Dear Friends in Christ,
This week we continue with Part 2 of our quest on the history of the version of The Lord's Prayer that we sing. I welcome continued input on this topic so if you have any knowledge of where/why/how this came to be at GA please let me know.
I reached out this week to former GA members Kim and Shawn Norton. These two super-talented musicians and longtime faithful members had some interesting facts to provide. I found it very insightful not only because it gave me more information about the prayer but also some history of our music program. Some excerpts from our exchange are provided below.
"I know it [the sung version of the prayer] was before we started singing there in 1974 and before we started using the green hymnals. I have found copies pasted in the old red hymnal that predated the green. Now that hymnal was used in GA from 1958 until about 1978, when we switched over.
I believe that Pastor Amos was the one who started the tradition, but I think it was at someone else's suggestion. Also probably not when he first became Pastor, which I THINK was about 1962, when the Swedes would have objected to changing the liturgy. I figure the tradition must have started sometime in the mid-to-late 1960s, when GA first started to open up and be more than just a Swedish-centered Lutheran Church.
.............maybe the important thing to remember is that Pastor Amos was very open to any suggestion that expanded the musical involvement of the congregation. He truly believed that it was vital for a Lutheran congregation to become as fully involved as possible in the service, and that included the incorporation of other sources for prayer and the liturgy. When the liturgy changed, as we switched to the green hymn book, he insisted JoAnn Rice [Minister of Music] work with him one on one (for weeks, she told me) so that he could sing every note. Pastor Amos also used to "borrow" any hymns that anyone suggested, or that he liked, whenever he felt they were appropriate, so we often had insert hymns from the Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists and, of course, a few Swedish hymns that weren't in the hymnal."
Our conversation was further proof to me about two theories that I have developed during my last 5 years at GA.
1. Music and Worship are very important to this congregation and have been for a long time.
2. Our congregation enjoys exploring new music styles that enhance the worship experience.
I believe that these two factors have contributed greatly to our growth as a congregation over the past few years. Trying new things during worship isn't always easy but when it comes from a place of faith it is amazing what can happen. The sung version of The Lord's Prayer is a perfect example.
Keep those questions coming!