Archive for the ‘Sing to the Lord a New Song: A New Moravian Songbook (2013)’ Tag

Expanding Horizons for Better and Worse: Moravians, 1995-2015   1 comment

Books February 24, 2015

Above:  My Copies of the Moravian Book of Worship (1995) and Sing to the Lord a New Song:  A New Moravian Songbook (2013)

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LITURGY IN THE MORAVIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA, PART V

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The Moravian Book of Worship does not slavishly demand one style of tune or text, but attempts to recognize the wide diversity in our congregations’ worship patterns.

Moravian Book of Worship (1995), page iii

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I.  PREFACE AND INTRODUCTION

This post stands in lineage with the Preface and Parts I, II, III, and IV.

This post concludes the Liturgy in the Moravian Church in America series.  The process of researching and preparing the entries in this series has been an intellectually rewarding one, for I have learned much, and I have an inquiring mind.

I have not endeavored to provide thorough descriptions and analyses of the elements of the Moravian Book of Worship.  For that I refer you, O reader, to the Manual for Worship Planners and the companion volume to the service book-hymnal, which the Interprovincial Board of Communication sells.

Worship patterns in congregations of the Moravian Church in America (the Moravian Church in North America when one includes the Canadian congregations of the Northern Province of North America) have long been diverse.  This diversity has increased with the arrival of Moravian immigrants from Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean Basin, as well as with the spread of contemporary and charismatic forms of worship in the Protestant mainline since the 1970s.  My perusal of websites of North American Moravian congregations has confirmed summaries of the diversity of worship I have read in official denominational resources.  I have found evidence of the existence of styles of worship ranging from traditional, classical Moravian worship (brass choirs, et cetera) to Low Church, Southern Gospel music to contemporary “seeker” services to charismatic practices.  I also know that the rise of the charismatic movement within the Unitas Fratrum has divided or played a supporting role in the division of several provinces (Honduras, Czech Republic, and Alaska) of the global Moravian Church.

Official worship resources of the Northern and Southern Provinces in North America reflect the diversity of practice in their congregations.  The logic of that fact makes sense to me.  As I age, however, I find myself becoming more liberal and collegial in many matters theological and socio-political yet more conservative in matters liturgical.  European classicism appeals to me, and I have no desire to dilute that very much.  Guitars in church always make me uncomfortable, for not once have I heard classical guitar music in church.  Once, about fifteen years ago, at a conference in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, someone handed me a tambourine in the vain hope that I would play it.  I returned the instrument immediately silently as I looked at that person with an icy gaze.  Here I stand; I will do no other.  If that reality offends someone, I offer no apology, for I have committed no offense.

Now, without further ado, I commence the body of this post.

II.  MORAVIAN BOOK OF WORSHIP  AND SOME RELATED VOLUMES (1995)

Moravian Book of Worship (1995)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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General Comments

By 1995, the year the Moravian Book of Worship debuted, ecumenical influences had also transformed worship in the Moravian Church in America.  Celebrations of Holy Communion had become more frequent in many congregations.  Also, the Northern and Southern Provinces had adopted the Revised Common Lectionary.  The-gesimas were gone and Sundays after Pentecost replaced Sundays after Trinity.  These changes are evident in each annual edition of the Moravian Church Desk Calendar and Plan Book, available from the Interprovincial Board of Communication.

Moravian Church Desk Calendar and Plan Book 2014

February 2015 01

February 2015 02

Scans by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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One of the most obvious differences between the Moravian Book of Worship (1995) and the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969) is the contemporary nature of the current service book-hymnal.  The services are in modern English, even providing two forms (King James and contemporary ecumenical) of the Lord’s Prayer.  52% of the hymns are new to American Moravian hymnals.  The 1995 hymnody is also more ecumenical than that of 1969, for 21% of the texts (excluding translations) are of Moravian authorship.  Many of the “new” texts are actually new and the products of authors alive in 1995.  Likewise, 42% of the tunes in the Moravian Book of Worship are new to American Moravian hymnals.  Many of those tunes are works of composers alive in 1995.

