Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Lutherans and Luther

One has to be careful, as a Lutheran, that he does not put Luther on too high a pedestal.

There is the perception that Lutherans hold whatever Luther said or wrote as the gospel truth.  Remember, though, it was the pope who claimed infallibility, while Luther claimed, "saint and sinner at the same time."

There are four of Luther's writings that we Lutherans hold to be the correct exposition of the Word of God:
Other works are held close to our heart, but do not have the same status.  These include Bondage of the Will and Theology of the Cross.

As the American Edition of Luther's Works is heading towards 75 volumes, that leaves a whole lot of writings that are open for discussion.  The most interesting of which might be Volume 54 of the American Edition, titled, "Table Talks."

Most of us have spoken words off-the-cuff that we shouldn't have said, phrased something in the wrong way, or we were just plain wrong in saying it.  For those times, our friends either ignore us or, better yet, call us to repentance.  Worst case scenario, they stop talking to us entirely.  Personally, some of the things I have said are already damaging enough because they are kept in the offended person's heart, so I am thankful that those things have not been preserved for generations so anyone could read them. 

For Martin Luther, though, his friends and students were jotting down his words even at the dinner table, only to have them compiled later in "Table Talks" (in German, Tischreden).  The American Edition has just one volume, carefully chosen from over 7000 entries in the Weimar Edition.

Often times those speaking against Luther cite his comments in "Table Talks" as though Lutherans hold this volume to the same standard as the Large Catechism or the Smalcald Articles.  The reality is that we are free to reject anything in Luther's Works that turns out to be in conflict with the Word of God.

When it comes to the writings of Luther that we hold to be the correct exposition of the Word of God, start with the Small Catechism.  It's short and can be read in 20-30 minutes or so.  Also, as most confirmed Lutherans can tell you, it is memorizable.  "We should fear, love and trust God that..." and "This is most certainly true" are phrases that are common to the Small Catechism.

Then work your way into the Large Catechism.  From there, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise round off the group.  New resources such as Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions provide readable translations and background information on each section.

Above all, whether you are Lutheran or not, whether you are a fan of Luther or a foe, look to those writings that Lutherans subscribe to as correct first.  Its a little like reading about the H1N1 virus from The Journal of the American Medical Association instead of People Magazine.

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Let's Compare! Part I

Translating poetry into another language is one of the most challenging linguistic tasks.

Just determining a literal meaning from a form that isn't always literal can be an issue, then squeezing the literal meaning back into the meter of the original so it can be sung creates another bag of worms.

Those who endeavor to do such things are to be commended.

The base text in German is as follows:

Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott,
Ein gute Wehr und Waffen;
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
Die uns jetzt hat betroffen.
Der alt’ böse Feind,
Mit Ernst er’s jetzt meint,
Gross’ Macht und viel List
Sein’ grausam’ Ruestung ist,
Auf Erd’ ist nicht seingleichen.

Thanks to the assistance Dr. George C. Adams, we have the following literal translation:

A mighty fortress is our God,
A good defense and weapon;
He helps us free from every need
That has now befallen us.
The old wicked Foe,
He really is in ernest (Literally, "he really means it")
Great power and much craftiness
Are his fearful armaments.
His equal is not on earth.

Lutheran Service Book #656 (rhythmic):

A mighty fortress is our God,
A trusty shield and weapon;
He helps us free from every need
That hath us now overtaken.
The old evil foe
Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight;
On earth is not his equal.

Lutheran Service Book #657 (isorhythmic):

A mighty fortress is our God,
A sword and shield victorious;
He breaks the cruel oppressor's rod
And wins salvation glorious.
The old satanic foe
Has sworn to work us woe.
With craft and dreadful might
He arms himself to fight.
On Earth he has no equal. (isorhythmic):

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Omar Westendorf (isorhythmic):

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Protecting us with staff and rod,
And power all prevailing.
What if the nations rage
And surging seas rampage;
What though the mountains fall,
The Lord is God of all;
The Lord of hosts is with us.

In future posts, a line-by-line comparison of Stanza 1.

Hominem Predicant: They Preach Man

"They preach man..."

This is the beginning of the 27th thesis of Luther's 95 Theses.  The entire thesis reads:
They preach man who say that so soon as the penny jingles into the money-box, the soul flies out.

To put it in a more familiar form, Luther was speaking against Johann Tetzel's slogan, "When a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs."

It was on this day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door at the Castle Church in Wittenberg.  It sounds kind of radical or odd that someone would nail anything to the door of a church, but this door kind of served as a community bulletin board.  Much like you might see notices for garage sales as you enter your grocery store, the church door served as a place where you could post something of interest.

