Bret A. Heim has crafted new settings based on five of Martin Luther's hymns: GOTT DER VATER, WOHN UNS BEI; JESUS CHRISTUS, UNSER HEILAND; a cantilena and toccata on NUN BITTEN WIR; NUN FREUT EUCH; and a delightful triptych on NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND. These attractive settings will be a wonderful addition to the organist’s library.
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.
Scripture teaches us to bring our needs daily to our Heavenly Father in Christ’s name. To help families and children understand this important truth, Martin Luther wrote two short prayers for individuals and families to use in the morning and evening before going to sleep. Now the simplicity and devotion of Luther’s Morning Prayer and its companion, Luther’s Evening Prayer, have been put to music by John A. Behnke.
This post comes from Luther on Music: Paradigms of Praise.
Understanding the function of music in the church is essential for a church musician. Luther understood music’s primary role as proclaiming the Gospel, not teaching or entertaining—a view that has important implications in our selection and performance of music in the church.
Just as it was in Luther’s day, music is still a powerful tool the Church can use to convey the importance of Christ’s saving name. Luther’s words have greatly shaped our theology and hymnody over the centuries, and they will likely continue to do so for the next half millennium. In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we’re taking a closer look at some of the most commonly used words in Luther’s hymns according to the English translations in The Hymns of Martin Luther.