On Saturday, Andrea and I attended a workshop on the new hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, that our church will begin using in January. The new hymnal is an attempt to unify some of the various worship materials in use in the ELCA right now, and to bring some of the best parts of the church’s multicultural traditions into the standard worship hymnal. The ELW has ten settings of the Holy Communion service, ranging from traditional chanting to a jazz setting, and others inbetween. I also appreciated the effort in the new ELW to make the worship service more accessible to people who had not grown up in the Lutheran tradition with explanations of the parts of a given Lutheran worship service at the beginning of each section. The new typeface also makes the book considerably easier to read than the existing LBW. They also made some minor changes to both the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds to reflect better translation of the original Greek and Latin since the 1978 LBW. On the whole, I think the new book will be a good addition to our worship service, especially when used in concert with the wealth of materials that we currently use.