Coming….Spring 2013. Here is a sampling of what people are saying about it:
This book paves a path back to the roots of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod which was blocked until now for all those who are not able to read and understand German. But this book is more than just a historical remembrance of what has been long time ago. It also shows that Lutherans of our days sing for a good part the old hymns which have been sung by the forefathers of the 19th century, yes even by the Lutheran Church of the centuries before. Finally this publication is of great value because it enables readers to rediscover hymns which are – for different reasons – not in use anymore. They are now able to join in words and melodies which may sound unfamiliar in the first moment but make accessible experiences and testimonies of Christian faith which may be underemphasized in our days.
Walther's hymnal, originally published in 1847, shaped the theology, graced the liturgy, and fostered the spirituality of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod almost from its beginnings, but did so in the German language. Until now English-speaking Missouri Lutherans have been unable to appreciate the significance of this collection of hymns, which, when it first appeared, was a pioneering anthology that sought to undo layers of editorial re-writing and truncation and give the texts in the language and length their authors gave to them. Matthew Carver has opened the closed door and provided English translations for all the hymns in Walther's hymnal, and many are translated for the first time.
Music Matthew Carver has performed an extraordinary service to the English-speaking spiritual descendants of C.F.W. Walther, the first LCMS president. Through the compilation of existing translations and his original translations of the remaining hymns, Carver has made it possible for us to experience one of the most significant resources that shaped the piety of those first generations of Saxon Lutherans. Walther's Hymnal will serve not only as a rich devotional resource for our time but also as an impetus for future hymnwriters as they add to our rich heritage.
This resource is a wonderful packet of "Heirloom Seeds" for all who wish to learn more about the spirit and song of the Lutheran confessional revival of the nineteenth century. Those who study and sing the hymns in this collection will be treated to an experience of living theological and liturgical history which give a glimpse into the faith expressions of those who passed a lively confession to us. This will be a welcome addition to the library of all who appreciate the Lutheran chorale, and for composers who are searching for "new" texts to inspire musical settings for use in the church, school and home.
"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." The literary productivity of C. F. W. Walther is absolutely astounding. Of all the Missouri Synod presidents, I suspect only Franz Pieper (1899–1911) came anywhere close to Walther. Excluding Pieper, our venerable first president's output exceeds all the rest combined. That Walther turned his precious time and laser-like attention to the production of a hymnal at the very outset of the Missouri Synod's life, demonstrates that orthodox Lutheranism has orthodox worship in its very DNA. Thanks to Matthew Carver, we now have Walther's hymnal, which guided the life of the Synod through its German-speaking period—six decades blessed with exponential growth. And much more than that, the core German hymnody that Walther thought a Lutheran hymnal ought contain has been preserved largely intact to this very day in Lutheran Service Book. That the Synod should have maintained Walther's deep convictions regarding freedom in matters of worship, while so broadly adopting similar practice through hymnals, is testimony to his Lutheran genius.