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Europe Joint Anglican/Lutheran Hymn Book Planned

Posted on: July 26, 1996 1:54 PM
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Work is underway to produce a small collection of hymns from the Churches involved in the Porvoo Agreement to help in celebrating the Anglican and Lutheran traditions of northern Europe. The Church of Sweden is taking the initiative to produce the hymnbook, which will include the melody lines for hymns that are popular in Porvoo Churches. The texts of the hymns will be in English and in their original language.

"Porvoo is known as a document of theological and ecclesiastical significance, but what good will ever so many clever thoughts do if they are disconnected from worship?" asked Johan Dalman of the Church of Sweden's Department for Theology and Ecumenical Affairs. "There needs to be an ongoing Porvoo worship process where people at the parish level can experience the spiritual core of the agreement first hand. There needs to be a Porvoo hymnbook, even if but a modest and short-lived one."

The project is coordinated by Ronald Englund, co-moderator of the Anglican-Lutheran Society, and Swedish church musician Per Harling. Each of the 10 Porvoo Churches has been asked to submit suggestions for the hymnbook. North America is a chief source of English translations of Nordic hymns because of the history of the Lutheran Churches in the US and Canada.

"Most of the nearly nine million Lutherans in these countries trace their roots to the Nordic nations.

"This is an exciting project, as Anglicans know almost none of the great hymns of the Nordic and Baltic Lutherans," said Mr Englund. "And to a lesser extent northern European Lutherans know few hymns of the Anglican tradition."