Archive for the ‘Paul Gerhardt’ Tag

Feast of Johann Cruger (April 8)   Leave a comment

 

Above:  Johann Cruger

Image in the Public Domain

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As a writer and editor of tunes this distinguished musician occupies a special niche in the hymnic hall of fame.

–Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1952)

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Johann Cruger ranks among the greatest composers in the Lutheran Church.  He, born at Gross-Breesen, Brandenburg, on April 9, 1598, studied at Guben, Sorau, and Breslau before studying at the Jesuit school at Olmutz then the Poets’ School at Regensburg.  At Regensburg Cruer studied music under Paul Homberber, who had been a student of Giovanni Gabrieli.  Next our saint traveled in Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, and Moravia before settling in Berlin in 1615.  Then he worked as a private tutor until 1620, when he began to study music and theology at the University of Wittenberg.

Cruger settled at Berlin again in 1622, when he became the cantor (organist and choirmaster) at St. Nicholas Church and a teacher at the Gray Cloister.  Our saint held both posts for the rest of his life–about 40 years.  Cruger composed at least 122 chorale tunes, 18 of which remained in widespread use at the times of the publication of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) and Lutheran Worship (1982).  In 1657 Paul Gerhardt became the deacon at St. Nicholas Church.  They became friends and Cruger set 21 texts by Gerhardt to music.

Cruger edited and published five important volumes:

  1. Neues vollkommliches Gesangbuch (1640), with 161 hymns;
  2. Praxis Pietatis Melica (first edition, 1644; forty-fourth edition, 1736); the twenty-third edition (1688) included 1114 hymns; the forty-third edition had 1316 hymns;
  3. Geistliche Kirchenmelodien (1649), with 161 hymns;
  4. Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen (1653), with 92 tunes and no texts; and
  5. Psalmodia Sacra (1657), with 319 texts; intended for Huguenot immigrants.

Cruger died at Berlin on February 23, 1662.  He was 63 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 16, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADALBALD OF OSTEVANT, SAINT RICTRUDIS OF MARCHIENNES, AND THEIR RELATIONS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM KIDUNAIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT, AND SAINT MARY OF EDESSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ANCHORESS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CACCIAFRONTE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MEGINGAUD OF WURZGURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND ABBOT

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Johann Cruger)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Johann Heermann (February 20)   1 comment

johann-heermann

Above:  Johann Heermann

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANN HEERMANN (OCTOBER 11, 1585-FEBRUARY 17, 1647)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Johann Heermann was arguably the second greatest Lutheran hymn writer, ranking behind only Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676).

Heermann’s life was one of difficulties and afflictions, both natural and man-made.  He, the only one of five children to survive, seemed on the verge of death when he was a child.  Our saint promised his mother that he would study theology if he survived.  The native of Raudten, Silesia (now Rudna, Poland), survived and kept his word.  Poor eyesight frustrated Heermann’s education.  He was, however, a skilled poet, beginning his composition of Latin verse in 1605 and becoming the Holy Roman imperial poet laureate three years later.  Finally, in 1611, our saint became the minister at Koeben, on the Oder River.  That year he also married Dorothea Feige, his first wife, who died in 1617.  The couple had no children.

Fire, pestilence, and the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) created much suffering for Heermann, his family, and his flock.  He married Anna Teichmann in 1618.  The couple had four children.  More than once the Heermann’s had to flee Koeben and lost all their possessions.  Our saint also nearly died more than once during these flights.

If that were no enough, health problems afflicted Heermann.  Throat problems began in 1623.  Eleven years later our saint had to stop preaching.  For about four years he was able to perform other pastoral duties, but had to retire in 1638.  Heermann retired to Lissa, Posen (now Leszno, Poland), where he died on February 17, 1647.

Heermann was an influential hymn writer.  He composed about 400 hymns, most of which nobody has translated into English.  In contrast with the older, objective style of hymn texts, our saint pioneered subjective hymns.  Themes in Heermann’s hymns included affliction, suffering, and faith and confidence during times of trial.  His legacy of hymnody has survived, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETIUS OF TRIER, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP; AND SAINT AREDIUS OF LIMOGES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM OF KRATIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND HERMIT

THE FEAST OF HENRY USTICK ONDERDONK, EPISCOPAL BISHOP, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF MYRA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann Heermann 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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Feast of Paul Gerhardt (May 27)   4 comments

Paul Gerhardt

Above:  Paul Gerhardt

Image in the Public Domain

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PAUL GERHARDT (MARCH 12, 1607-MAY 27, 1676)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Paul Gerhardt was a giant among German Lutheran hymn writers.  The author of the article about our saint in the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1968 described him as the greatest German hymn writer.  Armin Haeussler, author of The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1952), had a different opinion.  He wrote that Martin Luther was the greatest hymn writer and that Gerhardt was the second best person in the category of German hymn writers.  Haeussler, in so many words, agreed with the evaluation from the Encyclopedia Britannica (1968):

His hymns have deservedly held their place in Protestant worship.