Hymns and Other Music

The Moravian Book of Worship, a new service book-hymnal, not a revision of its predecessor, offers more diversity of musical styles than does the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969).  Most tunes in the 1969 volume were for four voices, with a smattering of other styles and arrangements.  In the 1995 book, however, one can find numerous representations of Lutheran chorales, Moravian chorales, contemporary four-part chorales, rounds, unison hymns, chords for guitar or autoharp, antiphonal songs, spirituals, and folk songs.  Also available is Singing from the Heart:  A Shorter Moravian Hymnal and Liturgies (2010), an abbreviated version of the Moravian Book of Worship with guitar chords included.  Singing from the Heart also contains thirteen original “Congregational Prayers for Moravian Worship,” brief forms for worship.

The arrangement of the 559 hymns is topical, with the church year establishing the first categories.  Hence the first category is Advent.  The count of 559 hymns in the Moravian Book of Worship is down from 594 in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969) and 952 in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923).  The 1995 book contains 33 selections of service music and 20 entries in its Psalms and Canticles section of the Liturgy.

On One Hand Yet On the Other Hand

Ecumenical convergence has its virtues, especially in liturgy.  Jettisoning the -gesimas and the Season after Trinity Sunday is good, as is adopting the Revised Common Lectionary, a near-twin of the current Roman Catholic lectionary.  These are visible signs of Christian unity.  Addressing God is “you,” not as “thee,” is also positive, for using the contemporary form of English restores the familiarity of language present in older forms of English when God, one’s parents, one’s friends, and one’s neighbors were all “thee.”  Much change is actually a return an older tradition.

As positive an ecumenical convergence is much of the time, it is not always a good thing, for it can lead to a “vanilla” hymnody.  I, as a collector of hymnals and service books-hymnals (especially old ones), like diversity in hymnody.  Moravian hymnals have always included a healthy representation of ecumenical hymnody, as they should.  I have found, however, that many wonderful ethnic hymns, present in older hymnals, seldom make the cut in subsequent hymn books.  (A comparison of U.S. Lutheran hymnals of the twentieth century, as ethnic synods merged into non-ethnic denominations, is an especially good way of documenting this fact.)  Sometimes ecumenism becomes an altar on which hymnal committees sacrifice beautiful ethnic hymns and quality texts.  Thus sometimes the best way to balance one’s heritage is to use more than one book, lest wonderful hymns fall into disuse and obscurity.

The Liturgy of 1995

The thoroughly revised Liturgy of 1995 bears many similarities to that of 1969, for the new Liturgy retains much of Moravian tradition–in modern English, however.  There is also evidence of textual nipping and tucking, one of the oldest games in liturgical practice.  The Liturgy of 1995 continues another Moravian practice–flexibility.  There are many rubrics such as the one on page 4, in General Liturgy 1:

All may join in The Church Litany, or the Shorter Church Litany, or the Service may proceed as the liturgist directs.

“Or…as the liturgist directs” occurs often in the Liturgy (pages 1-254 of the Moravian Book of Worship).

The Liturgy of 1995 contains six sections, which I will unpack in order:

  1. General Liturgies,
  2. The Church Year,
  3. Topical Liturgies,
  4. Rites and Sacraments,
  5. Services for Holy Communion, and
  6. Psalms and Canticles.

General Liturgies

There are seven General Liturgies.  (The Hymnal and Liturgies of 1969 has four of them.)

  1. General Liturgy 1, which contains the Church Liturgy and the Shorter Church Liturgy, is a variation on the traditional Moravian service.
  2. General Liturgy 2–Reconciliation contrasts divine perfection and the sinful world.
  3. General Liturgy 3–Adoration, unlike its 1969 predecessor, uses the Nicene Creed, not the Apostles’ Creed.  The Church in the Nicene Creed is “Christian,” not “catholic,” however.  There is an asterisk then a note explaining the original text reads “catholic” and states that “catholic” means “universal.”  (The Protestant Reformation, by traditional counting, started 497 and 1/2 years ago.  Can we finally get past a Protestant hang-up with Roman Catholicism, please?  Should not anti-Roman Catholicism be a thing of the past?  I write as one who, although not a Roman Catholic, acknowledges the riches of that tradition.)
  4. General Liturgy 4–Creation, a new service, contains contemporary music (by Jaroslav J. Vajda and Martin Nystrom) and a statement of faith drawn from the Ground of Unity in the Unity Book of Order.
  5. General Liturgy 5–Grace combines elements of the 1969 Liturgies of Confession, Trust, and Covenanting.  It also features a different statement of faith drawn from the Ground of Unity in the Unity Book of Order.
  6. General Liturgy 6–Discipleship combines traditional and contemporary music.
  7. General Liturgy 7–Celebration, a new service with a non-traditional arrangement of traditional elements, combines traditional and contemporary hymns.

