". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Singing the Catechism

Last year my husband wrapped up a composing project in which he set Luther's Small Catechism to music (I think most of my readers know this, but perhaps a few do not). The songs--66 of them--were first included piecemeal in Concordia Publishing House's Growing in Christ Sunday School curriculum, but now they have been compiled available independently in CD and songbook formats. It is my understanding that both have been selling well. (We wouldn't know firsthand as my husband was paid for his work on a stipend basis so receives no royalties from sales.)

But the fact that something is purchased does not mean that it is used. (Just ask any homeschooling mom.) So my husband loves hearing from real life people that they are utilizing the fruits of his labor and that these songs are actually doing what they were written to do: helping children learn the catechism.

Over the last few years he has heard from a number of people who have told him just that. These stories are worth more to him than you can possibly know. I heard a few more of them at the Concordia Catechetical Academy Symposium this week. What a joy it was for me to hear how parents and their children have been blessed by my husband's work, especially after having had a front row seat to see the many hours of inspiration, craft, and sweat that went into it. He has given much to his parish and to the church at large over the years, but I am beginning to think that this may be his most lasting contribution.

Here's a recent blog post from a Lutheran pastor (of one of our sister synods) on how he has used this resource both in his parish and his home.


Ewe said...

I'm so glad you posted this question. I was planning on talking to you about this at CCA, but we were only there at Divine Service on Wednesday night, so I didn't see you.
The whole ride there and back (across all of MN and WI) my 3 y old asked "church music please"-meaning either the SS CDs or the Sing the Faith CD.
My favorite part is the same as the link you posted for the pastor's comments. My 3 y old is just adorable in the backseat singing as loud as he can with his 5 y old brother-"What is the Sacrament of the Altar?..." He hasn't been talking long, but he has the entire Sacrament of the Altar chief part memorized, thanks to this CD. Please thank your husband!
I hope that some day we can meet since I missed you this year.
Rachel P.

Anonymous said...

I just went and listened to the sample tracks. What a beautiful CD! I am going to get purchase it for my kids. Wait, who am I kidding? I am going to get it for me. :)

Rebekah said...

I know that's how CPH rolls, but it is ridiculous for him not to be getting royalties for such specialized work. >:(

I'm planning on using one of the catechism songs for our VBS in a couple of weeks. We usually learn three hymns for VBS, but I'm really excited about incorporating the good Cantor's work this year. I also got songbooks and CDs for our school to use. I'll try to document our results for you.

Cheryl said...

Rachel, hope to meet you, too!

Tressays, I agree--the CD is as much of a blessing to parents as to children. I have it on my mp3 player so I can listen when I work out.

Rebekah, we would love to hear how it goes!