Evangelical Lutheran Worship/Lutheran Service Book

Article excerpt

Evangelical Lutheran Worship Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2006. 1,211 pp. ISBN 13: 978-0-8066-5618-2. U. S. $20.00.

Lutheran Service Book Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2006. 1,024 pp. ISBN 13: 978-07586-1217-5. U. S. $18.50.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) was prepared for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Lutheran Service Book (LSB) was prepared for The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Both pew editions come with a shelf of other books, plus a wide array of electronic resources which not only make downloading possible but give a host of planning materials. They each have an accompaniment edition for the liturgies and an accompaniment edition for the hymns. LSB's hymn accompaniments are in a spiral bound book the size of the hymnal, though fatter. ELW's hymn accompaniments are in a 9'' x 12'' spiral bound book the size of each denomination's liturgical accompaniment book, only much fatter. That book is apparently soon to be split into two because of its size. ELWs Leaders Edition is parallel to LSB's Altar Book. The Leaders Edition comes in a desk version, whereas the Altar Book is somewhat smaller and also serves as the desk version. Both of these books contain what the pastor needs, the ELW version with more commentary. LSB's Altar Book includes services for "Lent and Holy Week," not given in the pew edition. ELW includes "Lent and the Three Days" in both places. Additional resources are yet to be published, with no common ordering between the two publication schedules. An "Agenda" for LSB, for example, already is available, whereas the parallel occasional service book for ELW is still in process. The following remarks will concentrate on the pew editions.

Organization

Both books are laid out well, with ample white space and congregational participation in mind, though the ELW gutters are a bit small. ELW uses art work to initiate its divisions; LSB has smaller symbols. Both are organized in a typically Lutheran fashion, with two halves: first services and then a hymnal. Both books begin with an introduction and the Church Year, then diverge. Here are the details. If you don't care about them, skip the next two paragraphs.

After the materials related to the Church Year, LSB gives a two-page Glossary. The Psalms are next (106 of them in the pew edition, all 150 in the Altar Book, each followed by the Gloria Patri), pointed and with Psalm tones. Then come five Divine Service (Communion) settings and the Daily Office (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline). A section called "Other Services and Resources" follows. It includes Baptism, Confirmation, Matrimony, Funeral Service, Responsive Prayer (the Suffrages), the Litany (text only in the pew edition, text and music in the Altar Book), Corporate and Individual Confession and Absolution, brief daily prayer services for individuals and families, a daily prayer lectionary and Psalm table, general prayers, the Athanasian Creed, and the Small Catechism. The hymnal section comes next, organized in the usual Lutheran fashion first by the Church Year and then by topics. Acknowledgements and hymn indexes are given at the end of the book. The indexes are topical; authors, translators, and sources; composers and sources; metrical for tunes; alphabetical for tunes; first lines of hymns; and foreign language hymns. At the close of the book Emergency Baptism is given and just inside the back cover the Nicene Creed, the Aposties' Creed, and the Lord's Prayer, the last in old English (as in the services) and in an emended ecumenical version.

As part of its section on the Church Year, ELW includes the Prayer of the Day and the lectionary's Biblical readings. LSB puts this material in the Altar Book, with Introits as well. ELW then gives alternate Thanksgivings for Communion and Baptism, plus general prayers parallel to the ones LSB includes under "Other Services and Resources. …