Church Year

Some of the services in the Church Year section retain titles from the Hymnal and Liturgies (1969):

  1. Advent and Palm Sunday,
  2. Advent 2,
  3. Christmas,
  4. Easter Morning,
  5. Easter,
  6. Trinity, and
  7. All Saints.

The Liturgy of 1969 offers just one service in Lent, but the Moravian Book of Worship includes two–Lent 1 and Lent 2.

Two services in the Church Year section have slightly different names than their 1969 counterparts:

  1. “Epiphany and Christian Witness” has become “Epiphany and World Mission,” and
  2. “Pentecost (Whitsunday)” has become “Pentecost and Spiritual Renewal.”

New to the Church Year section is “Reign of Christ/Second Coming,” for the Sunday immediately preceding Advent more than any other Sunday.  The existence of this service indicates that the Moravian Church has authorized the observance of Christ the King Sunday, which the Roman Catholic Church has celebrated on the Sunday immediately preceding Advent since 1970.  And, just in case you, O reader, wonder about the linguistic difference between “Christ the King” and “Reign of Christ,” it is not just a matter of inclusive language (although Jesus was male).  The Bible does contain a distinction between a kingdom and a royal reign, as I have learned by reading scholarly books.  That reading has also taught me that often the distinction is one without much a difference, for the reality of a reign does imply the existence of a kingdom.

The Liturgy of 1995 omits the service for the Ascension, due to the rare use of that rite from the Liturgy and Hymnals (1969).  The Moravian Book of Worship does not include Ascension themes elsewhere, however.

Topical Liturgies

Most of the titles of the Topical Liturgies are new; only three repeat from the Hymnal and Liturgies (1969):

  1. Education,
  2. Thanksgiving, and
  3. National Occasions.

The other titles are:

  1. A General Prayer of Intercession,
  2. Intercessions in a Time of Crisis,
  3. Christian Hymns,
  4. Christian Unity,
  5. Evangelism (“The Spread of the Gospel” in 1969),
  6. New Year and Anniversaries,
  7. Peace and Justice, and
  8. Stewardship.

The National Occasions service contains a line as troublesome to me as those to which I objected in the Hymnal and Liturgies (1923) and the Hymnal and Liturgies (1969) in Part IV of this series.  On page 141 of the Moravian Book of Worship one can find the following petition:

Enable us to accept the authority of government for your sake….

Is there no embrace of civil disobedience?  And what about the authority of tyrannical governments?  (Sometimes I like to turn to my inner Mohandas Gandhi.)

Rites and Sacraments

The Moravian Book of Worship contains four Rites and Sacraments:

  1. Baptism,
  2. Confirmation and Affirmation of Baptism,
  3. Marriage, and
  4. Memorial Service and Burial.

One must consult the Manual for Worship Planners (1995) to find seldom-used services which would fit into this section otherwise.  They are:

  1. Ordination of a Deacon,
  2. Consecration of a Presbyter,
  3. Consecration of a Bishop,
  4. Special Celebration of Holy Communion (formerly Private Communion),
  5. A Service of Word and Sacrament,
  6. Groundbreaking for a Church Building,
  7. the Laying of a Cornerstone, and
  8. Dedication of a Church Building or other Structure.

Services for Holy Communion

The Liturgy of 1995 offers eight Services for Holy Communion, four of which the Moravian Book of Worship contains.  Those four are:

  1. In Celebration of Christ’s Coming,
  2. In Celebration of the Atonement,
  3. In Celebration of the Resurrection, and
  4. In Celebration of the Holy Spirit.

Four others are available in Services for Holy Communion (1996):

  1. In Celebration of the Chief Eldership of Jesus Christ (for November Thirteenth),
  2. In Celebration of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday,
  3. In Celebration of Unity and Renewal (for August Thirteenth and the Martyrdom of Jan Hus), and
  4. In Celebration of the Anniversary of a Congregation.

