Lutheran Service Book, the hymnal released by Concordia Publishing House in 2006, has sold one million copies, according to the Synod’s publisher.
“People need a way to give voice to their faith. There are three core books that can do that: the Bible, the hymnal and the catechism,” said CPH Publisher Rev. Paul McCain. “The hymnal is the book that helps put our faith in a form that we can easily remember. That is a powerful influence in a Christian’s life.”
Even before its release, the hymnal saw great success, McCain noted: its first print run of 250,000 copies sold out in preorders, and today some 80 percent of LCMS congregations are using the hymnal.
“We are absolutely thrilled to celebrate the overwhelming reception that Lutheran Service Book has had in our churches,” said CPH President and CEO Dr. Bruce G. Kintz. “At CPH, it is our mission to serve the church by providing resources for today’s ministry, and the hymnal’s success shows us that our mission is being fulfilled.”
The millionth Lutheran Service Book (LSB) was purchased online by Rev. Gary Benedix, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Jackpot, Nev. Benedix ordered a single copy of LSB for two purposes: to introduce the hymnal to his small congregation and to present it as a gift to his one and only confirmation student.
With a weekly attendance of between four and 25 worshipers, the congregation had not been able to purchase copies of the hymnal when it was released.
Benedix learned he had bought the millionth copy when Kintz called to congratulate him. As a way of saying thank you, CPH gave 30 of the LSB hymnals to the congregation.
“The liturgical aspect of worship is so important to me,” the pastor said. “The beauty of the service, especially in LSB, adds depth and spirituality to each person that uses it.”
Benedix said the congregation is “excited to get started with Lutheran Service Book and to continue this liturgical tradition with Word and Sacrament in Jackpot.”
Now that the hymnal is beginning its fifth year, CPH has launched the “Hymnal in Every Home” campaign to show people how they can use the resource at home.
“It gives great continuity between Sunday morning and home life because it is basically your one-stop shop” with “suggested daily Bible readings, hymns, prayers, psalms and more,” said McCain. “Why only worship the Lord on Sunday? His Word is our sustenance. Can you survive by eating only one day a week? Probably. But God’s buffet is open 24/7 and He invites us to enjoy richly.”
In conjunction with the campaign, CPH is offering through Dec. 31 the Pew Edition of Lutheran Service Book, normally $23, for $20 (item no. 031170WEB) and the Gift Edition, normally $40, for $30 (item no. 031171WEB).
To order the hymnal, or to find out more about the “Hymnal in Every Home” campaign, visit www.cph.org/hymnal.
Updated Sept. 21, 2010