–Volume 10, Page 235

Gerhardt was a native of Grefenhainichen, Saxony, a village between Halle and Wittenberg and near to the latter.  Our saint, born on March 13, 1607, was a son of Christian Gerhardt, mayor of the village.  Christian died while our saint was a minor.  Gerhardt, who studied at Grimma (1622-1627), continued his studies at the University of Wittenberg (1628-1642), where he specialized in theology.  During this time our saint had to contend with negative consequences of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1642).  In April 1642 Gerhardt became tutor to the family of Andreas Berthold, an attorney in Berlin, Prussia.  While in Berlin our saint published his first 18 hymns in the Praxis Pietatis Melica (1648) of Johann Cruger (1582-1662).

In 1651, at the age of 44, Gerhardt became a Lutheran clergyman.  The first congregation he served was at Mittenwald.  Our saint married Anna Maria Berthold, daughter of Andreas Berthold, in 1655.  The couple had 13 children, only one of which (Paul Frederick Gerhardt) survived both parents.  Our saint’s wife died in March 1668.

In 1557 Gerhardt became an assistant minister of St. Nicholas Church, Berlin.  Relations between the Lutheran and Reformed Churches in Prussia were tense and replete with invective.  Frederick William (in office 1640-1688), the “Great Elector,” issued an edict meant to create religious peace in his realm.  He forbade ministers from attacking each other’s doctrines.  The Elector of Prussia, himself of the Reformed camp, required ministers to sign the edict.  Gerhardt, whom certain prominent Reformed Prussians respected, refused to sign, citing freedom of speech.  Thus, early in 1666, Frederick William deposed our saint, who was ill, whose wife was in poor health also, and most of whose remaining children were approaching death’s door.  Petitions prompted the Elector to reinstate Gerhardt in 1667.  He did so, however, on the condition that our saint act as if he had signed the edict.  Gerhardt refused the offer on principle.  Kindly parishioners supported the Gerhardts financially until, in late 1668, our saint was able to return to his post and collect back wages.

Gerhardt became the archdeacon of Lubben in May 1669.  He remained in that post until May 27, 1676, when he died.  Some older sources mistakenly listed his date of death as June 7.  Some online sources, citing and even duplicating them, have repeated that error.

Gerhardt wrote 132 hymns, most of which exist in English-language translations.  (I have added some of them to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.)  His hymns, most of which he based on Biblical texts, marked the transition from objective to subjective language.  Gerhardt wrote hymns for all the major Lutheran feasts, and justification by faith was among his favorite themes.  Among our saint’s most famous hymns was “O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded,” for Good Friday.  He translated it from a Latin text.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 7, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE LAST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT MOSES, APOSTLE TO THE SARACENS

THE FEAST OF SAINT BLAISE OF SEBASTE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Paul Gerhardt and others, who have composed and translated 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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Feast of Edward Timothy Mickey, Jr. (December 1)   3 comments

Hymnal and Liturgies Title Page

Above:  The Title Page of the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969)

Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EDWARD TIMOTHY MICKEY, JR. (MAY 5, 1908-DECEMBER 1, 1986)

U.S. Moravian Bishop and Liturgist

Winston-Salem Journal, December 8, 1921, page 3

Above:  Winston-Salem Journal, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, December 8, 1921, Page 3

Accessed via newspapers.com

Edward Timothy Mickey, Jr., came from a family of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum).  He, born, at Salem (now Winston-Salem), North-Carolina, on May 5, 1908, was a son of Edward Timothy Mickey, Sr. (1877-1949), a businessman, and Ada Fogle Mickey.  Our saint attended local schools before studying at Moravian Church and Theological Seminary, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, graduating from the college in 1930 and the seminary in 1933.

Reading Times, April 29, 1929, page 22 01

Reading Times, April 29, 1929, page 22 02

Above:  Reading Times, Reading, Pennsylvania, April 29, 1929, Page 22

Accessed via newspapers.com

During 45 years (1933-1978) of active ministry Mickey served 10 churches.  In the early 1940s our saint was the pastor of Grace Moravian Church, Mt. Airy, North Carolina.  The local schools lacked a music education program, but Grace Moravian Church did.  Thus, in 1942, Mickey began to give voice and trombone lessons to a young Andy Griffith (1926-2012), and to function as his mentor.  Our saint helped Griffith to matriculate at the University of North Carolina a few years later.

Our saint married Helen Schimmel (1910-2004).  The couple had two sons.  Edward Timothy Mickey, III (1935-2008), installed pipe organs, and David Charles Mickey, Sr. (1943-1993), was a merchant.

Our saint, a bishop from 1977 to his death (1986), was a liturgist.  He chaired the liturgical commission that prepared the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969), which succeeded the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923).   He also wrote Let Us Worship–A Study of the Hymnal of the Moravian Church, the 1985-1986 study guide for the Moravian Women’s Fellowship.  Furthermore, Mickey altered Arthur Tozer Russell‘s translation (“How Shall I Meet My Saviour“) of a hymn by Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) to remove awkward repetitions.  Thus the Hymnal and the Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969), offered both versions of the hymn, although the committee which prepared the Moravian Book of Worship (1995) dropped the unaltered translation.

Mickey was, toward the end of life, the Bishop-in Residence at the Moravian Theological Seminary, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Although our saint lived in Winston-Salem, he visited Bethlehem frequently.

Mickey died at Winston-Salem on December 1, 1986.  He was 80 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 15, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF RUTH, ANCESTOR OF KING DAVID

THE FEAST OF SAINT BONAVENTURE, THEOLOGIAN

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Edward Timothy Mickey, Jr.)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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