Psalms and Canticles

I have summarized the Psalms and Canticles section of the Liturgy of 1995 already.

End Matter

The church calendar, the obligatory acknowledgments, and a set of indices (minus biographical notes) complete the Moravian Book of Worship.

III.  READINGS FOR HOLY WEEK (1995)

This is an appropriate venue to write about another liturgical volume and its predecessors.  The Readings for Holy Week (1995), which exists in a regular edition, a large-print edition, a music edition, and an organ edition, is a successor of a series of books, reaching back to the time of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760).  He prepared the first Moravian harmony of the Passion accounts in the canonical Gospels for liturgical use.  A second edition, picking up the story the day before Palm Sunday, debuted in 1769.

The line of English-language Passion Week Manuals began in 1771.  I found an 1877 edition at archive.org.  The Northern Province printed a new edition in 1932.  The innovative aspect of that version was printing hymn stanzas at appropriate places in the narratives.  Prior to then liturgists were supposed to select the hymn stanzas.  The following year the Revised Bethlehem Edition of the 1932 Passion Week Manual debuted, adding choir music and using the American Standard Version of the Bible (1901).  The Southern Province published its Passion Week Manual in 1943, using the text of the Authorized Version of the Bible and using fewer and different hymn stanzas than its Northern Province counterpart.  Readings for Holy Week (Passion Week Manual) (1969), keyed to the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969), succeeded the 1932 and 1943 Passion Week Manuals.  The innovation in this edition was to cease breaking up the readings into different services, therefore allowing for more variety in congregational observance.

The Readings of Holy Week (1995), keyed to the Moravian Book of Worship (1995), uses the text of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (1989) and combines traditional and contemporary hymns from various genres.  The various editions (such as regular and music) break up the composite narrative by day and provide a resource for corporate and private devotion.

IV.  SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG:  A NEW MORAVIAN SONGBOOK (2013)

Sing to the Lord a New Song (2013)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Hymnody and written liturgy is always changing–often for better, but sometimes for worse.  It is certainly never like an insect preserved for millions of years in amber.  Although I am a self-described and practicing European classicist and a liturgical conservative, I do not reject the new because it is new and affirm the old because it is old.  No, I seek quality and affirm it regardless of its age.  Unfortunately, much of recent church music is of inferior quality; mind-numbing praise choruses with few words one sings repeatedly come to mind immediately.  Verbose, theologically dense texts appeal to me, and most of those are old.

Sing to the Lord a New Song:  A New Moravian Songbook (2013), a product of the Moravian Music Foundation, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, contains gold, dross, and much in the middle.  The texts–liturgies, prayers, hymns, and songs–are all new, as are some of the tunes.  Most of the tunes, however, are standards.  Three examples follow:

  1. “Passion Chorale” is the tune for the familiar “O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded.”  In Sing to the Lord a New Song it is the tune for “Walk With Me Each Day, Savior.”
  2. “Slane” is the tune for “Be Thou My Vision” and “Lord of All Hopefulness” in many hymnals.  In Sing to the Lord a New Song it is the tune for “We Humbly Gather in This Place.”
  3. “Tallis’ Canon” is the tune for “All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night” in many hymnals.  In Sing to the Lord a New Song it is the tune for a new Communion hymn, “Gather All Sisters and Brothers.”

Those are three examples of good texts.  Unfortunately, some of the texts are bad.  Exhibit A in my case is a Christmas song, “In This Crowd, Sing Aloud,” set to “Jingle Bells.”    The unimpressive lyrics include the following:

What a big surprise!

The Savior was a child!

The Christmas story goes to show God’s plans are really wild!

That text is far removed from the exalted standards of the Moravian Youth Hymnal (1942), a volume whose creators sought to give young people “the best in sacred music.”

Sing to the Lord a New Song contains eight liturgies, some prayers, and 78 or so hymns and songs.  The liturgies are:

  1. Liturgy of Servanthood,
  2. The Good Shepherd,
  3. Examine Prayer,
  4. Reflections on Psalm 121,
  5. A Journey Through Psalm 23,
  6. Mothers’ Day,
  7. Fathers’ Day, and
  8. inTending commUnity:  A Reflection.

