30 July 2011

Dr. Grime Reflects

on LSB, five years in here.  I must say that I agree with him - it's been a remarkably easy transition.  Some of the newer stuff has already become "old favorites" (life without God's Own Child?  I don't think so).  But he's so right about the fact that any parish is destined to UNDERUSE the hymnal due to our love of the familiar.  There's a lot there and the more we gently explore, the bigger will grow our "old favorites" category.


Chris said...

Pr. Grime (whom I admit I honestly don't think too highly of) touts this as one of the LSB's successes:

# Guitar Chord Edition -- Every hymn and chant in LSB is included in this resource. Soon it will be supplemented by an additional resource providing chords for all of the services in LSB.

Really? This is a success? That the great hymns can now be sung as if you were sitting around the campfire chomping on smores?

How is this anything else but encouraging the folksy entertainment type of Liturgy which has inspired a lot of Lutherans to seek out more confessional churches where the Liturgy is celebrated reverently or leave the Lutheran Church altogether?

On another note, I've seen the LSB and it does have a great many advantages and praiseworthy items (my parents bought one for themselves and donated three to the church), though I think the psalm tones are wretched and the chants should have been based more on Gregorian Psalm Tones than whatever the "musicians" came up with.

William Weedon said...

Actually, yes. Guitar CAN be a wonderful and simple accompaniment to hymns or especially to the Psalter. If you'd ever heard Dr. Baue, you'd not question the value of it. It's as though you're singing along with David.

The Psalm tones, I confess, are not my favorite, but they do provide a painless way to get folks chanting the Psalms again - the better Psalm tones, in my opinion, are the two parters.

Chris said...

Guitar does not equal organ. The composers of the 16-19th centuries were writing for solo human voice with organ accompaniment (mostly) with other instruments thrown in there. Singing something like Cruger, Schutz, Scheidt, Telemann, Hassler, etc. would not sound good at all to guitar. Bach is different because he is a far more abstract composer. in the absence of an organ, a capella should be the standard.

Terry Maher said...

Judas H Kantor, Schuetz and Scheidt but not Schein? No way! That's the Three Ss, and one may no more leave one out of that list than out of the other list by the same name.

Schein always reminds me of my favourite Jewish clergy, the well known early morning visitor Rabbi Reisenschein. Right up there with my all time favourite Reb Moshe he is.

Joe Herl said...

I am looking forward to Paul Grime's blog. I worked with Paul on both LSB and the Hymnal Supplement 98, and I believe that without his leadership LSB would have been a poorer book, and it's quite possible that it wouldn't have happened at all.

Paul had a set of skills that was just what was needed to direct the project: a thorough background in theology and church history (with a doctorate in the latter), excellent musical skills, attention to detail, the ability to juggle dozens of different tasks simultaneously and still meet deadlines, and a complete lack of hubris that doubtless makes his considerable accomplishments less well known that they ought to be. Keeping peace among dozens of often highly opinionated pastors and laypeople was no easy task, but Paul just swallowed his pride and made sure everyone working on the project received a respectful hearing.

Paul insisted that our decisions be as public and transparent as possible, and I know that made for a better book. There was extensive testing of anything likely to be controversial, and even in our deliberations Paul always had the average congregation foremost in his mind. Many times someone would suggest something idealistic but impractical, and Paul would bring us back down to earth by asking us how it would play in the proverbial Peoria.

Terry Maher said...

Watching the coming to-gether of LSB from afar -- well, from WELS, but that's afar -- via the materials posted on lcms.org was one of the main reasons I switched to LCMS in 2006.

That something as altogether outstanding as the version of the Common Service could be done in this post Vatican II intoxicated world is bloody near miraculous. Not to mention retention of the traditional lectionary, even if a third reading was tacked on. And it didn't even need a motu proprio to do it! And re-correcting corrected hymns back to their originals.

Even if otherwise it is largely haunted by that miserable ghost of Christmas past, LBW. When I first saw that hunk of junk, second only to the Documents of Vatican II in suitability for bird cage lining, it was while writing programme notes for a Lutheran choral group (now ELCA, what else) whose director is in its, and LSB's, credits, and I thought, "If this is all the Lutherans have I might as well go back to Rome and stick it out with the novus ordo" and didn't give Lutheranism a second thought for seven more years until it crossed my path in the form, so zu sagen, of Nancy. Married her, joined it. In that order.

God plays real hardball sometimes.

Even so I have yet to participate, and likely never will, in that great version of the Common Service, living incognito as DSIII in the land of DSI, revised RCL revised novus ordo lectionary, mixed organ and praise team, usw.

A. Capella is actually Antonius Capella, you know, the little known cousin of Martianus Capella, one of the great transmitters of ancient knowledge to the mediaeval world. He became a Christian and composed church music but only for voices because the organ had been Vandalised. Literally. The bleeding Vandals in 429. In his honour, unaccompanied music has been called a capella ever since, though the attribution has since become obscure.

William Weedon said...

Joe! You figured it out. Yeah.

Being one of the pains in the posterior that Paul had to work with, I can ditto ALL of your words. He was amazing - absolutely amazing - in his ability to handle difficult and often wrong headed folks, to get us to think in terms of the congregation, and to handle the fine detail work. I'll add that I don't think he'd have come close to doing what he did without his trusty assistant, Pr. Jon Vieker, whose work on the project was also invaluable and who, like Paul, has that wonderful personality that can soothe over troubled waters. They both deserve a HUGE thanks.