Archive for the ‘Christian Worship: Supplement (2008)’ Tag

Keep Us In the Saving Faith: Liturgies of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1993-2008   8 comments

Christian Worship--A Lutheran Hymnal (1993)

Above:  My Copies of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) and Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (1993), July 22, 2013




Now, eternal God and Father, keep us in the saving faith and so enable us to overcome all things through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (1993), page 32



This post, being Part XV of an ongoing series, flows from previous entries, links to which I have provided here:  One post in particular ( will prove especially germane.



The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) used The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) (, abbreviated hereafter as TLH (1941), for decades before deciding to develop a new hymnal-service book in 1983.  By that time The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) had already developed Lutheran Worship (1982) (  Thus Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (1993) rolled off the presses in 1993.



As the Introduction to the hymnal-service book explains, the modus operandi of the framers was to preserve the perceived best elements of TLH (1941) and to expand upon them.  Thus all of the TLH (1941) services are present in modernized language, the Church is still “Christian” in the Creeds, and most TLH (1941) hymns remain (sometimes with updated language).  Also, the 1941 Church Calendar is present, updated to reflect Sundays after Pentecost (not Trinity), delete the -gesimas, and add some feast days, such as the one for St. Thomas the Apostle (December 21).  There is a modified version of the 1941 one-year lectionary (with three readings this time), which sits beside the three-year lectionary of the Inter-Lutheran Commission of Worship (ILCW).

An examination of the texts which do not mirror TLH (1941) indicates the blending of the old and the new.  For example, two new rituals–the Service for Word and Sacrament and the Service of the Word–follow familiar forms, include familiar and adapted texts, and incorporate new texts while providing a variety of rites.  If one chooses not to use the variation on the Common Service rituals, there are alternatives.  Also, the 1993 hymnal, unlike TLH (1941), includes Baptism, Marriage, and Funeral rituals plus forms for devotions.

Fifteen years later, WELS published Christian Worship:  Supplement (2008), having released Christian Worship:  Occasional Services years before.  (Not everything fits into one hymnal-service book.)  Supplement provides a new musical setting of the Divine (Common) Service from the 1993 hymnal, this time not in Anglican Chant.  This is a reprint from Christian Worship:  New Musical Settings (2002).  And Supplement contains Divine Service II, in the tradition of Martin Luther’s German Mass and complete with the Canon/Prayer of Thanksgiving.  The first U.S. Lutheran version of the Canon/Prayer of Thanksgiving had appeared in the Service Book and Hymnal (1958) and the LCMS had adopted the practice with Worship Supplement (1969).  Yet most ultra-conservative U.S. Lutherans have held back–WELS until 2008.  There are ultra-conservatives then there are ultra-conservatives.

Other features in Supplement include hymns not in the 1993 hymnal, new Gathering Rites, and a supplementary three-year lectionary.



WELS published its first English-language hymnal-service book in 1911.  That pathetic volume had only four pages of liturgy.  The next such volume, the Book of Hymns (1917) included only sixteen pages–very simple rites, to be sure.  Their introduction to proper English-language liturgy came via The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), a joint effort of the Synodical Conference.  The more recent liturgical efforts of WELS reflect the influence of that service book, which remains superior to its WELS successors.  Something about worship resources from WELS come across as sub-par to me.  The Synod has never been the epicenter of High Churchmanship, and its worship resources are inferior to most contemporary U.S. Lutheran counterparts–except (notably) for those of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (  In contrast, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the LCMS, and The Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) have far-superior hymnals-worship books which leave the WELS Christian Worship series in the sawdust.

Next:  U.S. Lutheran Liturgy, Part XVI–O Lord, Our Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter:  The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996).  This will be my review of the hymnal-service book of The Evangelical Lutheran Synod.







Ambassador Hymnal for Lutheran Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, 1994.

Book of Hymns.  Milwaukee, WI:  Northwestern Publishing House, 1917.  Reprint, 1932.

Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal.  Milwaukee, WI:  Northwestern Publishing House, 1993.

Commission on the Liturgy and Hymnal, The.  Service Book and Hymnal.  Music Edition.  Philadelphia, PA:  United Lutheran Publication House, 1958.

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary.  St. Louis, MO:  MorningStar Music Publishers, Inc., 1996.

Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America, The.  The Lutheran Hymnal.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1941.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Fortress, 2006.

Lutheran Service Book.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 2006.

Lutheran Worship.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1982.

Melton, J. Gordon.  Encyclopedia of American Religions.  4h. Ed.  Washington, DC:  Gale Research, Inc., 1993.

Pfatteicher, Philip H., and Carlos R. Messerli.  Manual on the Liturgy:  Lutheran Book of Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Publishing House, 1979.

Reed, Luther D.  The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study in the Common Service of the Lutheran Church in America.  Philadelphia, PA:  Muhlenberg Press, 1947.

__________.  The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study in the Common Liturgy of the Lutheran Church in America.  2d. Ed.  Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1959.

Stulken, Marilyn Kay.  Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship.  Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1981.

Worship Supplement.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1969.

I also found some PDFs helpful:

“Ambassador Hymnal for Lutheran Worship.”  Hymnal Sales, Minneapolis, MN.  This is a document designed to convince congregations to purchase the 1994 hymnal.

Christian Worship:  Supplement Introductory Resources.  Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 2008.

Schalk, Carl.  ”A Brief History of LCMS Hymnals (before LSB).”  Based on a 1997 document; updated to 2006.  Copyrighted by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

Stuckwisch, D. Richard.  ”The Missouri Synod and the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship.”  Lutheran Forum, Volume 37, Number 3 (Fall 2003), pages 43-51.

Zabell, Jon F.  ”The Formation of Function of WELS Hymnals:  Further Conversation.”  For the National Conference of Worship, Music, and the Arts, July 2008.