Some of the liturgies and prayers are of a higher literary quality than others, but I propose that none of the authors can claim to be stylistic heirs of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556).

My verdict regarding Sing to the Lord a New Song is that one should pretend that the liturgies, the prayers, and some of the hymns and songs do not exist–like Jar Jar Binks, Howard the Duck (1986), and the Sixth Doctor’s garish outfit.

Revelation of the Daleks (1985)

Above:  The Doctor and Davros in Revelation of the Daleks (1985)

A Screen Capture I took via PowerDVD

One can use most of the book in a spiritually and intellectually profitable manner, however.

The church calendar, the obligatory acknowledgments, and several indices complete the volume.  An index of hymn tunes is glaringly absent, however.

V.  CONCLUSION

I grew up in the State of Georgia–the southern part longer than in the north thereof.  There is only one Moravian congregation in the state–in the Atlanta suburb of Stone Mountain, to be exact.  Since 2005 I have lived in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, to the northeast of Atlanta.  The combination of the these facts means that I have viewed the Moravian Church from a distance and never entered a building of a congregation thereof.  My experiences of Moravian music and liturgy have come via books, compact discs, radio programs, and Internet videos.  Classical Moravian music has become one of my favorite genres and has functioned as the soundtrack to much of my blogging–especially regarding Moravians and the Moravian Church.

Much of what I have learned while researching and writing this series of posts bothers me.  Members of the Unitas Fratrum are heirs to an illustrious heritage of quality–one which many, to their credit, maintain.  More of them should honor it and extend it into the future.

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KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 25, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS, NONNA, AND THEIR CHILDREN:  SAINTS GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE YOUNGER, CAESARIUS OF NAZIANZUS, AND GORGONIA OF NAZIANZUS

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH FEDDE, LUTHERAN DEACONESS

THE FEAST OF JOHN ROBERTS, EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY TO THE SHOSONE AND ARAPAHOE

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Updated and Corrected Slightly on April 25, 2015

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BIBLIOGRAPHY OF HARDCOPY SOURCES

Burcaw, Robert T.  Discovering the New Moravian Book of Worship.  Bethlehem, PA:  Interprovincial Women’s Board of the Moravian Church, 199

__________, ed.  The Moravian Book of Worship Manual for Worship Planners.  Bethlehem, PA:  Interprovincial Board of Publications and Communications, 1995.

Frank, Albert H.  Companion to the Moravian Book of Worship.  Winston-Salem, NC:  Moravian Music Foundation, 2004.

Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church.  Bethlehem, PA:  Moravian Church in America, 1969.

Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum).  Bethlehem, PA:  Moravian Church in America, 1923.

Knouse, Nola Reed, ed.  The Music of the Moravian Church in America.  Rochester, NY:  University of Rochester Press, 2008.

Moravian Book of Worship.  Bethlehem, PA:  Moravian Church in America, 1995.

Moravian Church Desk Calendar and Plan Book 2014.  Bethlehem, PA:  Moravian Church in North America, 2013.

Moravian Youth Hymnal.  Bethlehem, PA:  Interprovincial Board of Christian Education, 1942.

Readings for Holy Week.  Bethlehem, PA:  Interprovincial Board of Communication, 2000.

Readings for Holy Week.  Music Edition.  Bethlehem, PA:  Interprovincial Board of Communication, 2000.

Sing to the Lord a New Song:  A New Moravian Songbook.  Winston-Salem, NC:  Moravian Music Foundation, 2013.

Singing from the Heart:  A Shorter Moravian Hymnal and Liturgies.  Winston-Salem, NC:  Moravian Church in America.  2010.

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Declaring Independence: Moravians, 1849-1922   3 comments

Flag of the United States 1877

Above:  The Flag of the United States of America, 1877

Image in the Public Domain

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LITURGY IN THE MORAVIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA, PART III

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Watch graciously over all governments; establish them in truth and righteousness, and give them thoughts of peace.  Bless the President of the United States and both Houses of Congress; the Governor and Legislature of this Commonwealth, and all others that are in authority; and grant us to lead under them a quiet and a peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  Teach us to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man for Thy sake; and to seek the peace of the places where we dwell.  Give prosperity, O God, to this land, and salvation to all its people.

