08 June 2010

Liturgies et Cantiques Lutheriens

My friend Pr. David Saar was unbelievably kind and shipped a copy of the new French hymnal to me.  I have only had a few hours to look it over, but I find it to be outstanding.  No, I don't know a word of French.  That will never stop me.  It's a romance language and it's easy enough to figure out if you stop and think about it - just don't ask me to pronounce it!  This is a random list of things I've found of interest, most of them I think are quite well done; a couple not so much.

* No historic lectionary even as an option; it's pure novus ordo. MAJOR sadness.
* Timothy and Titus are commemorated together on January 26 - that's a wise move.
* Mary is commemorated upon September 8th (her traditional Nativity); but there is no mention of it being her Nativity, and there is no celebration at all on August 15 - that is a sadness.
* A couple names in the commemorations that I'm not familiar with, but that I take it would have special meaning to French Christians:  Hubert de Maastricht, Lambert de Maastricht, Maurice d' Agaune, Edwige de Silesie.
* The psalms are beautifully laid out and pointed for chanting in a very easy to follow manner, using boldface to indicate the syllables on which to change pitch; there are occasional antiphons printed throughout the Psalter.  Like LSB, it is not the complete Psalter.
* Three Orders of "The Liturgy of the Holy Communion."
* Gloria in Excelsis is the ONLY option and is omitted, as expected, in Advent and Lent
* "And with your spirit" is the consistent response to the salutation.  FANCY THAT!
* The collects and proper prefaces are ALL IN THE HYMNAL!!!  BRAINSTORM, what?
* The Creed (Apostles or Nicene) ALWAYS follows the Hymn of the Day and Homily
* For Liturgy A and B, there is an offertory prayer after the Offertory; three choices.  The first option is familiar from LBW, but first appeared, I believe, in the Contemporary Worship series in the 1970's:  Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what You have first given us - ourselves, our time, and our possessions, signs of Your goodness and symbols of our love.  Accept them for the sake of Him who offered Himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  That would be a definite plus.
* A and B use the longer option from LSB 1 and 2 - but a shorter form is not apparently an option.  So you get the Prayer of thanksgiving, the Words of our Lord, the Proclamation of Christ, then the Our Father.  I count this a strength.  In Service C (which is rather like DS 4 in LSB) you have the same order we have in that rite.
* A and B have an invitation to communion immediately following the Agnus Dei.  I am supposing that the pastor holds the elements towards the people as he announces:  The gifts of God for the people of God!  Their response is the traditional:  Lord, we are not worthy to receive you into ourselves, but speak the word and we shall be healed.  Some indebtedness to the 1969 Worship Supplement there.
* B makes use of the Louis Bourgeois rimed paraphrase of the Nunc Dimittis, I believe, to it's traditional tune (we use that tune for "O Gladsome Light, O Grace")
* All three liturgies provide the same three post-communion collects from which to choose.
* The Taize Kyrie, Kyrie Eleison is set to the longer litany we have in Evening Prayer.
* Four Offices are provided:  Matins, Sext, Vespers and Compline.
* Orders are included for Baptism, Admission to the Sacrament, Marriage, Funeral
* Special uses are provided for the first Sunday in Advent, Penitential seasons, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter, Private Confession and Absolution, and visiting of the sick.
* Athanasian Creed and Small Catechism included as well.

That's about as far as I'm going for tonight, but over all, a VERY well done book.  Pr. Saar and others who worked on it, also worked on LSB, and if I may say so, they have at almost every point offered improvements.  I thought the Bourgeois Nunc Dimittis was especially fitting with a french speaking culture.  I'll be exploring the hymns a bit more later!  But after a couple hours with it, I must confess:  Well done indeed.  What a resource for work with Haitians and numerous other French speakers around the world!


Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

Pastor Saar is awesome. I can't wait until we get some of this stuff on Time Out. Coming soon!

Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

Clarification: we'll be working on the hymns. :)

Jeremy Loesch said...

Will, I'm surprised you don't know who Hubert de Maastricht is!


William Weedon said...

Dan, sweet!

Jeremy, tell me more!

Jeremy Loesch said...

Will, I was teasing about the family de Maastricht. (There's no wink emoticon on your comment section.) I was going to make up something to the effect that we spent two whole days in Nagel's Christology class discussing Maastricht's contributions to that area, but that might drive you nuts trying to figure out who this person is. I'll google him.

Isn't Maastricht the name of a city in Belgium? They speak French in parts of Belgium. A friend in the SELK lives in Belgium and is trying to start a French-speaking Lutheran church there. Perhaps they would be in the market for this new hymnal.

