With great joy and excitement, the new Spanish Lutheran Hymnal (Himnario Luterano) has been released in the Dominican Republic. 19,000 copies have been printed and are now on their way to Lutheran churches throughout North, Central and South America.
LHF Executive Director Rev. Dr. Matthew Heise and Assistant Executive Director Jeffrey Rahn attended the celebration in May at Concordia the Reformer Seminary in Palmar Arriba, Santiago. There, each of the pastors received their own copy of Himnario Luterano.
A MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE
“I think that one of the things I noticed is how lovingly pastors cradled this hymnal,” recalled Rev. Heise. “They have heard about this hymnal; they have understood that the production has been underway for a long time, but then to actually get it in their hands…their excitement was palpable! I have never heard A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Castillo Fuerte Es Nuestro Dios) sung more robustly than I did there.”
“For me, being present was a mountaintop experience, to witness this labor of love that has been in production for 14 years,” agreed Rahn. “To see the overwhelming joy the pastors expressed as they waved their first copies in the air will be forever ingrained in my mind. They anxiously await receiving their copies when they return to their particular countries, for use in their churches. We know that this is going to be a resource that is going to be used for a long time, on a daily and weekly basis as they serve their Lutheran members in their own countries.”
At almost 1,100 pages in length, Himnario Luterano contains nearly 670 hymns, 90 Psalms, 5 Orders of Divine Service, 2 Matins services, 2 Vespers services, Luther’s Small Catechism and more.
“This hymnal is going to be the standard hymnal, the go-to hymnal for Spanish-speaking congregations in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, perhaps even Spain,” reflected Rev. Heise. “With settings for guitar, as well as piano and organ of course, this hymnal has a little bit of something for everyone. Not only is it just a hymnal, it’s really a teaching tool, because it has documents from the Lutheran Confessions.”
Reactions of Latino church leaders
“We have the parts of the Bible and the Book of Concord, which form that base of the proclamation of the Word,” said Rev. Juan Pablo Lanterna, president of the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile. “This helps to teach the Gospel not only in the Lutheran churches themselves, but in the community. It also helps with evangelism in the lives of members as well. This will help generations to come to have a very strong faith and proclamation of the Gospel.”
“[This hymnal] is an opportunity to bring our people together, for the Church to have a new way to unify around the prayers and hymns,” said Rev. Ignacio Chan, president of Iglesia Luterana en Guatemala (pictured at left, top photo). “This is the spiritual food of the Church here that will also aid in the proclamation of the Word and Sacraments.”
MULTIPLE ORGANIZATIONS, WORKING TOGETHER
Himnario Luterano is the result of several different church bodies and mission organizations working together.
“We at LHF are especially thrilled that we would partner with the LCMS Office of International Mission,” said Rev. Heise, “because this really is a joint venture with LHF and our missionaries in the Caribbean and throughout Latin America. We are working hand-in-glove with our synod to be missionaries of this Gospel message that we love so well, which is proclaimed through the Lutheran Church.”
To request your copy of Himnario Luterano, contact the LHF office at (800)554-0723 or fill out this form. Suggested donation is $10 per copy to help LHF continue translating and publishing books like these for churches around the world.