Offices of Worship and Hymns (With Tunes) (1891), page 32

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I.  PREFACE AND INTRODUCTION

This post stands in lineage with the Preface, Part I, and Part II.

I wrote Part II of this series in August 2014.  Since then I have been pursuing other projects, but now I return to this series.  I predict that the Liturgy in the Moravian Church in America series will have five installments.  The projected Part IV will cover the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923), the Moravian Youth Hymnal (1942, 1954, 1956, and 1961), and the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969).  The projected Part V will encompass the Moravian Book of Worship (1995) and Sing to the Lord a New Song:  A New Moravian Songbook (2013).

Part of what I have been doing relative to blogging since August has proven helpful in preparing for the writing of this post and the initial planning of the projected Parts IV and V.  Among my other projects is the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days at SUNDRY THOUGHTS, my original weblog.  Some of the people I have added to the Ecumenical Calendar have been figures to whom I will refer to in this post and in subsequent posts in this series.  When, for example, I read the name “Mrs. J. Kenneth Pfhol” in the Preface to the Second Edition of the Moravian Youth Hymnal (1954), I know that she was actually Harriet Elizabeth “Bessie” Whittington Pfohl (1881-1971), wife of Bishop John Kenneth Pfohl, Sr. (1874-1967).  And the name of Francis Florentine Hagen (1815-1907) means something to me, for I have also declared him to be a saint recently.

A few notes regarding sources are appropriate.  An invaluable source has been Michael E. Westinghouse’s academic paper, “A Look at Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Liturgy” (December 2011), which he wrote in partial fulfillment of his Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at Wake Forest University.  I found that resource via an Internet search and downloaded the PDF file.  Links to electronic copies of certain books at archive.org populate this post so that you, O reader, will have an opportunity to read those volumes.  Finally, I have included a Bibliography of Hardcopy Sources at the end of this post.

Shall we launch into the material without further ado, O reader?

II.  ESTABLISHING AN AMERICAN MORAVIAN IDENTITY

 Context and Theoretical Approach

Transitions are difficult times, for being betwixt and between, neither one thing or another, is inherently awkward.  That is true of individuals, as those familiar with adolescence understand.  It also applies to institutions, such as those making the transition from one language to another.  The Moravian Church in America struggled with that issue as it contended with problems germane to cultural assimilation and related questions of identity in the marketplace of ecclesiastical ideas in the United States of America.  The new shape of American Moravian identity and practice arose from the old and remained easily recognizable as Moravian.

Certain old ways were ceasing to be feasible.  Moravian communal living, which had not prevented profitable enterprises among members of the Unitas Fratrum, had made maintaining a rigorous worship schedule possible.  Yet, by the late 1850s, as many of the United Brethren accepted mainstream employment and kept schedules consistent with it, attendance at services plummeted.  A contributing factor to this change in church attendance was the decline in the number of German speakers and the increase in the number of English speakers.  Many liturgical resources were in German, hence irrelevant to English speakers.  The production of German-language hymnals continued, with a new hymnbook (containing 836 texts) in 1848 and its revision rolling off the presses in 1885.  A constituency for such resources existed for some time, obviously, but it was shrinking.  In addition, many English-speaking Moravians departed the Unitas Fratrum for congregations of other Protestant communions, such as the Baptists and the Methodists, which had simpler forms of worship.

During much of the nineteenth century U.S. Moravian worship resources were reprints or adaptations of books from England and Germany.  The first original U.S. Moravian liturgies and hymnals debuted in the 1860s and 1870s, a few years after 1857, when the global Moravian Church, accepting an American proposal, restructured itself and granted home rule in the provinces.  American Moravian provincial synods, using their domestic autonomy, declared liturgical independence and innovated within their tradition.

U.S. Lutheran minister Philip H. Pfatteicher, writing about the transition from the Service Book and Hymnal (1958) to the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), including the Contemporary Worship series of ten temporary and provisional volumes in which liturgists experimented from 1969 to 1976, observed:

The revolution of the 1960s and the early ’70s was flawed because, as Sigurdur Nordal wisely observes in another context, “The preservation of old values is an indispensable counterpart to the creation of the new.”  The church needed by trial and occasional error to come to understand that the new is not always found in opposition to the old but arises from the old as its natural growth and development.  Stability and continuity are essential elements of catholic Christianity.

