Feast of Paul Eber (December 10)   1 comment

Paul Eber

Above:  Paul Eber

Image in the Public Domain

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PAUL EBER (NOVEMBER 8, 1511-DECEMBER 10, 1569)

German Lutheran Theologian and Hymn Writer

His hymns, some of them written for his own children to sing to Luther’s melodies, are distinguished for their childlike spirit and beautiful simplicity.

William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), page 503

Paul Eber, author of seventeen hymns, was, among the Wittenberg poets, second only to Martin Luther (1483-1546).

Eber’s life entailed both joy and misfortune.  The son of a master tailor of Kitzingen, Bavaria, began to attend the gymnasium at Ansbach in 1523, at the age of eleven years.  In time, however, illness forced Eber to return home.  En route his horse threw him the dragged him for more than a mile.  This incident caused our saint to become deformed.  Life continued, and Eber studied under Martin Luther and Philipp Melancthon (1497-1560), the great systematic theologian, at Wittenberg University from 1532 to 1536.  In 1533 our saint married Helena Kuffnerin, who became the mother of his fourteen children.  On the professional side, Eber remained at Wittenberg, tutoring in philosophy at the university from 1536 to 1544, teaching Latin there from 1544 to 1557, teaching Hebrew there and serving as the preacher at the Castle Church from 1557 to 1558, and succeeding Johann Bugenhagen (1485-1558) as the town pastor of Wittenberg and the general superintendent of Saxony.  Eber, who received his Doctor of Theology degree in 1559, succeeded Melancthon as the leader of a school Lutheranism many Lutherans considered Crypto-Calvinistic.

Helena died in July 1569.  Our saint joined her in death on December 10 of that year.  His influence in Lutheran hymnody has never ceased, however.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 22, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Paul Eber 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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One response to “Feast of Paul Eber (December 10)

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  1. Pingback: Paul Eber | GATHERED PRAYERS

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