While St. John, Burlington, Wis., has not yet bought the newly released Christian Worship: Hymnal for its sanctuary, it already has started to introduce its members to it.
In November St. John hosted a hymnal introduction seminar where more than 100 people gathered to hear presentations as well as sing selections from the new hymnal and psalter. Both books were available for attendees to examine and use—and even buy. “This hymnal is something that will touch the lives and worship of all the members of the church,” says Kirk Lahmann, St. John’s pastor. “Because of this seminar, people were able to walk away saying, ‘I really understand why this is important,’ and that generates excitement.”
Lahmann says the next step is to raise money to buy hymnals for all the pews and psalters for the choir to use.
Once the hymnals are in the pews, the introduction process will continue. For worship services, Lahmann plans to distribute a simple outline to congregants and then have members use the hymnal to follow along rather than a service folder. “We need to learn how to navigate the book,” says Lahmann. “If we want this to be a book that is used in worship and the home, then let’s learn how to use it.”
This step is important, says Lahmann, especially when thinking about young people. “If you put this hymnal into the hands of a second-grader, for most of her life this will be her hymnal,” he says. “My prayer is that it’s very personal to them, that they can say, ‘This is one of the main resources that guides my worship as a Lutheran Christian.’ ”
Learn more about Christian Worship: Hymnal as well as access hymnal introduction resources at christianworship.com. The release of the hymnal is one of many blessings from 2021. Review others in this month’s WELS Connection.
Volume 109, Number 01
Issue: January 2022