Commentary on the Lutheran Book of Worship:  Lutheran Liturgy in Its Ecumenical Context (1990), page 10

Likewise, U.S. Moravian liturgical innovation during the late 1800s arose from old practices and adapted to then-contemporary circumstances.

New Hymnals and Liturgies

Prior to 1851

The first Moravian liturgical book anyone printed in America was the 1801 hymnal (with the supplement of 1808) of the British Province, in 1813.  A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren–New and Revised Edition (composite, 1809) was just one resource Moravians in the United States used in worship.  There was also the British Province’s revised hymnal of 1826, A Collection of Hymns for the the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren–New and Revised Edition.  And there were, of course, German-language resources. Then, in 1849, the British Province published another hymnal, the Liturgy and Hymns for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren, or Unitas Fratrum–A New and Revised Edition, with 1260 hymns.

The Liturgy and Hymns for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren, or Unitas Fratrum–A New and Revised Edition (1851)

Two years later the American adaptation of the 1849 British Liturgy and Hymns debuted.  The U.S. version dropped some hymns, added others, and offered 1200 hymns.  It was a text-only volume, in accordance with Moravian practice at the time.  The traditional services, such as the Church Litany, populated the front of the book, but the Litany had been falling out of favor in America.

The Hymns and Offices of Worship, for Use in Schools; With an Appendix of Tunes (1866) and the Offices of Worship and Hymns, Principally for Use in Schools; With an Appendix of Tunes (1872)

Reinvigoration of U.S. Moravian worship began in 1864, with the authorization of the creation of new liturgies.  The resulting volume was the Hymns and Offices of Worship, for Use in Schools; With an Appendix of Tunes (1866).  The second edition, renamed the Offices of Worship and Hymns, Principally for Use in Schools; With an Appendix of Tunes, debuted six years later.  The Offices of Worship marked a turning point in American Moravian liturgical practices.  The first volume, intended for occasional use  in informal settings, such as Sunday Schools and boarding schools, became popular in more contexts, such as churches and homes, hence the slight difference in the title in the second edition.  Peter Wolle (1792-1871), whose Moravian Tune Book, technically Hymn Tunes Used in the Church of the United Brethren (1836) had edited traditional Moravian tunes to make them sound less foreign to native-born Americans, served on the committee for the first edition.  One goal of the 1866 edition was that Moravian children would, to quote The Book of Common Prayer with regard to scripture in the collect for Proper 28, to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” the 360 hymns included in the volume and grow up with a better grasp of Moravian hymnody than many Moravian adults had.  The first edition introduced seven Offices of Worship (drawn heavily from the Bible) for use alongside the traditional rites.  The second edition (1872) revised some of those Offices and added four more.

The Offices of Worship stood within tradition and departed from it simultaneously.  Including hymn tunes and texts (seldom on the same page) departed from the then-contemporary practice yet approached a tradition the Moravian Church had abandoned in the seventeenth century.  Also, the Offices of Worship, which were consistent with traditional rituals in content were new in structure.  Furthermore, the 1866 and 1872 books standardized the American hymn tunes which many congregations had been singing for years.  The hymnal portion of the 1872 Offices of Worship, consisting of 365 texts, was small by Moravian standards (1260 in the 1849 British hymnal, 1200 in the 1851 American hymnal, et cetera), but it was a start.  And the third edition, that of 1891, contained 1564 hymns.

The Liturgy and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church (1876 and 1890)

The Liturgy and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church (1876) drew from German rites, ecumenical hymnody, and the Offices of Worship.  The Liturgy and Hymns, which existed in early and late versions, became more extensive by 1890, when it came to include ten Communion Liturgies and fourteen Liturgical Services for the Church Seasons, including two for Sunday Evening.  These Communion Liturgies and Liturgical Services included designated hymns for the congregation to sing.  The rubrics for the Liturgical Services gave ministers discretion to use those rites in lieu of the traditional Church Litany.  The 1876/1890 book was the first really American Moravian formal liturgy and hymnal.  It also reflected the influence of the Oxford Movement within the Anglican Communion and established the template for the beloved Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923).  930 hymns (words only), 28 doxologies and benedictions (also words only), and an index completed the volume.