It wasn't the act of nailing something to the door of a church that set things spinning, but the content of the theses that thrust the Protestant Reformation to the forefront of society.

Luther challenged the sale of indulgences, the church's teaching on justification, and the authority of the pope in these theses.  Many of the issues are still taught by Rome today.

That being said, even though Rome still sells indulgences, its docrine of justification remains in tact, and the pope still claims to be the "Vicar of Christ on Earth," these issue hardly plagues the Church Universal the way it once did.

What does? Pastor Peters has an excellent post on The New Reformation.

While Johann Tetzel is no longer "preaching man" instead of "preaching Christ crucified," many others are.  These are the voices of the prosperity gospel, new age philosophy, eastern mysticism, popular television hosts, and all those books about how you need a "purpose".  Wherever a person's individual actions are used in lieu of Jesus' saving work, whether inside the church or outside the church, this is where "they preach man."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sound of Majesty: Highlights from 10/29

Here are some highlights from this week's Sound of Majesty.

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009:

Once again we hear Dr. Martin Jean at the organ of the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.  Dr. Jean plays J.S. Bach's Organ Fugue in G Major.

Other highlights include a stirring a capella arrangement of "Were You There" by Jessye Norman and the Ralph Vaughn Williams arrangement of "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name" to the tune Miles Lane.  If you've not heard this arrangement and this tune, your ears might tell you it sounds kind of familiar until you get to "... and crown Him .... crown Him ... crown Him ... crown Him Lord of all."  You need a good organist, a fairly large choir (who can count) and a decent worship space to pull this one off.  Those "crown Him" phrases are really stretched out.

Rounding out the broadcast is the whistling St. Olaf Cantorei singing, "In Thee Is Gladness."

You can catch this broadcast and others in the audio archive here.  There are about 4 weeks of archives in the sight.  The direct link to the broadcast is here and the direct link to the playlist is here.

More on Paul Manz

A post over at Composing My Thoughts has a fairly complete biography of Paul Manz.

Dale Witte hosts this blog.  He is at music teacher at Winnebago Lutheran Academy in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and a composer.  Dale's work includes liturgical music that is used throughout the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

+Paul Manz+ 1919-2009

Composer and organist Paul Manz passed away Wednesday Evening.  Southern Lutheran Kantor has some details here.

Perhaps his most well-known piece was E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come.  You can learn the chilling background of this anthem here.

As stated in a previous post, this is an appropriate piece for this time of year, as we turn our focus to the end times.

Here it is, done by a small choir in an Episcopal Church.

Here is another version, adapted for an a-capella mens group.

Rejoice in heaven,
all ye that dwell therein
Rejoice on earth, ye saints below

For Christ is coming,
Is coming soon
For Christ is coming soon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time Out #37: Guess Which Hymn?

This week on Lutheran Time Out, three guesses on the hymn, and the first two don't count.

There are no Table Talk Radio points on the line for guessing it either.

There are 8 clues right in this blog (make that nine now).

That's right, the hymn this week is A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.

Tune in to hear the rhythmic version with the golden tones of Layman Dan and the talented Southern Lutheran Kantor improvising at the mighty organ.

You can sing along in Lutheran Service Book, Hymn 656.  Please stand if you do ;)

Table Talk Radio: Show 67

The latest and greatest episode of Table Talk Radio is now available. 

Show #67: Christian or Secular?
Brand new game on Table Talk Radio. Its where a song is played and the contestant has to figure out whether the song preformed by a Christian band or a secular band. 

That's right, folks, the Table Talk Radio, everyone's favorite Lutheran radio program with a game show format and highly coveted Table Talk Radio points!

Yes, Table Talk Radio, where the points are as valuable as Tetzel's indulgences.  Well, actually, an authenticated indulgence from Tetzel might be worth something on ebay.  Never mind.

BTW, don't forget the forum!  Discuss the show's topics post other comments here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Peters on Prayer

I am seeing a lot of links out there to Pastor Peters' blog, Pastoral Meanderings.  This blog will be no exception!

Today I am highlighting his post on prayer.  I highlight this because it is an area of my own life that I need to work on.  Resources like the Treasury of Daily Prayer are helpful, yet cumbersome.  Finding a time and a place for meditation is challenging at best.  Satan likes to grab hold of me in this area and, of course, I let him!

