Academic journal article The Hymn

Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship

Academic journal article The Hymn

Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship

Article excerpt

Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship by Paul Westermeyer. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2010,944 pp. ISBN 978-0-8066-5394-5. $75.00.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) was released in 2006 with pew and leader's editions, the latter including liturgies and accompaniments for service music and hymns. This core set of publications is being augmented by other resources "intended to provide worship leaders and planners with sustained reflection on and interpretation of ELW in ways that would not be possible within the core editions themselves" (vii). The Companion is one of two volumes in this latter category focused on assembly song. Its intended readership includes musicians, clergy, worship planners and laypersons.

The Companion includes information about the hymns and tunes in ELW, not the texts and service music preceding #239. The biographical data is presented with the first occurrence of the hymn or tune. Arrangers are not discussed. This book is not a technical or historical poetic or musical study, nor does it include performance practice suggestions. Rather, the intent of the current volume is "to provide an affordable one-volume manual that gives the context, provenance, and character of the hymns and tunes in ELW" (x).

Following a Preface and Introduction, the major portion of the book consists of "Hymns and Tunes." Each hymn in ELW is addressed individually, beginning with #239, "Hark, the glad sound!" with a discussion of the text (in this case by Philip Doddridge) followed by the discussion of the tune (in this case Chesterfield). The book proceeds likewise throughout all the hymns in EL W until the final hymn, #893.

The discussion of the hymns is followed by a glossary of terms related to church music, and "A Terse Chronology" that highlights major events and persons relating to the song of the church. "A Lightly- Annotated Chronology Related to Lutheran Worship and Hymnody" follows the "Terse" version to trace specifically Lutheran markers in hymnody from Luther's Formula Missae of 1523 to the .ELW of 2006. This is followed by the guiding principles and goals of the ELW editorial team and an extensive bibliography of hymnals, along with books about hymns, writers and composers. …

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