100 worship, praise songs approved

After considering the praise and worship songs most frequently used by LCMS congregations, the Synod’s Commission on Worship submitted 87 songs that were subsequently approved over the past six months through the church body’s doctrinal review process. Another 13 previously approved worship and praise songs appear in Lutheran Service Book or earlier publications.

“LCMS pastors and musicians are to be commended for doctrinal and theological sensitivity and insight,” said Rev. David A. Johnson, executive director of the LCMS Commission on Worship, which was assigned by 2004 Synod Convention Resolution 2-04 to “initiate a process leading toward the development of diverse worship resources for use in the LCMS.”

Johnson said that in carrying out that assignment, the commission will work toward launching information on its Web site (http://worship.lcms.org) that “includes the integration of these songs into the various lectionaries and provides biblical and topical references.”

In addition, he said 30 similar songs are currently undergoing study for doctrinal content.

The Commission on Worship and Concordia Publishing House received data about songs used by Synod congregations from Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), an agency that authorizes use of contemporary Christian songs in congregational worship around the world.

Johnson said that nearly 60 percent of all LCMS congregations and agencies currently subscribe to CCLI’s licensing services for praise and worship music.

He told Reporter that data from CCLI also reveal that 30 percent of the most often used songs in the Synod were not found in the top 100 CCLI songs used by the rest of American Christianity.

Johnson said that Rev. Michael J. Zehnder of Gilbert, Ariz., national missional worship consultant for the Center for United States Mission at Irvine, Calif., “will provide assistance in assigning the approved songs throughout the church year and lectionary cycles.”

“Pastor Zehnder’s expertise and knowledge of this repertoire and its application to Lutheran worship, liturgy, and Gospel proclamation will be extremely helpful,” Johnson told Reporter.

“This remains an important endeavor for the Commission on Worship,” Johnson said, “as we continue to strive to provide resources and assistance in support of all of our congregations — those steeped in the riches of Lutheran Service Book and those readily engaged in utilizing the vast wealth of diverse worship resources.”

Posted June 26, 2008

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