I finally have a copy of LSB, and I am pretty happy with what I have seen so far. Of course, I knew mostly what it would look like after viewing all of the materials ahead of time, but it is nice to have one in hand. I like many features of the book, and used the Suffrages after lunch and Vespers this afternoon, just to familiarize myself with it. There are some weak hymns in it, which I expected, as well as some very strong hymns. I was disappointed to see that there were only two hymns listed in the Ordination/Installation section. I mean, I know these things don’t take place very often in a congregation (some more than others), but LW already cut some of the good ones out, and now we have even fewer.
Should I be surprised by this, though? I think not. It is reflective of the diminished view of the Office of the Holy Ministry by our Synodical pastors and members. Where that Office is not seen as essential to the Church’s Life in Christ, then there will be less emphasis placed on it in our hymnals. “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi,” right? I was hoping that I would not have to pick hymns out of TLH and LW anymore, but that will not be the case. My custom is to pick ordination hymns or hymns dealing with the Office of the Ministry on days when the Gospel deals with the Ministry, such as when Jesus calls Peter, James, and John and says that they will “catch men.” I’m not going to make a big deal out of it. It is, like a said, par for the course. I’m going to use this hymnal to the best of my ability in the congregation, and hope that someday our Synod will regain its high view of the Office which once was held by its founding fathers, including C.F.W. Walther.