November is a time of thanksgiving. We reflect and give thanks for everything that God has provided for us physically, spiritually, and emotionally. During this month, many churches, perhaps even your church, sing hymns of thanksgiving each Sunday. If you’re curious about the backstory and historical context of thanksgiving hymns (or any other hymn!), LSB: Companion to the Hymns is a great resource. To illustrate, we’ve picked three of these hymns and their histories to share in-depth.
Composed in commemoration of the centennial of the birth of Jaroslav J. Vajda (1919–2008), Kevin Hildebrand’s setting of the favorite hymn is flexible for SATB or two-part choir or soloists, organ, optional congregation, flute, and strings.
This post is adapted from The Year of the Lord by Theodore J. Kleinhans.
Just as the first Easter set the pattern for Sunday, so it also set the pattern for the Church Year. An event of such significance as the resurrection soon formed a natural focus for the entire year. No wonder one of the Church Fathers called it the festival of all festivals—the festum festorum.
This post is an excerpt from Luther on Music: Paradigms of Praise by Carl F. Schalk.
No one considering the development of worship and church music in the Lutheran church of the sixteenth century can avoid facing squarely the pivotal role played by Martin Luther. He was important, however, not only because he was the focal point of a new theological movement. He stood, as well, at the center of a new musical movement that was to affect profoundly the church that would come to bear his name.
Sondra K. Tucker’s arrangement of “Easter Fantasy on Ancient Hymns for Brass Quintet and Organ” combines two hymn tunes with Dupré’s celebrated organ solo “Cortège et Litanie.” The triumphant tone and historical relevance make the piece perfect for Easter Day or any time during the Easter season. Listen to “Easter Fantasy” here, and at the end of the post, preview the score on CPH.org.
This post is adapted from Praising God in Song by Carl Schalk.
The New Testament reflects in various ways both the content and vigor of the worship life of the early Christians. Among the excerpts from creeds, prayers, doxologies, and benedictions to be found in the New Testament are a variety of references to “hymns,” “psalms,” and “odes,” or “songs.” The very variety of terms suggests that no one “hymn form” was used exclusively.