American Lutheran Hymnals

American Lutheran Hymnals in the LSTC Rare Books Collection

  • Das Kleine Davidische Psalterspiel der Kinder Zions, von Alten und Neuen auserlesenen Geistes Gesängen. Philadelphia: Steiner und Gift, 1781.

Erbauliche Liedersammlung zum Gottesdienstlichen Gebrauch in den Vereinigten Evangelisch Lutherischen Gemeinen in Nord America. Germantaun, 1786.
This is the first Lutheran hymnbook to be made and published in America. Commonly called the Muhlenberg Hymnal. There are 706 hymns (words only, without music).








Erbauliche Liedersammlung zum Gottesdienstlich Gebrauch in den Verinigten Evangelish=Lutherischen Gemeinen in Pennsylvanien und den benachbarten Staaten. 2nd edition. Germantaun, 1795. 718 hymns.











A Hymn and Prayer-Book. For the Use of Such Churches as Use the English Language. Collected by John C. Kunze (1744-1807). New York: Hurtin and Commardinger, 1795. 240 hymns, of which 150 were translated from the German. First English Lutheran Hymnal in America.








A Collection of Evangelical Hymns…for the English Lutheran Church in New York. Edited by George Strebeck. New York: Tierout, 1797. Strebeck was pastor of Zion Church in New York, the first English-speaking congregation in North America. 304 hymns of which only 48 were from Kunze’s hymnal (see previous entry). Strebeck later took the bulk of his congregation into the Protestant Episcopal Church.






Das Neu eingerichtete Gesang=Buch…zum Gebrauch…in den Vereinigten Staaten, von Nord America. Preface by Paul Henkel (1754-1835). 2nd edition. Neu=Market [Virginia]: Henkel, 1812. Many of the hymns by Henkel himself.









  • Das Neue Gesangbuch zum öffentlichen Gottesdienste und zur häuslichen Andacht….Prepared by a special conference of the Lutheran pastors in the western part of Pennsylvania and Ohio. First edition. No date. Perhaps 1815.


A Collection of Hymns and a Liturgy for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Published by order of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the State of New York. Preface by Frederich Heny Quitman (1760-1832). Philadelphia, 1817. 520 hymns. Many hymns conformed to rationalistic tendencies of the times.  Quitman was a follower of Johann Salomo Semler, the father of rationalism.








  • Ernst Gottlieb Woltersdorfs…sämtliche Neue Lieder oder Evangelische Psalmen. New York, 1823. First American Edition. Woltersdorf (1725-1761).
  • A Collection of Hymns and a Liturgy for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Germantown: Billmeter, 1824.
  • Eine Sammlung auserlesener Gebete und Lieder, zum Gebrauch der Jugend. Neumarket: Henkel’s Druckerey, 1824.


Hymns Selected and Original for Private and Public Worship. Published by the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Baltimore: Lucas and Deaver, 1832. 766 hymns. Many of the hymns are impregnated with Calvinistic and Arminian material of highly subjective character.










  • Evangelische Lieder-Sammlung…zum bequemeren Gebrauch in den evangelischen Gemainen. Gettysburg, 1834.
  • A Collection of Hymns for Evangelical Lutheran Churches. 1834.
  • Church Hymn Book; consisting of Hymns and Psalms. Edited by Paul Henkel. Published by Order of the Tennesee Synod. 3rd edition. Newmarket: Solomo D. Henkel and Brothers, 1850.
  • Hymns, Selected and Original, for Public and Private Worship. Published by the General Synod. 16th edition. 1851.
  • Guldberg-Harboe Psalmebog….Edited by Guldberg. Norway, IL, 1854. Guldberg’s hymnal was first published in 1778 in Norway.
  • Hymns, Selected and Original, for Public and Private Worship for the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Revised edition. Baltimore: Kurtz, 1855.
  • Hymns, Selected and Original, for Public and Private Worship for the Evangelical Lutheran Church. 66th edition; 9th revised edition. Baltimore: T. Newton Kurtz, 1856.
  • Andeliga Sänger för Böne=, Class=, och Förlängda Möten. Edited by Victor Witting. Bishop Hill Koloni, Henry Co. Ill, 1859. Eric Jansson led a group of Swedish immigrants who set up a Utopian community. Jansson claimed to be Christ reincarnate and was assassinated in 1850. The colony was dissolved in 1862.
  • Hymns, Original and Selected, for Public and Private Worship in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Published by the General Synod. Philadelphia: Lutheran Board of Publication, 1860.
  • Psalmbok. New Sweden, Iowa. First edition in 1864. Gift of Dr. Adolph Hult.
  • Den Swenska Psalmboken 1819. Chicago, 1864. American printing of the Psalmbok of J. O. Wallin as revised by Wieselgren and Thomander.The revision by Thomander and Wieselgren moved the content closer to a stricter orthodoxy. Wallin’s hymnbook had been criticized by pietistic groups who felt it was too much influence by rationalism. A second edition was published in Chicago in 1871, but many of its copies and the printing plates were destroyed in the Chicago fire of October, 1981.
  • Hymn Book for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Schools and Congregations. Decorah, Iowa: Lutheran Publishing House, 1884.


Kirchenbuch für Evangelisch-Lutherische Gemeinden. Philadelphia: General Council’s Publication Board, 1892. First published in 1877.  595 hymns, most of them from the 16th and 17th centuries. This book contains liturgy and epistles and Gospels for the year.








  • Collection of Hymns for Public and Private Worship. Published by order of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio. 2nd edition. Columbus, 1888. Presented to the seminary by W. A. Passavant, 1821-1894. First published about 1855. 354 hymns and 7 doxologies. This is part of a movement toward a more confessional Lutheran hymnody. The committee responsible for this book acknowledged the sorry state of “our rather barren English hymnody.”

For authoritative information on hymnals in the United States, see Carl F. Schalk, God’s Song in a New Land. Lutheran Hymnals in America. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1995. Notations to the hymnals above were taken from Schalk’s work.


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