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Forthcoming Central American hymnal spurs worship workshop

August 13, 2013 No Comment

 

Dr. Somers addresses workshop participants.

Dr. Somers addresses workshop participants.

NICARAGUA – From July 26-28, seventy deaconesses, pastors, missionaries, musicians, and seminary students representing congregations in Nicaragua and Honduras participated in a workshop designed to deepen, strengthen, and enrich individual and corporate worship in the Church.

In addition to studying liturgical practice, participants learned new hymns for the Church Year, as well as various ways to use the Psalms as hymnody through antiphons and alternative reading of verses.

A forthcoming Spanish-language service book and hymnal being prepared by Central American Lutheran churches was the impetus for the workshop, since the new hymnal will soon be introduced to the Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua (ILSN). It will include more hymns and liturgies than have been heretofore available, and will also include more works by Hispanic authors and composers.

The weekend workshop was in the middle of intensive two-week courses at Nicaragua’s Seminario Teologico Reforma Luterana. One course was on the History of the Reformation, while the other focused on Lutheran worship, providing historical and theological support for the liturgy of the Church. Teaching both the workshop and courses were Lutheran Church–Canada’s Rev. Dr. David Saar and Rev. Dr. David Somers.

“The workshop was designed to give students the opportunity to put the theology of liturgy into practice, as well as how to use it in outreach,” explained Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, Lutheran Church–Canada’s Executive for Missions and Social Ministry. “It is a joy to have our Central American church leaders gather together to strengthen their worship practices.”

The workshop culminated with the participants attending Sunday morning worship at a local congregation, Iglesia Luterana Jesucristo Nuestro Salvador in the community of Santa Patricia. The workshop participants served as a choir throughout the service. New elements were practiced and explained before the service.

In the days following the workshop, congregations reported receptivity to the new orders of worship. The congregation in Santa Patricia announced it was going to implement use of the services the following Sunday, as did the congregation in Chinendega. Others are introducing sections of the liturgy into their services. Another congregation planned to use recordings from the workshop in their Sunday radio programming. Finally, the Nicaraguan church announced that bi-weekly meetings of church workers will now feature the new hymns and liturgies.

The new hymnal is set to be published in the near future.

The worship workshop was organized by the missions department of Lutheran Church–Canada, and sponsored in part through generous donations by Willi and Magda Ristau.

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