Delegates approve new hymnal as ‘official’ for use in Synod

ST. LOUIS – The draft of a proposed new hymnal received clear approval July 14 as “an official service book and hymnal” for The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod with a 1,014-130 vote of delegates to the church body’s 62nd Regular Convention.


The resolution accepting the new “Lutheran Service Book” also gives the Synod’s Commission on Worship, which developed the hymnal, “limited latitude” to make necessary changes to the hymnal draft.


Although discussion of the hymnal stretched over two sessions, its acceptance came less than 20 minutes after it was presented in the second session July 14.


The Synod’s Concordia Publishing House will publish the new hymnal, which church officials say should be available for distribution by mid 2006.


After delegates applauded the hymnal’s acceptance, Synod President Gerald Kieschnick quipped, “The chair assumes with that applause you’re going to go back and recommend that your congregations buy the new hymnal.”


They gave a standing ovation to Dr. Paul Grime, executive director of the worship commission, as he rose to introduce members of the commission and and its sub-committees that have been working on the hymnal.


In its concluding “resolved,” the approved resolution encourages “congregations and other entities of Synod” to participate in an introductory process for “Lutheran Service Book,” which will have both a pew and altar edition.


The commission began work on the hymnal after the 1998 Synod convention encouraged it to do so. The 2001 convention approved the project’s field testing, which the commission conducted in two phases over the past three years.


A “rationale” statement for the resolution at this convention notes that the field test involved two booklets of material the commission sent to all 6,100-plus Synod congregations and posted on the Internet.


“Throughout the process,” the statement says, “feedback has constantly been solicited, received, and noted.”


The 280-page proposal for the hymnal was sent to all LCMS congregations, professional church workers and some 1,200 convention delegates in June.  To download the proposal, go to


Posted July 14, 2004

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