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PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY OF
THE NORWEGIAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN SYNOD,
CHURCH OF AMERICA
HE compilation of "The Lutheran Hymnary” is the work of a joint committee of twelve members, four of whom were appointed by the United Norwegian Lutheran Church, four by the Norwegian Lutheran Synod,
and four by the Hauge's Lutheran Synod. Few changes in the personnel of the committee have been made during the four years in which it has been at work upon the hymnal.
The considerations which prompted the creation of the joint committee were, chiefly, the common need of an adequate and satisfactory English hymn book; the fact of a common faith and confession as well as a common inheritance of Lutheran hymnody; the probability of getting a better hymn book through united endeavor than by separate effort; and finally, the desirability of a common hymnary, especially in the event of a union of the Church bodies concerned.
Prior to the organization of the joint committee, the United Church had for some years, through a committee, been engaged in compiling a new English hymn book; the Norwegian Synod had been similarly engaged. Thus the joint committee, when it set out upon its work, had the result of the labors of these two individual committees to begin with. It also had, in “The Christian Hymns" of the Norwegian Synod and “The Church and Sunday School Hymnal” of the United Church, a nucleus for the proposed joint hymn book.
It has been the constant aim and effort of the committee to embody in “The Lutheran Hymnary” the best translations of German and Norwegian Lutheran hymns. Seventy-two hymns from the Norwegian and Danish, familiar to our Norwegian-Danish Church people, from Landstad's and the Synod hymn books, appear in this collection for the first time in English dress.
The Norwegian Lutheran Church of America has inherited a rich treasury of hymns and chorals from the Mother Church; and while the Norwegian-American Church would secure this treasure and transmit it to her children, it is also hoped that the hymns of Kingo, Grundtvig, Brorson, Landstad, Brun and others, rendered into English, may prove attractive to the English bodies of the Church of the Reformation, and eventually find a place in their hearts and hymnals.
Another feature of the present collection is its large number of distinctively Lutheran chorals. The committee has, in general, observed the principle of retaining the tune with which the hymn is associated. When, however, it has been found that a tune is lacking in churchliness or appropriateness for congregational singing, the committee has given the hymn a standard Lutheran choral. These chorals have survived the test of time and have proven their vitality and intrinsic value by long and constant use in the homes and sanctuaries of the people of God.
Twenty German chorals are arranged in rhythmical meter; twenty have a melodic or countrapuntal setting. These special features the committee hopes, will serve a purpose in discovering the wish of the Church regarding the rhythmical form and the melodic arrangement of Lutheran chorals.
It is hoped that the arrangement of the hymns according to Sunday texts of the church year, a feature familiar from our Norwegian hymn books, will prove a valuable aid in selecting appropriate hymns for the services, and, better than a mere topical index, serve to promote a general use of the hymns found in the hymnal.
It is due to add that, thanks to the very extensive hymnological library and hymnological knowledge and patient research of Rev. Carl Døving, late of New York City, and for the last year a member of the committee, many excellent translations of well-known German Lutheran hymns, translations made mostly by prominent English hymnologists, have been secured for “The Lutheran Hymnary”; these translations have not appeared in an English Lutheran hymn book before.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the Concordia Publishing House of St. Louis, Mo., for permission to use the music of the second Morning and Evening Service.
Grateful acknowledgment is also due to the many who, either in an official capacity or personally, have rendered the committee valuable aid by suggestions, translations or criticisms. A true hymnal cannot be made to order; it is not an artificial production. It develops out of the consciousness of the Church itself. The committee has not felt that its duty was to make a new hymn book, but only to make out of the vast treasury of Lutheran hymnody such a collection of genuine Lutheran hymns and chorals as should satisfy the needs and meet the expectations of our Norwegian-American Lutheran Church people.
Finally, it is the prayer of the committee, that “The Lutheran Hymnary” may prove no small factor in the efforts made to unify the various Norwegian Lutheran Church bodies of our land.
THE COMMITTEE. September, 1912.
or the Communion (II)..... 21-34 New Year..
4 Thanksgiving Day...... 528-532
3 His Trinity......
71_76 7 Grace before and after Meat 568_569
8 Children's Services........... 570-578
Tunes, Alphabetical........ 660_663