Feast of Nicolaus Selnecker (May 24)   1 comment

Nikolaus-Selnecker

Above:  Nicolaus Selnecker

NICOLAUS SELNECKER (DECEMBER 5, 1532-MAY 24, 1592)

German Lutheran Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Writer

There are at least two ways to become controversial:

  1. To be extreme in one’s context, and
  2. To be moderate in one’s context, thereby offending extremists.

Nicolaus Selnecker proved controversial via the second method.

Selnecker, born in Hersbruck in 1532, became the organist at Nurnberg Chapel at the tender age of twelve years.  Later positions included the following:

  • Lecturer at the University of Wittenberg;
  • Preacher at Dresden;
  • Professor of Theology at Jena; and
  • Pastor of St. Thomas Church, Leipzig.

He wrote 175 theological works (many of them controversial) and composed Latin poems and 130 German hymns.  Selnecker, who had studied under Phillip Melanchthon at Wittenberg, also cowrote the Formula of Concord (1577).

Selnecker lived during a time of extremes and mutual exclusion.  The Protestant Reformation was underway.  Lutherans, Calvinists, and Roman Catholics engaged in invective and violence against each other.  And few people stood up for the Anabaptists.  Selnecker’s relative moderation in this setting made him a figurative hot potato, hence his relatively frequent career transitions.

The Yattendon Hymnal (1899) translation of one of Selnecker’s hymns follows:

Now cheer our hearts this eventide,

Lord Jesus Christ, and with us abide;

Thou that canst never set in night,

Our heavenly Sun, our glorious Light.

—–

May we and all who bear Thy Name

By gentle love Thy Cross proclaim,

Thy gift of people on earth secure,

And for Thy truth the world endure.

May gentle love never fall out of fashion.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 30, 2013 COMMON ERA

HOLY SATURDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CLIMACUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT INNOCENT OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, by your Holy Spirit you give to some the word of wisdom,

to others the word of knowledge,

and to others the word of faith:

We praise your Name for the gifts of grace manifested in your servant Nicolaus Selnecker,

and we pray that your Church may never be destitute of such gifts;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:97-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16

John 17:18-23

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 720

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One response to “Feast of Nicolaus Selnecker (May 24)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of Petrus Nigidius and Georg Nigidius (November 25) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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