Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A monumental work. . .

Although in the works for 13 years, the Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Hymns - 2 Volume Set, is now ready for pre-order.  It will be officially released in early December of this year.  Some may sigh wondering why this volume and what took so long.This unparalleled work presents engaging stories, insightful theological commentary, and encyclopedic historical details for the complete hymnody of Lutheran Service Book. The culmination of over a decade of groundbreaking research, the Companion to the Hymns was developed from the study of more than 1,500 primary sources and the work of 127 contributing authors.  Read the first nineteen pages here.
Volume 1 includes text and tune background, theological and scriptural discussion, usage advice, and exhaustive historical details of original sources for all LSB hymns. 1,680 pages.

Volume 2 includes biographies for all hymn authors and composers, essays providing a survey of hymnody, and indexes, appendixes, and charts. 944 pages.

General Editors: Joseph Herl, Peter C. Reske, Jon D. Vieker

  • Two-volume set with slipcase
  • 656 hymns
  • 680 biographies
  • 17 essays (9 historical, 8 topical)
  • 42 music examples
  • 12 figures
  • 11 indexes
  • 3 appendixes
  • 8 charts
It took so long because of the scope of the project -- an unprecedented volume that will become a standard reference work for many generations.  It took so long because of the cost of the project -- there were little funds left from the development of the LSB hymnal to expend to cover the development costs of these volumes and the budget of CPH for new professional resources is limited, indeed.  It took so long because of the editors -- their commitment to and insistence upon the best made the progress deliberate.  I know them and can vouch for their meticulous efforts to produce a serious and yet accessible work.  It is not cheap but it will probably not be duplicated for a lifetime and it will offer the wider church a resource of quality as well as the LCMS a solid tool for the future, even after LSB has been replaced. 

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