Above: Europe in 1648
Image in the Public Domain
BENJAMIN SCHMOLCK (DECEMBER 21, 1672-FEBRUARY 12, 1737)
German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer
Benjamin Schmolck entered the world at Brauchitzchdorf, Silesia (now Chrostnik, Poland). He studied at Laubon and Leipzig before becoming a Lutheran pastor, assisting his father at Brauchitzchdorf. Schmolck transferred to Schweidnitz, Silesia (now Swidnica, Poland), the next year. There he labored under difficult circumstances for the next thirty-five years, for the Peace of Westphalia imposed restrictions on Lutheranism. Schmolck and two other pastors had to serve thirty-six villages; more churches and pastors were forbidden.
Schmolck found the time to write over 900 hymns and the texts of many cantatas. Robert Guy McCutchan, in his 1937 companion volume to the 1935 U.S. Methodist Hymnal, quoted an unidentified source, which said of Schmolck’s hymns:
A deep and genuine personal religion, and a fervent love to the Saviour, inspire his best hymns; and as they are not simply thought out but felt, they come from the heart to the heart.
Schmolck died at Schweidnitz on February 12, 1737. Many of his hymns remain popular.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
DECEMBER 14, 2012 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT VENANTIUS HONORIUS CLEMENTIUS FORTUNATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF POITIERS
THE FEAST OF CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH, COMPOSER
THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC
Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,
we thank you for your servant Benjamin Schmolck,
who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.
We pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,
we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ;
through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35
1 Peter 5:1-4 or Epheisans 3:14-21
John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60
Revised from November 29, 2016