The Offices of Worship and Hymns (With Tunes) (1891)

The next liturgical development was the Offices of Worship and Hymns (With Tunes) (1891), which returned to the long-abandoned Moravian tradition of pairing words and tunes in hymnals consistently.  This book, which arranged the tunes by meter, provided the tune (usually without words inside the systems) then the hymns one could sing to it.  This, the third and greatly expanded edition in the Offices of Worship series of volumes, was for use in churches, homes (at morning and evening worship), schools, et cetera.  Whereas the first edition (1866) had offered 360 hymns and the second edition (1872) had contained 365 hymns, the third edition boasted 1564 hymns, indexed thoroughly in various indices.  Furthermore, the 1891 Offices of Worship offered 31 services, including one for a national holiday, in contrast to the seven services in the 1866 book and the eleven services in the 1872 volume.  The 1891 Offices of Worship resembled the 1876/1890 Liturgy and Hymns, down to the tables for the festivals and the lectionary for the church year.

The Liturgy and Offices of Worship and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church (1908)

The merged form of the Offices of Worship (1891) and the Liturgy from the Liturgy and Hymns (1876 and 1890) was the Liturgy and Offices of Worship and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church (1908).  Two standard works became one.  The Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923) succeeded it in 1923.

One should not imagine, however, that adherence to the official Moravian rituals, even allowing for substituting another rite for the Church Litany, was uniform in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Sometimes extemporaneous prayer replaced litanies, for example.  Furthermore, congregations adapted liturgical practices.  The Reverend Otto Dreydoppel, Jr., in Chapter 1 of The Moravian Book of Worship Manual for Worship Planners (1995), quoted Bishop Edwin W. Kortz, who said that the Moravian Church

is not so much a liturgical church as it is a free church with a long and rich tradition of liturgical prayer.

–page 13

That description is consistent with the liturgical deviations I mentioned earlier in this paragraph.

III.  CONCLUSION

Some of the old problems persisted after the publication of the Offices of Worship (1866, 1872, and 1891) and the Liturgy and Hymns (1876 and 1890).  Although the Offices of Worship and Hymns (1891) had congregations singing hymns such as “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me” in particular services, the Reverend Francis Florentine Hagen (1815-1907), a great Moravian composer, found cause to complain about the detrimental effects of singing German chorale tunes badly upon the life of the Church in 1893:

By forcing upon English-speaking American Churches foreign tunes, which but few are able to sing properly, we estrange from our services the very people among whom God has placed us to work.  Need we wonder at our stunted growth?

–Quoted in The Music of the Moravian Church in America, edited by Nola Reed Knouse (2008), page 255

The saga of liturgy and hymnody in the Moravian Church in America is far from over.

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KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 19, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NERSES I THE GREAT, CATHOLICOS OF THE ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH; AND SAINT MESROP, BIBLE TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF BERNARD BARTON, ENGLISH QUAKER POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELEUTHERIUS OF TOURNAI, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF MILES COVERDALE, BIBLE TRANSLATOR

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BIBLIOGRAPHY OF HARDCOPY SOURCES

The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church Together with The Psalter or Psalms of David According to the Use of The Episcopal Church.  New York, NY:  Oxford University Press, 1979.  Reprint, 2007.

Burcaw, Robert T., ed.  The Moravian Book of Worship Manual for Worship Planners.  Bethlehem, PA:  Interprovincial Board of Publications and Communications, 1995.

Engel, Katherine Carte.  Religion and Profit:  Moravians in Early America.  Philadelphia, PA:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

Frank, Albert H.  Companion to the Moravian Book of Worship.  Winston-Salem, NC:  Moravian Music Foundation, 2004.

Hutton, James E.  A History of the Moravian Church.  London, England, UK:  Moravian Publication Office, 1909.  Reprint.

Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum).  Bethlehem, PA:  Moravian Church in America, 1923.

Knouse, Nola Reed, ed.  The Music of the Moravian Church in America.  Rochester, NY:  University of Rochester Press, 2008.

Pfatteicher, Philip H.  Commentary on the Lutheran Book of Worship:  Lutheran Liturgy in Its Ecumenical Context.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Fortress, 1990.

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