Here is a highlight from Pastor Peters post:
We have all been there when someone began to pray and instead of a prayer we got an update on some one's medical condition or a justification for why we were asking this of God or a series of rather pedestrian statements usually beginning with the words "we just..." We have all been there when prayers took on the character of long speeches -- especially prayers following the sermon that are used to review the salient points of the sermon, one more time, this time in the guise of prayer. We have all been there when paragraphs of prayer waxed eloquent but in the end we were not quite sure what it was that we were saying our "Amen" to. The problem is that these are often held up as model prayers that we should aspire to -- when the model prayer is, of course, the Our Father, an economy of words that directs our hearts to voice spiritual needs when we are generally focused upon physical ones.

Spontaneous praying is assisted when we have learned to pray the prayers of others first. Then we learn how to give voice to our own hearts.

All of these things frustrate me in my own prayer life and in the prayer life of the church.   Pastor Peters provides some clarity through all of this.

I particularly like the "collect" form* that is prayed before the readings in the Divine Service.  Lutheran Service Book has a section of prayers starting on page 305 that tackle many topics, and most of them follow the collect form.

Look for future posts on prayer here at All for Hymn.  I confess, posts on prayer are as much for my learning experience as anyone elses.

* "Collect" is pronounced KAH-lekt, with the emphasis on the first syllable.  A future post will talk about this form.

Monday, October 26, 2009

How's Your LSB? Part II

Over at Fine Tuning, the Part Two of the Lutheran Service Book self-evaluation is going on.

They are asking for opinions on new texts set to existing tunes.

Offer your opinion on...
  • Personal Favorite
  • Most Beneficial for Your Congregation's Piety
  • Hymn that Most Effectively Catechizes
  • Best Fit for an Old Tune
  • Text that Helped You Use an Older Tune
  • Congregational Favorite
This conversation gets way better when more than two people are involved, so even if you tackle two or three of the six options, it will be a nice springboard!

Of note, Kantor Stephen R. Johnson has a new tune and setting on deck for LSB 521, "Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken."  I am excited because the tune Fortunatus New works exceedingly well with this text, but is a stumbling block for my choir (and therefore my congregation).  It's good to have options.  Put me down for 10 copies.

Just for Fun: Caption Contest at Gottesdienst

Gottesdienst is what the German's refer to as "The Divine Service" or simply "worship."  Literally, it means, "God's Service."

The journal Gottesdienst delves into all things liturgical.

Lest they take themselves too seriously, the Gottesdienst blog is running a caption contest for a picture of Elvis superimposed in front of a priest at the altar and ahead of a congregation.  Check it out here.  They promise a fabulous prize to the contest winner.


Non sum dignus.
     I am not worthy.

Tu dignus est? 
     Are you worthy?

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Translation work is complete!

I asked for translation help here and on the Wittenberg Trail

Special thanks to Dr. George C. Adams, who stepped up to the plate on The Trail and offered clear translations for lines 4, 6, 7, and 8.

Line 1:
Ein' feste Burg is unser Gott,
A mighty fortress is our God,

Line 2:
Ein gute Wehr und Waffen;
A good defense and weapon;

Line 3:
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
He helps us free from every need

Line 4:
Die uns jetzt hat betroffen.
That has us now befallen.

Line 5:
Der alt' boese Feind,
The old wicked Foe,

Line 6:
Mit Ernst er's jetzt meint
He really is in ernest (Literally, "he really means it")

Line 7:
Gross' Macht und viel List
Great power and much craftiness

Line 8:
Sein' grauseam' Ruestung ist,
His armor is cruel, [Are his fearful armaments]

Line 9:
Auf Erd' is nicht sein gleichen.
His equal is not on earth.

Look for a post coming soon comparing various metered translations of Stanza 1.

Introducing "Exploring Music"

Some of you are probably already familiar with the radio program Exploring Music.

Each week Host Bill McGlaughlin tackles a different subject over a five-day span.

This week features music of Paris from 1830 to the early 1900's.  You'll hear music from the late romantic period like Berlioz through the impressionist composers like Debussy.

Exploring music airs on the flagship station WFMT Monday-Friday at 7:00 pm Central.  The show does not yet podcast (as far as I can tell), so check your local classical station to see if it airs locally.

Alternately, WFMT does stream over the internet.  You can access that here.  Also, this website might be of some help.  It showed me the program was playing now and linked me to the broadcast.  However, there were issues with the station list.  I could not get it to navigate from page-to-page or sort by categories.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blogspot Word Verification: Is It Working?

In the settings for this blog, under "Comments" is, "Show Word Verification?"  Yes/No.

I have the radio dial set to "yes."

I checked my blog at a friend's house (so I could see what the public sees) and did not see the Word Verification.

So I am asking my readers (all five of you) to just drop a comment and let me know if the Word Verification shows on your end.


