Service Book and Hymnal

Service Book and Hymnal

The Service Book and Hymnal, or SBH was used by most of the Lutheran church bodies in the United States that today comprise the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) prior to the publishing of the Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW) of 1978. In ELCA circles, historically, the Service Book and Hymnal has been called the "red book" while the Lutheran Book of Worship has been called the "green book." The newest ELCA hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) is also red in color, and has apparently been dubbed "the cranberry book".

Prior to the merger of 1987 which created the ELCA, there were several smaller Lutheran church bodies. The ones involved in the Service Book and Hymnal include: The American Evangelical Lutheran Church, American Lutheran Church, The Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church, The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, The Lutheran Free Church, The United Evangelical Lutheran Church, and The United Lutheran Church in America. Prior to 1958 these churches (most of whom are now in the ELCA) had many different hymnals until 1958 when Service Book and Hymnal came out. In contrast, church bodies of the (former) Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America (Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod) had been using a different red hymnal: The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH) since 1941.

Service Book and Hymnal contains 602 hymns, the first 148 of them organized to correspond with the Church Year. The liturgies and psalms precede the hymns, with indexes in the back. Three settings of The Service were available whereas only the first two (p.15 & p.41) were included in the pew editions of the hymnal. Chant, chorale and plainsong styles were used. The cover of SBH features a gold cross on a circle logo symbolizing Christ in the world.


* Service Book and Hymnal,1958, Augsburg Publishing House (Minneapolis, MN), Augustana Book Concern (Rock Island, IL), et al.

External links

* [ history of American Lutheran Hymnals]

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