Explanation about missing liturgical texts

as originally printed in Rock Hymnal vol.2 ©1991

Notes on Worship/Liturgical Music in this book:

I wrote this Eucharistic setting in the fall of 1982. It was debuted in November of that year at Luther College thanks to the vision of Rev. Gordon Smedsrud and, then student congregation president, Kent Johnson.

I wrote the setting primarily as a statement and educational tool because I wanted to demonstrate the value of liturgy, especially to Lutheran youth. To that end, I used, almost verbatim, the texts that are used in the Lutheran Book of Worship because I knew that those texts would be easily recognizable. Most of those texts come from the International Consultation on English texts. Two texts thaI I used (for the Hymn of Praise and the Offertory), however, were jointly held by the Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada, and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, (and now the successor Churches which they have formed). I did not know at the time that those Churches had established a policy whereby they would not allow composers to set those texts to any new music under any circumstances, (apparently because of a great admiration for pre-Reformation Roman Catholic practice).

Many of us have worked long and hard to try to change this policy. Finally, it has been changed and these texts are available, but with some stipulations. One stipulation is that you must publish the complete service and it cannot be included in a hymnal or collection. Unfortunately, I learned of this new policy too late to be able to change this project. (Timing is everything.) That is why those songs are published without any text, both and in this book and on the recording.

One final note regarding the language used. As mentioned above, I set these texts verbatim and it was at a time when I was not yet particularly concerned about gender incluslvity. I have since grown in this area and now make every effort to use a multiplicity of imagery in my compositions. However, I do not believe in editing my past work. I feel that historical perspective should be maintained. Also, if I had made these texts inclusive, I would have written different songs. Language has a natural meter and to change even a word here and there can destroy that meter and make the text very awkward. So I hope that you will understand and enjoy these songs for what they are. If you don't feel you can use them because of the language, that is, of course, your decision. In any case, the "work of the people" is dynamic (and) continues. More to come…

Jay Beech, June 1st, 1991

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