PS: What is the advantage of using it?

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Let's Translate Together!

OK, so one article I read about this song is that it is notoriously difficult to translate into English.  Apparently, there are over 100 versions floating around out there.

So, let's go back to the drawing board.  My German is rusty, but I will give it a try.  Those of you who well-versed in German, feel free to leave corrections in the comment box.  I am looking for a literal translation here, so there is no need to try to crunch the translation into the meter.

Also, if this German version is not the one that the Lutheran Hymnal Project used for LSB, feel free to drop the correct one in the comment box as well.

Here we go!

Line 1:
Ein' feste Burg is unser Gott,
A mighty fortress is our God,

Line 2:
Ein gute Wehr und Waffen;
A good defense and weapon;

Line 3:
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
He helps us free from every need

Line 4:
Die uns jetzt hat betroffen.
That has now affected us.

Line 5:
Der alt' boese Feind,
The old wicked Foe,

Line 6:
Mit Ernst er's jetzt meint
With seriousness he has now ______

Line 7:
Gross' Macht und viel List
Great power and much craftiness

Line 8:
Sein' grauseam' Ruestung ist,
His armor is cruel,

Line 9:
Auf Erd' is nicht sein gleichen.
His equal is not on earth.

As you can see, Line 6 was particularly challenging.

Again, leave any corrections or clarifications in the comment section, and a new literal translation will be used to compare other English translation.

Special thanks to Google Translator and for making this work fairly easy, and to hymntime for providing the German text.

Time Out #36: Lord, Keep Us Steadfast

This week on Lutheran Time Out, the hymn Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word is featured.  You can follow along in Lutheran Service Book #655.

Dan speaks of the persecuted church in his post.  Read more in the comment section for this episode and in the comments for Episode 30, Built on the Rock.

Once again, Southern Lutheran Kantor is at the organ bench and Layman Dan adds his voice.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sound of Majesty: October 22, 2009

In the Lutheran tradition, our church year begins with Advent, as we look forward to Christ becoming man, and ends with three Sundays that focus on the "end times."

In a typical year - including this one - the Sunday on or following November 1 marks All Saints' Sunday and is followed by the three End Times Sundays, preparing us for that glorious day when He returns to take us home.  As Christians, there is nothing to fear.  In contrast, we look forward to Christ's return with eager anticipation!

Today's installment of Sound of Majesty features many selections that deal with the end times.

The text for one, "Come, We That Love the Lord," can be found in Lutheran Service Book (#669, verses only - the refrain was added later).

Many of the selections is very American in style.
  • In That Great Gettin' Up Morning (Gospel)
  • My Lord, What A Mornin' (Spiritual - also called, "My Lord, What A Moanin' ")
  • Three American Anthems (Early American, think pre-Great Wakening)
  • At the River (think Great Awakening era, with a setting by Aaron Copeland)
Tangentially, a modern choral work in the Anglican tradition, "There Is a Stream," is included.

The direct link for the audio is here.

The playlist can be found here.

Perhaps a future post will deal with "Come to the Water."  The last line of each verse tends to put a twist on the rest of the text.  This requires going back to Scripture and comparing it to the setting.  I'll save that for another time...

Also, as I peruse the internet, look for links to featured sermons on the Sunday texts for the end of the church year, starting with Sunday, November 1.

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Definitions, Part IIIb: bulwark?!

For those of you who have been following the Fortress series, the call went out for a definition and a photo.  The definition came rather quickly (thanks, anon) and the photo was slow coming in.

Thanks to Caroline, we now have a royalty-free photo!

Caroline is now the proud owner of 10 Table Talk Radio points.  Yes, the famous Table Talk Radio with Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller and Seminarian-turned-Vicar Evan Goeglein.  Yes, the Table Talk Radio of Theological Buzz Words, Bible Bee, and Iron Preacher.  Yes, the same Table Talk Radio where the points are like a pipe organ in a "contemporary" church, pretty much useless.

Tune in now!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just for Fun: The "Big" Piano


How's Your LSB?

It has been around 3 years since Lutheran Service Book (LSB) first hit the pews.

Kantor Phil Magness has a good discussion going on at Fine Tuning that includes a "self-diagnostic tool."

