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We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God: Te Deum Hymn Devotion

This post is an excerpt adapted from Praise & Honor by Timothy J. Shoup.

Music of the Month: For Faith, We Praise You, Lord

Commissioned for the 150th anniversary of Concordia Publishing House on September 11, 2019, pastor and hymnwriter Stephen P. Starke, and Kevin J. Hildebrand, kantor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, have produced For Faith, We Praise You, Lord, a sturdy hymn written to the tune VERITY.

 

The five-stanza hymn is scored for SATB choir, congregation, organ, and trumpet. The hymn charts the Christian life lived in faith, from birth in Holy Baptism, to the altar at the Lord’s Supper, and into the harvest field as workers in God’s earthly kingdom. The post below showcases each stanza of this hymn along with explanations and reflections on the lyrics. 

Imitation in Music

Originality. A quick Google search of the word provides such synonyms as inventiveness, creativity, novelty, newness, individuality, and even the phrase break with tradition. Originality is a quality highly desired in today’s world. Just look at the trendy Instagram posts of fashion and modern art.

Hymns as Poems: What Do They Mean without Music?

I was recently gifted a book of the poetry of George Herbert. Herbert was a seventeenth-century aristocrat-turned-deacon in the Church of England whose English-language poems were published posthumously. Herbert’s almost exclusively Christian poetry is a beautiful expression of faith. Herbert captures the wonder of God’s love for us, the enormity of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and the joy of our salvation again and again. In his work, in fact, his poems remind me of our hymnal and the poetic expressions of faith captured therein. Reading his poetry inspired me to think of hymns as poems as well.

Hymn of the Month: One Thing’s Needful


Music of the Month: Go, My Children, with My Blessing

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.

Five-Step Summer Plan for Music Teachers and Directors

It’s 8:46 on a Sunday morning, and I’m still in my pajamas sipping coffee and listening to the birds outside my sun-filled apartment as I write. No choir obligations, no classroom work looming for the after-church hours, no rush to get the laundry done today, no urgent Sunday-evening meal prepping to anticipate.

How the Season after Pentecost Illustrates the Life of the Church

After the festivals of Pentecost and the Holy Trinity, the Church begins its longest yet perhaps least-celebrated season of the Church Year: the season after Pentecost. What comes at the end of the post-Pentecost calendar is not one of the Church’s grand festivals, but rather, a reminder that the end times are near. In this way, the season after Pentecost reflects the Church’s life as faithful members in Christ.

Music of the Month: To Live Is Christ

Benjamin M. Culli’s exquisite SAATB a cappella anthem uses a text by Lisa M. Clark. Inspired by Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” this piece features a soaring tune that is supported by close, rich harmonies.

Musical Literacy, Sightreading, and the Church

Can you comprehend a world without literacy? Think for a moment about a world in which only a small percentage can read and a smaller percentage can read well. If we church musicians also consider music essential to life, should we not also consider music literacy, especially in the form of sightreading, an indispensable skill for any budding, and accomplished, musician?