Feast of Michael Praetorius (February 15)   Leave a comment

michael-praetorius

Above:  Michael Praetorius

Image in the Public Domain

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MICHAEL PRAETORIUS (FEBRUARY 15, 1571-FEBRUARY 15, 1621)

German Lutheran Composer and Musicologist

Michael Praetorius, whose German surname was Schultz, was a native of Kreuzberg, Thuringia.  He, born on February 15, 1571, worked as the choirmaster at Luneberg.  Then, in 1604, our saint relocated to Wolfenbuttel to become the organist, choirmaster, and secretary to the Duke of Brunswick.  Over time he also worked with Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672) at the court of the Elector of Saxony in Dresden and served as the Prior of the monastery of Ringelheim, near Golsar, without having to reside there.  Praetorius wrote much music for the Church.  His compositions included the following:

  1. Terpsichore Musarum;
  2. Magnificat;
  3. Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming;
  4. Puer Natus in Bethlehem;
  5. Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland;
  6. Allein Gott in der Sei Ehr;
  7. In Dulce Jubilo; and
  8. Mass for Christmas Morning.

One might recognize some of these tunes from worship; I do.

Praetorius also wrote the Treatise on Music (1614-1620), in three volumes plus a fourth volume left incomplete due to the author’s death.  The wide-ranging treatise covered a variety of sacred music as well as secular music.

Praetorius died at Wolfenbuttel on February 15, 1621, his fiftieth birthday.

His music continues to enrich the lives of many people.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 2, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHANNING MOORE WILLIAMS, EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY BISHOP IN CHINA AND JAPAN

THE FEAST OF ALICE FREEMAN PALMER, U.S. EDUCATOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRIOC, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT TUDWAL, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT OSMUND OF SALISBURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Michael Praetorius

and all those who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

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

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

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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