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The Evangelical Lutheran
Rock Island, Jlinois
AUGUSTANA BOOK CONCERN
ROCK ISLAND, ILL.
LU3 A5 1125
The need of an English hymnal specially adapted to the Augustana Synod began to be felt thirty-five or forty years ago, and in 1895 the Synod instructed the Theological Faculty to prepare such a book. Most of the members responded readily, as did also some of the college professors and not a few others, men and women, pastors and laymen.
In a few years quite a number of translations had been attempted, and in 1899 Dr. C. W. Foss was appointed to edit and revise this and other acceptable material. At the Synodical meeting in St. Paul that year a text edition of 355 hymns was therefore submitted. It was promptly adopted and a music edition ordered. This was prepared by the editor and revised by Dr. Alfred Ostrom. The completion of the work was officially reported to the Synod in 1901.
But according to the editor himself, as well as Dr. O. Olsson, reporting to the Synod in behalf of the Theological Faculty, this Hymnal was intended to serve only for the time being, until a more adequate book could be prepared. The need for such a book was felt from the beginning, and it is a tribute to the compilers of the first Hymnal that it has served its purpose as long and as well as it has. Naturally the need was most keenly felt in the exclusively English churches, and the Association of those churches kept the matter constantly before the Synod. In 1910 the Association appointed a Hymnal Committee which is still in existence (1925), though the personnel has varied considerably during the intervening years.
In 1913 the Synod elected a Hymnal Committee of its own, consisting of Dr. Adolf Hult, Dr. C. J. Södergren, and Rev. Luther Malmberg, with instructions to coöperate with the committee of the Association. In 1917 Mr. E. W. Olson was added to this Committee, in 1920 Rev. C. A. Wendell, and in 1922 Rev. E. E. Ryden. An Advisory Committee was also elected the latter year, consisting of Dr. Mauritz Stolpe and the following musicians: Per Olsson, H. Brase, Filmore Ohman, Arvid Samuelson, Gustaf Lundholm, A. D. Bodfors, Samuel Thorstenberg, and J. Victor Bergquist. In 1924 Rev. P. N. Sjogren, Rev. Victor E. Beck, Dr. S. G. Hägglund, Rev. N. E. Kron, and Rev. E. C. Bloomquist were elected as an “Advisory Committee on Criticism of the Hymnal.” Dr. Adolf Hult has withdrawn, and Rev. Luther Malmberg has taken up work in another Synod.
For a number of years no definite progress was reported, and when the demands for a new book had become quite compelling, the Committee was reorganized. Mr. E. W. Olson was chosen to edit the work. He was released from his ordinary duties at the Augustana Book Concern and gave all his time to the Hymnal. But that was only a few months before the meeting of the Synod, in 1922, and the only thing the Committee could do was to propose a supplement to the existing Hymnal and ask for an extension of time. The Synod rejected the plan and insisted on a complete new Hymnal at the earliest date possible.
The result was a very busy year. Dr. C. W. Foss and Rev. I. 0. Nothstein were chosen editors and took up the work with all possible energy, gathering material both for the text and the music. The Committee met once a month, except during the summer, often spending two days at each meeting. Thus the work on the Hymnal text was completed in time for the meeting of the Synod in Rockford, Ill., in 1923. The Synod accepted the work and instructed the Committee to publish it, at the same time authorizing such minor modifications as the Committee might deem advisable.
A vast amount of work remained to be done. The tunes had to be reexamined and finally passed upon, the new Liturgy adopted by the Synod had to be prepared, the Passion History (which is a mosaic of Holy Scripture) had to be revised word for word in conformity with the American Standard version of the Bible, various indexes had to be prepared, and a mass of minor details attended to. In order to facilitate the work, the Committee adopted a division of labor. Dr. Foss and Rev. Nothstein continued in the capacity of editors. The choice of tunes, the editing of the music for the Liturgy, and much other work was intrusted to Rev. E. E. Ryden, Dr. C. J. Södergren and Rev. C. A. Wendell; the revision of the Passion History and much critical work to Mr. E. W. Olson; the editing and paragraphing of the Pericopes to Rev. C. A. Wendell; the rubrics for the same, as well as the revision of the Collects, and a brief account of the Church year, to Dr. C. J. Södergren; and the preparation of the various indexes to Rev. I. O. Nothstein. One by one these undertakings were reported to the Committee and passed upon by that body. The Liturgy has been prepared by a special Committee, chosen by the Synod and consisting of the following members: Dr. E. F. Pihlblad, Dr. Abel Ahlquist, Dr. Adolf Hult, Rev. J. W. Johnson, Rev. E. E. Ryden, and Prof. I. M. Anderson. As the Hymnal Committee did not feel competent to pass on the technicalities of the music, Prof. Gerhard Alexis was elected, with the approval of the Board of Directors of Augustana Book Concern, to do this work. He was assisted by Prof. Peter Johnson. Both of them have also contributed original compositions, as have some other of our best known organists.
The list of original tunes incorporated into this Hymnal follows: Gerhard Alexis: 485, 557, 569, 609, 677, 681, 615 (harmony); J. Victor Bergquist: 432, 137, 533, 605, 656; Dr. Adolf Hult: 380 (arranged), 426; Peter Johnson: 88, 141, 189, 210, 229, 231, 318, 505, 506, 556; C. S. Malmstrom: 537; Rev. S. M.