I like the name of the book- Services and Songs. And I like the color too. Glad they retained the embossing as well. We had a baptism on Trinity Sunday and utilized the images on the hymnal covers during my sermon. Worked well as we had a number of attenders who are not normally in church.

I'll try to get back to you with info on Maastsricht.


Chris said...

Why shouldn't the Gloria be the ONLY option? What else would there be (at least in the traditional Liturgy) except when it is omitted during the penitential seasons?

Mike Keith said...

Good also for work among French speaking Canadians :-)

William Weedon said...




What, you guys speak French up there? ;)

Anonymous said...

Do the French have something against the color burgundy? I see the hymnal design cover is the same design as LSB except the color (and the words).

Anonymous said...

Hubert was a 7th-century bishop whose colorful life gives us today's Jaegermeister logo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubertus
Lambert was the bishop of Maastricht previous to Hubert: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambert_of_Maastricht
Maurice d' Agaune was a member of a Roman Legion which converted to Christianity and then they were all martyred: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Maurice
Edwige de Silesie was a 13th-century pious noblewoman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_of_Andechs


Past Elder said...

Sounds bloody awful.

Just another Vatican II wannabe, dumping the traditional order of lessons and the ceremonies previously in use, to borrow the phrases of our Confessions, for another Lutheraned-over novus ordo.

If you wannabe Catholic, just swim the damn Tiber.

We don't need Contemporary Worship in the form of Vatican II For Lutherans any more than we need it in the form of Willow Creek For Lutherans.

Does make me remember how fun it was late at night growing up in Minnesota to hear, once the other junk went off the air, the French Canadian stations, which usually played Jazz.

Past Elder said...

PS )did you really think I was done)

Wise move hell. 26 January is the feast of St Polycarp. Just as Loehe or anyone else with a lick of sense. Timothy is 24 January and Titus is 8 February. Except for the 1960s novus ordo calendar and wannabes.

Past Elder said...

PPS -- please don't tell me they booted poor old Polycarp to his Vatican II date of 23 February!

Pastor Saar said...

Dear Pastor Weedon,

Thank you for your kind review of the French hymnal.

I'd like to offer a couple of quick comments to curious readers and yourself.

1)Limitations of space and money prevented inclusion of the 1 year lectionary. However, if you look at the daily lectionary on page 275, you'll see that the Sunday readings are from that lectionary, so it does survive after a fashion.

2)Unless you've lived as a small minority in an RC culture, as francophone Lutherans do, you can't begin to appreciate how sensitive something like August 15th can be. For anglophone Lutherans, this really isn't an issue, so it's hard to comprehend.

3)CPH asked us not to use the burgundy colour so as not to confuse it with LSB. That's why we went with the Québec blue. It is clearly and intentionally within the LSB orbit, however. That was one of our aims in publishing the book. We wanted to have a common hymn language in both English and French for our synod (Lutheran Church - Canada). This is of great significance to our francophone Lutherans in Québec who can feel very isolated within our synod due to the language barrier.

4)Most anglophone Lutherans are quite unfamiliar with the 400+ year history of French Lutheranism. This hymnal is a huge improvement over anything previously available and is proving to be a major source of encouragement to both English and French speaking Lutherans. I'll give 2 quick examples.
a)The last time the Athanasian Creed appeared in a French Lutheran hymnal was 300 years ago!
b)Never before has a French Lutheran hymnal (or any other for that matter) included the daily offices or the biblical text of the psalms.

I could go on and on, but this post is already too long. I look forward to your review on the hymn section. Thank you again.
Pastor Saar

Past Elder said...

I'd be interested to hear more about Point 2.

My first thought was maybe it was a Huguenot thing, but that would fit St Bart's Day, not the Assumption. Which feast, btw, is to-morrow if you're Eastern Church. (They didn't have a Vatican II, so things didn't get all jacked around.)

I think 15 August is still a legal holiday in France and most of its former colonies, so maybe it is part of a Protestant minority in a Catholic culture sort of thing -- "Eldest Daughter of the Church" and all.

Since my French comes by way of the Tsarist court (my teacher as a kid was kicked out after the Revolution, I didn't learn French in a French environment. So I'd be interested in hearing more about this. Am I even close in my guess?

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

CPH has samples of this new Hymnal on their website. It also has a concordance, and its rather impressive to see how many hymns have been rendered into French. I think this will also be a blessing to Lutheran congregations in countries where French is the academic language, such as Haiti and Guinea. Concordia Publishing House has released many fine works in the past few years, and it is a credit to them that such a collaboration was accomplished.