Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kenyan Lutheran Hymnal Project

When a U.S. denomination goes overboard on social issues, often times the partner churches in Africa are the ones calling the U.S. church back to her biblical roots and offering ecclesiastical supervision for U.S. congregations.

The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod's partner church in Kenya is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya.  While I am not aware of any such action regarding the LCMS, the ELCK has spoken regarding issues in other U.S. Lutheran denominations.

Enough about those things, this blog is ALL FOR HYMN, and this Kenyan church is embarking on a new hymnal.  You can follow the progress on Deaconess Sandra Rhein's blog here.

You may remember in a previous post that I remarked how difficult it is to translate a hymn into its literal meaning and then squeeze it back into the meter of the original tune.

Deaconess Rhein writes in her August 31, 2009 post
The challenge is not so much in the literal translation because there are a number of excellent Kenyan pastors who are fluent in English and skilled at translating. The challenge is in writing poetically – following the rhythm and flow of a melody - making the stress of the beats and the stress of the syllables match – while keeping the text rich in meaning and clear in doctrine. What we need are a few theologically and musically trained poets who are fluent in English and Swahili. If you are such a person, or know someone who fits the description, please make yourself known!

Unfamiliar with Swahili?

Here are excerpts from the Divine Service and from Matins.  I can't get the embed codes to work, so I will provide hyperlinks.

from LSB's Divine Service I, page 152

from LSB's Divine Service I, page 163

from LSB's Matins, page 229

And in the spirit of international Christianity,
here is a Croatian choir singing a song in both Zulu and English

No comments:

Post a Comment

Differing opinions are welcome! Please keep comments on an academic level. Lively discussions and alternate opinions are productive, arguments and accusations are not.

Please leave a name or pseudonym at the end of your comment so the conversation can continue. Alternately, you can log in using Yahoo, AOL/AIM, Google, Netlog, or Open ID on any comment page.

Comment Moderation is on to ensure that blog author reads each comment. The goal is to read and reply to each comment.

Note: you may have to hit "Preview" first and then "Post."