Monday, May 07, 2012

Collects and other Extra$

As I pondered and relished the great content of the Collect for this past Sunday, and as I reflected upon the richness of the Collects that belong to the saints as they have been handed down through the generations, I thought that I would check in LSB to see how the “new” hymnal offers these to those who look to the hymnal for their devotional resource.  To my great dismay I discovered that the new LC—MS hymnal does not make these rich treasures of the Church available to the people.  Rather, the people must purchase them at an additional cost, AND, they must obtain permission to use them.

According to the LC-MS’s highly regarded and praised Pastor Weedon in his post entitled Collects Revisited :

     Live and learn. A good friend told me today that CPH holds the copyright on the collects in LSB, and therefore that I cannot legally publish them on my blog. Sorry about that, folks. I know, it seems utterly silly - how can a publishing house copyright the ancient collects of the Western Church?

He additionally says:

     I am still waiting to see if the collects from TLH are under copyright; again, since most of them are directly out of the Book of Common Prayer, I don't know how they could be.

Well, CPH did copyright TLH and for many years told the people that they were not free to use the material, even though the Preface on page two clearly gives open permission to one and all to use all of the material freely.

What was the LC-MS and CPH thinking?

In the name of the $ and of the $ and of the $!!!

TLH also has all of the Collects listed in the section entitled: “Introits, Collects, and Graduals for the Church Year.”

Why was this done?

Again, this is clearly stated in the Preface on page two, which I shall reproduce again here:

I. N. I.

     The Lutheran Hymnal is intended for use in church, school, and home. The committee entrusted with the task of compiling and editing has earnestly endeavored to produce a hymnal containing the best of the hymnodical treasures of the Church, both as to texts and tunes, in accord with the highest standards of Christian worship. It is our sincere prayer that these treasures may be cherished by God's people wherever the English tongue is used in public or private worship. We have freely used whatever we found of value and, by way of acknowledgment, have carefully indicated all sources. In turn, we freely offer for the use of others all original contributions or translations made by the committee as such or by its individual members.
     "Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever! Amen."


In LW the material was copyrighted without any permissions given in the preface, but at least these treasures were included in the hymnal for the use of the people in the regular congregating for the divine service and also in their personal devotions.

But LSB completely omits these, in addition to copyrighting them.  Having thus stolen them from the people they offer to sell them separately for four dollars per copy, here, explaining how generous, thoughtful, and accomodating they are here.  They add this warning and disclaimer:

It has been designed to be of such a size that it could easily fit in the back of a Pew Edition of Lutheran Service Book, but it should be mentioned that doing so may potentially stress and/or break the binding of the Pew Edition itself.

This breaks my heart.  But then, this is exactly what one would expect from the LC-MS and CPH.  It makes me ashamed to have to admit that for most of my life that I was a partaker of the activities of that church body.  Such things as this are why people become disillusioned with the Church and with the precious Gospel that is sold for silver and gold, actually, worse, for fiat money.  I cannot even begin to give an accounting for the number of people that I have met who express such disillusionment and resultant distrust and unbelief on account of such ways of the LC-MS and the mainstream incorporated churches.

Yet the Church’s treasures are still available.  TLH has held them before the world for generations.  CPH has jacked up the price for new copies of TLH, but they can still be purchased.  Moreover, portions are now available for downloading on the Internet.  And once people obtain these for themselves, they are free to use them at will.

Thanks be to God that these treasures are available to us, if only we desire to use them.

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