Sun 4 Apr 2010
Chantez à Dieu, célébrez son nom! Frayez le chemin à celui qui s’avance à travers les plaines! L’Éternel est son nom: réjouissez-vous devant lui!
Psaume 68:4 (Louis Segond [68:5])
Back when Concordia Publishing House (CPH) published LSB (Lutheran Service Book) in 2006, I attended one of the launch events here in Saskatchewan. The presenters praised the benefits of the new hymnal, and admittedly there were many. They praised many of the positive attributes of the new hymnal, such as the consistent pagination (a BIG improvement), and highlighted some of the excellent new songs. But one of the things they praised irked me immensely: the inclusion of many Spanish translations of songs.
Now let me be clear. It wasn’t the fact that the songs were offered in Spanish that bothered me. In fact, I think it’s an excellent feature. What bothered me was the total lack of French translations of hymns. The hymnal was a perfect fit for Lutheran churches in the United States, where Spanish is the most common second language. But it seemed to me (and to many others with me that day) that Canadian needs had not been considered in the creation of the book. Canada is, after all, a nation with two official languages: English and French. The implication seemed to be that what was good enough for Americans should be good enough for their Canadian counterparts. Needless to say, I left the hymnal launch that day frustrated and disappointed.
Recently, however, Rev. David Somers and Rev. David Saar of Lutheran Church – Canada / Église Luthérienne du Canada in conjunction with Concordia Publishing House have come to fill the void left by LSB. But they’ve gone further than just providing a few French translations of hymns. Their great work Liturgies et cantiques luthériens has recently been published by CPH. This new hymnal is the first French Lutheran hymnal published anywhere since 1975. And it’s being joyously received all over the world.
Visit LCC InfoDigest here for a few recent videos of Lutherans in Togo putting the new hymnals to good use.
You can purchase the hymnal from CPH’s website here.