Hundreds Hospitalized After New Hymn Introduced in Church

Hundreds Hospitalized After New Hymn Introduced in Church

Huron, SD – Hundreds were hospitalized and scores more traumatized for life in the wake of a disastrous hymn roll-out this past Sunday.

Recklessly acting in a way contrary to all Lutheran sensibilities, Pastor Norman Schroeder inserted a previously unsung hymn, “Through Jesus’ Blood and Merit,” into the church service.

“I remember paging to hymn 372 and thinking that it looked unfamiliar,” said helpless victim Delores Hamilton from her hospital bed. “My heart started pounding in my chest! My vision narrowed! As we started singing my hands trembled uncontrollably. I felt lightheaded! I don’t even think I made it through the first stanza before I passed out.”

First responders were overwhelmed by the chaotic scene. Ambulances struggled to make their way through the terrified mob streaming through the church parking lot. Inside the sanctuary, hundreds were incapacitated, many still frozen with their hands clutched over their ears in a vain attempt to shut out the unfamiliar tune. The few conscious congregants were in such a weakened state they were unable to assist their more gravely injured Lutherans.



“We haven’t seen such a tragedy since the Reformed Church tried to introduce a contemporary version of the Song of Simeon,” lamented local Police Chief Richard Johnson. “Thank goodness there was no loss of life. If we hadn’t tasered the organist, the death toll would have been truly catastrophic.”

The investigation is only beginning, but already red warning lights are flashing in the eyes of any common sense Lutheran. Why didn’t Pastor Schroeder run his plans through the worship committee? Why wasn’t the hymn tune introduced as postlude, prelude, and offertory? Why weren’t congregants warned the standard three months in advance that a new hymn was being introduced?

Only a fair, impartial investigation and the immediate excommunication of Pastor Schroeder can ensure such a tragedy never occurs again.

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41 Comments on “Hundreds Hospitalized After New Hymn Introduced in Church”

  1. I am on my way to an old fashioned hymn sing when I read this. Although this is billed as ‘all the old hymns we love’, I am contemplating sharing this with my church folks. Perhaps a word of warning just in case the unspeakable happens, and a hymn less than 100 years old is accidentally suggested. . .

  2. So funny! We sing many new songs or new to us, rediscovered old songs that are new to many. I’m always interested in playlists of other churches and denominations. I have been fussed at, glared at, told that someone didn’t like what I was doing, but have yet to be tasered 🙂 Watch out…that 50-70% of the hymnal that most churches don’t sing might just get to you.

  3. It happens, I recall suggesting a congregant should realize the hymn book was published in 1941, it was now 1981, and if she had never heard it before, she hadn’t had her monies worth. She was also a PK. Tasers weren’t in use in those days.

  4. Very bold! I’ve seen the complaint line at the organ firsthand – especially during the loud postludes. 🙂

  5. We are generally willing to give most anything a try, but reserve the right to give feedback as to whether the “new” music is a winner or a loser. And sometimes it takes a few times before something new starts to feel OK. I hadn’t thought of introducing something new via prelude, postlude, etc. but it sounds like a good idea. Sometimes we will practice something new before the service begins. Our musician has asked which hymns are “heart songs” for parishioners, and they are listed as such when used in services. It’s always nice to sing some of the old familiars. Unfortunately, no one ever agrees with one of my golden oldies, “Isaiah Mighty Seer in Days of Old” so I never get to sing it. People are quick to reassure me it’s all for the better.

  6. Too, too rich. Much to my surprise I early on discovered that even Fanny Crosby made the cut in the ELW. You would think that alone would satisfy folks. But noooooo!
    And what about “St. Patrick’s Breastplate?” Do we ever get to sing it? Again, nooooooo!
    I could go on. Nothing new under the sun. The gripers will always be with us.

  7. Oh so funny and true here! I was brought up in the Methodist Church, then UCC and now am an Episcopal priest. I’ve put hymns in the order of worship that I’m sure “We know” only to find that I’m the only one. Oh my..the glares!!

  8. Wow!You really had me worried. I’m a Lutheran And from Huron, AD. I could just imagine it happened on my church across from Huron s hospital.

  9. Unfortunately the way this has been presented on facebook it is going to be considered truth by to many and hurt the true purpose of the Christian Church as a whole; regardless of the denomination. We want to bring people in, not scare them away; or add to naysayers arsenal against organized worship. Most readers don’t look past the initial statements or pictures. Just food for thought.

  10. when I first started reading this I thought that maybe the lyrics were awakening people to the lack of sincerity in putting God first in their life and they were feeling convicted of their failings … maybe more songs of this nature is what is needed

  11. This could have happened Sunday when a new order of worship was introduced if the Paster had not notified everyone of the change coming. Change is good, though. Dorothy

  12. What a hoot. I laughed and laughed at this. We just finished choir rehearsal and we’re singing Jesus Loves Me this week. I share this with the choir. Someone said, “You know, somewhere along the way Jesus Loves Me and A MIghty Fortress were new hymns too.” Some work, some don’t. If you’re looking for new and refreshing texts to familiar tunes, check out the hymns by Carolyn Winfrey Gilette. They are amazing.

  13. Reminds me of an old joke.
    How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb?

    None, we don’t like change….

  14. I have worked with head trauma, stroke and Alzheimer patients etc…..Those old familiar simple hymns made their eyes light up and gave them a touch with memories again….They knew them well and sang with gusto….but their own names they couldn’t remember
    …..Many people in church are dealing with hurts, sicknesses , etc. …familiar hymns help them heal, give them renewed strength to face their heartaches, pains and problems… they can go home and make it thru another week….. Many joyful songs lift their hearts especially Christmas carols, etc…..With the startling increase in Alzheimer’s population….think we need all the music therapy we can get…
    It is easy to poke fun until you have walked in another person’s shoes….

  15. BJBaer, your point is an important one. I wish all those who complain of those clinging to the old way of worship and singing would hear and appreciate it or at least give it some thought.

  16. It has been so long since I’ve heard any of “those good old hymns” even in the non. contemporary services that I would probably think it was a new song if I heard one today. Oh for those good old days, maybe once a month, or even every two months!

  17. Since when did churches return to the use of an organ ? Our 3 manual Allen has been touched in years-
    Drums, guitars, trumpets etc.

  18. I have moved from LC-MS to ALC to ELCA, and from Illinois to Virginia to Ohio to Iowa. I had never heard “Children of the Heavenly Father” when it was used for ALL baptisms when we move to Iowa (I was almost 40). And most of my childhood faves were unknown in our later church homes. It just becomes amusing now.

  19. If using a postlude music is a clever, and surreptitious way to introduce a New hymn to a congregation, then my Lutheran Church had better steel itself – our organist played Phillip Glass’ first theme from the work “Koyaanisqatsi” a few weeks ago. Yes, he really did.

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