When Lutheran churches were first established in North America, the immigrants from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and other non-English speaking countries retained services in their native languages. However, as the children and grandchildren of these immigrants began speaking English in their everyday lives and the various Lutheran denominations began uniting, many felt that the North American Lutheran churches needed a common English-language liturgy and hymns. Although the eighteenth-century missionary Henry Melchior Muhlenberg had hoped for the day when Lutherans would be "one church [with] one book," it was not until the 1888 "Common Service" that a majority of English-speaking Lutherans in North America began to use the same texts for worship, albeit with minor adaptations. (Senn, 584-591). The "Common Liturgy" included in the 1958 Service Book and Hymnal was a major revision of the "Common Service," and introduced a Eucharistic Prayer into American Lutheran usage. It was not officially adopted by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, though some congregations use it. Culto Cristiano, a 1964 service book, attempted to offer a unified liturgy for Spanish-speaking Lutherans.
The project that began publication of the LBW started in 1965 when the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) invited other North American Lutheran denominations to join it in work to a common service book. In addition to the LCMS, the Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada formed the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship to undertake this project. The commission conducted its work through questionnaires, test programs, conferences, and dialogs. The LBW was finally published in 1978. The LCMS pulled out of the ILCW just prior to the publication of the LBW, but its name still appears on the title page. The LCMS published their own hymnal, Lutheran Worship, in 1982. Although the LW liturgies are very similar to those in the LBW, they lack the option for a Eucharistic Prayer.
While it is in its twenty-seventh printing and used by the ELCA and the ELCIC, the book was replaced in October 2006 as the primary worship resource in the two denominations by Evangelical Lutheran Worship.
The Rev. Edward Hansen, bishop for 18 years; A leader in the American Lutheran Church, Hansen also helped develop the Lutheran Book of Worship.(NEWS)(Obituary)
Aug 10, 2009; Byline: TIM HARLOW; STAFF WRITER The Rev. Edward A. Hansen was cast in the role of Scrooge in the play "A Christmas Carol" as an...