The WELS Hymnal Project recently released a comprehensive update on its work of producing a new hymnal.
“It’s the first indication from each committee as far as where they are heading on the key issues that each of them faces,” says Rev. Jonathan Bauer, chairman of the WELS Hymnal Project Communications Committee. “It says here is where we are going and here are some of the decisions that we made already that will guide the selection of materials that we will use going forward.”
The 2011 synod convention adopted the long-range goal of producing a new hymnal by the 500th anniversary of the first Lutheran hymnal in 1524. Rev. Michael Schultz began his work as the project’s director in 2012. More than 60 volunteers—pastors, teachers, and laypeople—form seven different committees in the WELS Hymnal Project that focus on the following areas: hymns, psalms, rites, occasional services, Scripture, technology, and communication.
Bauer says that already by this fall some materials will be ready for field testing. “By early May at the latest, we’ll start enlisting different congregations to participate in different ways,” he says. “They will have a chance to see some of the materials and the direction that we’re heading and then be able to provide us with feedback on it.”
According to Bauer, the WELS Hymnal Project is looking at a release date for the new hymnal in the early 2020s. Learn more about the WELS Hymnal Project at www.welshymnal.com.
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