The Hymn of the Month is “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” (LSB 358), set to the tune VOM HIMMEL HOCH. The text was written by Martin Luther, and it was translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, one of the most prominent female hymn translators in history.
The Hymn of Month is “From God Can Nothing Move Me” (LSB 713). It is set to the tune VON GOTT WILL ICH NICHT LASSEN. This is probably the most well-known hymn of Ludwig Helmbold, a German philosophy professor and poet of Lutheran hymns. It was written for friends fleeing the 1563 plague in Erfurt to comfort them on their journey. Johann Sebastian Bach used several of Helmbold’s hymn texts in his cantatas, and stanza five of Von Gott Will Ich Nicht Lassen appears in Bach’s O heilges Geist-und Wasserbad (O holy bath of Spirit and Water).
The Hymn of the Month is “I Know My Faith Is Founded” (LSB 587). The German text was written by Erdmann Neumeister, who was a pastor, organist, and schoolmaster in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1941, the hymn was translated into English by The Lutheran Hymnal.
Have you ever wanted to know more about the history of the hymns in Lutheran Service Book? Do you ever wonder what the lives of those who wrote our hymns were like? Good news—we have a book for that. Everyone at Concordia Publishing House is incredibly excited to announce the launch of Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Hymns. This comprehensive hymn companion is rich with compelling facts—many newly discovered through extensive research of original sources in libraries all over the world. We’ve picked our top five for you to check out today.
This post is an excerpt adapted from Praise & Honor by Timothy J. Shoup.
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.
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.