Sunday, November 24, 2013

Advent Music

Page CXVI. Advent to Christmas. Boulder: SoundCloud/Page CXVI, 2013. mp3 audio download. $9.99.  (H)
Advent to Christmas is the first of three projected Church Calendar albums by a group we've reviewed on a couple of occasions, Page CXVI.

This brief album of seven tracks left me wanting more. I pray there will be more in their Church Year series. Tracks include:
  1. Awake My Soul
  2. Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
  3. Comfort, Comfort, Now My People
  4. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
  5. Angels We Have Heard on High
  6. O Come, All Ye Faithful
  7. Silent Night
Expect new and modified melodies. Expect to be able to sing along to the hymn texts you already have memorized while listening in your car.

This album is more edifying to me than secularized "Siberian Steamroller" mall musak that retailers have already begun playing. Hear comfort in Christ. Hear words supported by freshened music.

Advent to Christmas releases on December 3.

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a permanent member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, Editor of QBR, and author of 5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Congregation a Caring Church.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Received for Review


Ham, Ken. Six Days: The Age of the Earth and the Decline of the Church. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2013. 256 Pages. Paper. $13.99. (LHP)

Purdom, Georgia, General Editor. Galapagos Islands: A Different View. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2013.  104 Pages. Cloth. $18.99. (LHP)

Schroeder, Joel Allen, Director. Dear Mr. Watterson. (Documentary about the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes and its enduring cultural legacy) Pre-release online screener. LINK TO PHOTOS: (LHPN)

Finale 2014. Eden Prarie, MN: MakeMusic, 2013. Music notation/composition software. Windows/Mac. (Retail: $600; Academic/Theological: $350; Upgrade from Finale, previous version $139.95; Trade up from Allegro: $300; Trade up from PrintMusic: $400. Trade Up from SongWriter: $450; Switch from competitive product $139.) (LH)

Lectionary Psalms: the Revised Grail Psalms (As Found in Lead Me, Guide Me Second Edition). Chicago: GIA, 2013. Audio CD set. $29.95. (LH)  

Lectionary Psalms: the Revised Grail Psalms (As Found in Lead Me, Guide Me Second Edition). Chicago: GIA, 2012. Spiral sheet music. $34.95. (LH) 

Lead Me, Guide Me (Second Edition). Chicago: GIA, 2013. Cloth Hymnal. $15.50. (LH) 

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Received for Review



The Project. Martyrs Prayers. Indianapolis: Saints and Survivors, 2012. (Audio CD, $12.99.) mp3 audio download, $9.99. (HN) 


Page CXVI. Advent to Christmas. Boulder: SoundCloud/Page CXVI, 2013. mp3 audio download. $9.99.  (H)


Getty, Keith and Kristyn Getty. Live at the Gospel Coalition: Modern and Traditional Hymns (Songbook). Nashville: GettyMusic, 2013. 44 Pages. Paper. $14.99. (downloadable version available for $11.99) (LH)


Carrico, David. 1635: Music and Murder (Ring of Fire). Riverdale, NY: Baen, 2013. 518 Pages. Kindle e-book. $4.99.  (N)


Flint, Eric, David Carrico. 1636: Seas of Fortune (Ring of Fire). Riverdale, NY: Baen, 2013. 485 Pages. Kindle e-book. $8.59.  (N)

Flint, Eric, David Carrico. 1636: The Devil's Opera (Ring of Fire). Riverdale, NY: Baen, 2013. 528 Pages. Kindle e-book. $8.59. (Hardcover available for $18.48.)  (N)


(The books above are available in digital and paper formats.)


Grantville Gazette, Volumes 42-50. Moore, OK: 1632, Inc., 2012-13. Digital downloadable file (various formats). Subscription rates vary. (N)



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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

FW: The evolution of the Psalms. . . from corporate to individual use


The Psalms…


Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 5:00 AM
Author: (Pastor Peters)
Subject: The evolution of the Psalms. . . from corporate to individual use


Aside from the snippet of a Psalm in the introit, I grew up in a Lutheran parish in which the Psalms were largely absent from Sunday morning.  It was probably not intentional.  In part it was the result of a culture of minimalism in which the Old Testament reading had disappeared and the Church was focused upon the Epistle and Gospel.  The Psalms were not sung or spoken with any great regularity.  Even when we used Matins and Vespers, we sang the musically appointed Psalm in the office but did not include any additional Psalms as the rubrics both allow and intend.  We sang the hymns of the hymnal but the songbook of the Scriptures was largely a personal devotional resource and not something that touched our common life around the Word and Table of the Lord.

Having been around when the earth was moving (at least in terms of worship) and a new three year lectionary was underfoot, it was a radical change from what had been.  In addition to the limited verses of the Introit Psalm, we now had a full Psalm appointed for each seasonal Sunday, feast day, and festival.  Even then, the Psalm was often omitted, perhaps for the sake of time.  It was not an intentional oversight and no one decided that the use of the Psalms in worship was a bad thing.

Of all the things that have been introduced (I should have said re-introduced) into the life of a congregation, restoring the Psalm has been one of the more difficult.  Finding a page in the hymnal and having folks turn to the page (not the hymn number but the page number) proved to be an irritant to many folks in church on Sunday morning.  Whether TLH or LW, it was often confusing to those unaccustomed to turning to that section of the book.  The idea of chanting the Psalm was a radical new discovery of a very ancient practice but somehow people kept thinking the idea too Catholic to be comfortable.  The choir had used the spot of the Psalmody for their anthem and some felt it was too much to have both a choir anthem and a Psalm.  I persevered but progress was slow.

Hymnal Supplement 98 offered us a responsive format in which the people repeated the refrain while choir or cantor sang the actual text of the Psalm, usually all of us joining in the Gloria Patri.  This was the place where we really began to sing the Psalms in earnest.  Introducing Evening Prayer and its second appointed Psalm was also instrumental in recovering the Psalm to our common prayer.

Now, with LSB, we more regularly chant the Psalm using one of the appointed tones, alternating with the voice of the cantor who introduces the tone and sings the Psalm in alternapraxis with the folks in the pew.  We have been doing that often enough so that it is no longer new and no longer associated with things Catholic (of course it is a catholic practice).

Still, wherever I go I often find the Psalm missing from the Divine Service.  Funny, there were some Protestants in the beginning who insisted that the only songs which could be sung in worship were the Psalms and now their heirs seem to sing everything but the Psalms.  The Psalm competes against the classic hymnody of the Church as well as praise songs and choruses too many to count.  Who has time to sing the Psalm on Sunday morning?  We all should... but we do not, at least not universally.

Instead the Psalms have become more the domain of our private prayers and personal and family devotional lives.  We love them there.  We recognize the words of some Psalms more quickly than most references from the Scriptures.  We cannot have a funeral without the 23rd Psalm and we probably have a plaque in our house that proudly declares "This is the Day the Lord Hath Made; Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad in It." 

I certainly do not want to displace the Psalms from the treasured place in personal and family prayer (see the Treasury of Daily Prayer for how extensively the Psalms are used there).  But I do think we need to recover their place as a regular part of the Divine Service and their regular use (chanted preferably but spoken is good, too) as part of the pericopes.  Part of our kinship with the Old Testament Church lies in the singing of the Psalms.  Christ insists that He is the subject of the Psalms as well as the words of the prophets.  We sing them (or speak them) and confess Christ by it.  I challenge those congregations who regularly omit the Psalm of the Day to begin including it -- if not every Sunday, a couple of Sundays each month and certainly on the high and holy days of the calendar.

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