal and not against it...