<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1758373551078632&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Cling to Hymns in a Pandemic

This pandemic is certainly horrific, but I have found many positives during this time. One of these positives was a slower and more reflective Holy Week, allowing me to ponder and study Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and to write some lessons on it for my school. In this Passion, as the evangelist—St. Matthew—and the rest of the biblical characters narrate the story, Bach uses chorales to mark the communal response of all believers to the biblical events. These chorales, or hymns, can be seen as our congregational response to Christ’s saving work, much like our hymns act within the church service.

Composer of the Month: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (1607–76) is in a tier only with Martin Luther as the most beloved and celebrated Lutheran hymnwriters in the church today. Seventeen of Gerhardt’s 100-plus hymn texts are in Lutheran Service Book.

Prepare for the Easter Season at Home

During the fifty days of the Easter season, the Church rejoices in the resurrected Lord and the new life He brings. This season includes three great feasts that we celebrate: the Feast of the Resurrection, the Feast of the Ascension, and the Feast of Pentecost. This year, the Easter season looks and feels different, as many churches are streaming worship online. As you prepare for upcoming services, use the hymns and suggestions below in preparation for worship throughout the Easter season.

Music of the Month: Christ Being Raised

A perfect selection for the Easter season comes in this SATB anthem based on Romans 6:9. Beginning with joyous alleluias, the music rises in sequence, portraying the text “raised from the dead.” The melodic sequences and voice leading make the music easy to learn while still sounding dramatic and powerful.

Comforting Hymns for Listening at Home

I know I’m not alone when I say that during times of distress, I cling to music. I cling to melodies that I have come to love, especially melodies and lyrics that I can repeat as a source of strength. As Lutherans, hymns of comfort and strength have been passed down for generations. These hymns help each and every believer remember the Savior through music, singing praise to Him as one united body.

Music during Tragedy

In October 1966, tragedy struck the Welsh town of Aberfan when heavy rainfall mixed with coal waste and caused a mountainside to collapse. The sodden coal waste slid down to the town, burying the primary school and the students inside. A total of 116 children died in the disaster. 

The Women of Lutheran Service Book You Might Not Know About

Men have had an incredible impact on shaping Lutheran hymnody as it’s known today. From Paul Gerhardt to Dr. Carl Schalk, male hymnwriters have truly given Lutheranism foundational music that speaks volumes. But did you know that many female hymnwriters, hymn translators, and composers have also contributed to the creation of many Lutheran hymns? Read biographies below from Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Hymns to learn about some of the wonderful women who helped bring Lutheran hymnody together for Christians everywhere to enjoy today.

Music of the Month: Four Easter Hymns for Twelve Bells

Sandra Eithun’s primary collection of popular Easter hymns and second set of popular Easter hymns are perfect for the busy Easter season, especially if you are shorthanded for church services or would like to travel with a small group ringers. Each piece uses only twelve bells, spanning F5 to C7. Because not every piece is in the key of F, these collections offer a wide variety of harmonic possibilities while still maintaining a small number of ringers. Scored for 3 octave handbells or handchimes. Set 1 is Level II–II+. Set 2 is Level II.

God’s Generous Gift of Music

Food. Water. Shelter. Oxygen. Not much is required for a human being to exist. Appropriate nutrients and an appropriate atmosphere. That is essentially what we need to survive.

Composer of the Month: August Crull

August Crull (1845–1923) was born in Germany but moved with his mother to the United States as a young boy following the death of his father. His mother remarried, and Crull began studying to enter the pastoral ministry at Concordia Seminary in 1862.