By Sergio Fritzler
Hispanic Heritage Month will be observed by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. As part of the observance, Reporter will feature a series of online articles about Lutheran Hispanic ministry. This article is the first of that series.
After 14 years of work, the Spanish Lutheran Hymnal (LH) will soon be available. It comes 30 years after the publication of Cantad al Señor (1991) and 57 years after Culto Cristiano (1964).
The book is a joint project of the Southern Cone (Chile, Argentina and Paraguay) and several other institutions, including the Confessional Lutheran Education Foundation, Lutheran Heritage Foundation, and the LCMS Office of International Mission’s Latin America and the Caribbean region.
The Spanish LH combines into one resource the liturgical and hymnal richness inherited from earlier hymnals and adds contemporary contributions and new translations of works not previously available in Spanish. The hymnal is designed to help God’s people:
- Proclaim the Gospel of forgiveness, eternal life and salvation;
- Celebrate Christ and His gifts; and
- Sing and pray the saving acts of God through requests, thanksgiving and praise.
The new hymnal was produced with several specific objectives:
- Integrate the liturgy and hymnology in use in Hispanic churches;
- Translate ancient and beloved hymns into Spanish;
- Introduce new hymns of current composers;
- Simplify the writing of music for piano and guitar;
- Rescue the use of the singing of the psalms, as well as the role of the pastor as cantor;
- Extend the use of the hymnal to the home;
- Include varied resources for the life of the church and individuals; and
- Include catechetical and pastoral uses.
Highlighted in the hymnal are lectionaries (triennial, historic and daily); the psalms and their modes of chanting; five liturgical options for the Divine Service; Matins, Vespers and Compline; litanies and responsive and intercessory prayers; congregational and private Confession and Absolution; the Athanasian Creed; Luther’s Small Catechism; 670 hymns (including all of Luther’s known hymns); and various indices.
Projects and activities that will support the distribution of the Spanish Lutheran Hymnal include audio resources of the liturgies and hymns, a Kindle version produced by the VDMA library project, an app and web app for the electronic use of LH on cell phones and computers, a compilation of the Propers for each festival, and conferences and workshops for implementation.
The rollout of the hymnal will involve 14 countries in Latin America.
The Rev. Sergio Fritzler is the rector of Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic, a church planter, and a founding member of the Spanish hymnal project.
Posted Sept. 15, 2021