By Adriana J-Rivas, Excellence in Worship Committee
When I started to write this article I made it a priority to investigate the in depth history and production of the book of Worship in Spanish or “el libro rojo’’ as we call it regularly. Through my research I discovered that behind the development of this book there was a great effort towards allowing Hispanics the ability to worship in their language, without leaving the thoughts and practices of the Lutheran teachings.
Comparing the ELW and the Liturgy and Canto I found some differences in terms of liturgy, history, and in the music. You could say it is in music where the biggest differences are found since the songs have adopted traditional rhythms that reflect the taste of each of the cultures. It not a strange thing that during a worship service at Prince of Peace, an individual can tell the Lord that you love Him with the rhythm of cumbia.
With regard to the liturgy, a Quinceañera is a fundamental part of our community celebrations. For those who do not know what a Quinceañera is, it is a tradition that comes from ancient times where young females were at the age of becoming presented in the partnership of marriage.
For Hispanic families this is a time of giving thanks to God for life of their daughter, it is very important and although not taken as literal as the old tradition, it is the alternative so they can bring their daughters to church as a step of faith in growing mature in the path of the Lord. Before the start of all the festivities that lead to that event, the family prays and asks the Lord to continue guiding and protecting the young lady into adult hood.
Another tradition that we adopted at Christmas is the celebration known as “Posadas” or meetings in the various homes of members of our church for nine days before Christmas. There we joined in prayer, Bible readings, and songs of the old traditions, waiting for this precious moment. As you can tell Hispanics celebrate family and do our best for our children to pass on those traditions. That is our goal. That is what distinguishes us and makes us believe in a merciful God, who also speaks and sings in Spanish.