OK, I'm out of my sick bed - and am now in Schuyler, Nebraska playing for a Doxology conference. Thanks, Iggy, for starting off Round II of our discussion of "LSB After Three Years" with your nominations. I'll keep things going down with mine:
1 - Personal Favorite - By far my favorite new text in the hymnal is "All Christians Who Have Been Baptized" (LSB #596). Thank you, Jon Vieker, for translating this Gerhardt gem into English for us. And I think the pairing of this text with NUN FREUT EUCH is perfect. Historically, we sing this tune to tell the story of Christ with "Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice"; here, we sing the story of our baptismal life in Christ.
2 - Most Beneficial for Your Congregation's Piety - I would also say the above, but let me add another one here, which I think has been especially helpful for the Gospel at Bethany: "O Gracious Lord, with Love Draw Near" (LSB #599). Yes this is a new tune, and I was envisioning "best new texts to old tunes" with these nominations, but this hymn has filled a need at Bethany more than perhaps any other next text: for years I've been looking for just the right hymn to sing before the Rite of Confirmation, and now, thanks LSB, we've got it!
3 - Hymn that Most Effectively Catechizes - "The Gift Christ Freely Gives" (LSB #602) does a wonderul job of teaching the congregation about the means of grace, nurturing in them a Lutheran liturgical piety.
4 - Best Fit for an Old Tune - Another hymn that catechizes well is my pick in this category, as it sings like it was written for it's tune: "Jesus Comes Today with Healing". I've not historically been a huge fan of this tune, as I generally like a little more rhythmic variety in a tune, but the rhyme and rhythm of this David Rogner translation (of a Heinrich Puchta hymn) really make this tune come alive. A great marriage of tune and text.
5 - Text that Helped You Use an Older Tune - As I mentioned before, here I would agree with Christina Roberts and nominate "Christ Sits at God's Right Hand".
6 - Congregational Favorite - Have the people in your parish embraced a new text to the point where they associate an old tune now primarily with a new LSB text? It's hard to know what new LSB text has been a hit with the folks. There was a lot more talk about the new music in HS98 when it came out. Parishioners at both congregations where I introduced HS98 (Trinity-Peoria and Bethany-Naperville) loved "The Tree of Life", "What Is This Bread?", and "God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It", for example. They were all big hits. And there were others. So far with LSB I can only name one that is certainly on everyone's lips: "We Praise You and Acknowledge You". With LSB, we've mostly enjoyed having everything in one book in a most excellent layout. So I hope some Bethany members will help me out here and nominate their own favorites. For now, let me say that one possible candidate is "Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen" (LSB #474). Folks always liked the tune, EARTH AND ALL STARS, but many didn't care for the text. Regardless of one's thoughts on "Earth and All Stars", I think all would agree that here we have a more liturgically useful text - and with this text I no longer get complaints about singing this tune!
OK - I put myself out there. Those are my choices (for now). Anyone else want to play? :)
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