Feast of Erdmann Neumeister (August 18)   Leave a comment

00456v

Above:  The Market Church, Hanover, Germany, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002713732/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-00456

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ERDMANN NEUMEISTER (MAY 12, 1671-AUGUST 18, 1756)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

The Uechteritz-born Erdmann Neumeister was the son of an organist and a schoolmaster.  Our saint, a graduate of the University of Leipzig, taught there before becoming an ordained Lutheran minister.  Neumeister served at Bibre from 1697 to 1704 (as the assistant minister for the first year or so).  Then, from 1704 to 1706, he tutored the only daughter of Duke Johann Georg at Weissenfels, near to our saint’s birthplace.  He also served as the assistant court preacher then as court preacher.  Duke Georg’s daughter died, so our saint moved on to Sorau by the invitation of the Duke’s sister.  At Sorau he functioned as the court preacher.  Then, in 1715, our saint became the pastor of the Market Church, Hamburg.

Neumeister was a man of great innovation, much creativity, high culture, and strong opinions.  He opposed both Pietism and Moravianism, citing excessive subjectivity in their teachings.  Our saint was a High Lutheran.  He also wrote one of the earliest account of German poetry, composed cantatas, probably invented that musical form, and definitely wrote 650 hymns.

Among those hymns was the following, the original of which dates to 1718, in the context of a sermon about Luke 15:1.  The English translation (1858) by Emma Frances Bevan (1827-1909), as reproduced in The Church Hymnary (1927), is of four of the original eight German verses.

Sinners Jesus will receive:

Tell this word of grace to all

Who the heavenly pathway leave,

All who linger, all who fall;

This can bring them back again:

“Christ receiveth sinful men.”

——

Shepherds seek their wandering sheep

O’er the mountains bleak and cold;

Jesus such a watch doth keep

O’er then lost ones of the fold,

Seeking them o’er moor and fen:

Christ receiveth sinful men.

—–

Sick and sorrowful and blind,

I with all my sins draw nigh;

O my Saviour, Thou can’st find

Help for sinners such as I;

Speak that word of love again:

“Christ receiveth sinful men.”

—–

Christ receiveth sinful men,

Even me with all my sin;

Openeth to me heaven again,

With Him I may enter in.

Death hath no more sting nor pain:

Christ receiveth sinful men.

Erdmann Neumeister–pastor, scholar, composer, and theologian–honored God with his piety, art, and intellect.  May each of us do the same.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 25, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS SELNECKER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT MADELEINE SOPHIE BARAT, MOTHER SUPERIOR OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART

THE FEAST OF VENERABLE BEDE OF JARROW, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Erdmann Neumeister and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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