Chime in on how it's going in your congregation in the following areas:
  • A Hymn that Is Proving to Be As Good As First Thought
  • A Hymn that Hasn't Met Expectations
  • A Hymn that Worked Surprisingly Well
  • A Hymn We Haven't Sung Yet, But Will
Read more on the post, but as a preview I chose the following for the above categories:
  • ...As Good As First Thought: 411, "I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light"
  • ...Hasn't Met Expectations: 521, "Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken" (love the text, the tune is not catching on in my parish) 
  • ...Works Surprisingly Well: Nunc Dimittis (Page 211 and Hymn 937)
  • ...Haven't Sung Yet, but Will: 957, "Our Father Who Art In Heaven."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kantor/Cantor, what is a Kantor, Cantor? Part III: "Becoming a Better Bach"

Southern Lutheran Kantor suggests a title for a Joel Osteen book that he might actually read:
Becoming a Better Bach: Seven Steps to Change You into the Kantor from Leipzig

Along with the title comes seven+ suggestions on becoming a better kantor.  Head on over to his blog to find out more details.

In the mean time, I have suggested other titles for this proposed book.
  • Your Best Kantor Now 
  • Be All that You Kant Be
  • Set Your Kantor Ablaze! 
  • I Kant Therefore I Am (also a good title for his philosophic writing) 
Submit your suggestions for the proposed book title in the comment section here at All for Hymn or over at Southern Lutheran Kantor.

On another note, I want to thank Southern Lutheran Kantor for providing a link to this blog in his post.

More About Iggy...

Issues, Etc. did a segment on Ignatius of Antioch this past Friday.

Of special note, the guest for this segment, Dr. Thomas von Hagel, has a book about saints and heroes of faith.  One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism can be purchased through CPH for the outrageous price of $5WOO-HOO!!!

Once again, I am having trouble getting the broadcast to embed here on the blog, but I think if you click here, a download will start.

Weedon: So Very Ordinary

It's so ordinary.

I go to church every Sunday and everything is the same.  Can't they do anything different?

Funny you should mention that!  Certain parts of the liturgy are called the Ordinary.

These are the things that remain essentially the same week-in and week-out.

Those parts include:

  • Kyrie: Lord Have Mercy
  • Gloria: Glory be to God on High/Glory to God in the Highest/This is the Feast
  • Credo: Apostles Creed/Nicene Creed/Athanasian Creed
  • Sanctus: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Sabaoth (Power and Might)
  • Agnus Dei: Lamb of God
Pastor Wil Weedon of Weedon's Blog tackles the differences in the texts (including Luther's Chorales) in his post On Variation in Text of the Ordinary.

One might ask, if these remain constant, what does change?

The things that change every week are called the Propers.  These include:
  • Introit/Entrance Hymn
  • Collect of the Day
  • Appointed Readings from Scripture
  • Psalm or Gradual
  • Alleluia (or other Verse)
  • Hymn of the Day
  • Prayers of the Church
  • Offertory
More on those later.  For now, check out Weedon's Blog for a blub about Ordinary things.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Commemoration of Ignatius of Antioch

October 17 commemorates Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr.

Over at Cyberbrethren, Pastor Paul McCain provides a thorough biography and other information on this church father.

For the condensed version, check out this post by Pastor Wil Weedon on his blog.

For those of you who were wondering, my cybername is a tribute to Ignatius of Antioch.  You might think that I am a big fan of this church father, or that I have read a lot about him, or that I did some sort of paper on his works, but the truth is that his commemoration day and my birthday are the same!

So, while I knew these two days coincided, I really don't know much about this father of the church.  I will be reading these links and learning right along with the rest of you.

And, if anyone asks, I turned 29 ;)

I say that every year...

Rev. Larry Peters: Basic Differences

Rev. Larry Peters of Pastoral Meanderings has an interesting post called Basic Differences.

Pastor Peters serves Grace Lutheran Church in Clarksville, TN.  There aren't a lot of Lutheran churches there, much less liturgical ones.  Yet he writes about using the liturgy in a growing church that gets 3-8 visiting families every week.  He tackles issues surrounding the Divine Service and its use with visitors for whom the liturgy is foreign.

He frames this around a discussion centered on worship for "seekers" vs. worship for the baptized.

Here is a sample...
This remains the biggest chasm between those who advocate a service that appeals to people's wants, needs, and culture, and those who insist that worship must conform the historic pattern of Word and Meal (within the framework of the mass form, with is Service of the Word and Service of the Sacrament). The debate is not about the age or youth of the hymns (read that songs). It is not about whether the confession can be here or somewhere else in the order. It is not about the words being "King James" or twitter speak. It is not about the use or lack of technology. It is not about vestments or lack of vestments. It is first and foremost about the basic question: Who can worship?

Check out the rest here.

Time Out #35: Comment Available

My comments on the hymn If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee are now available over at

The hymn is interesting, there are a few "if you ... then God ..." ideas floating around in the text, so context is everything.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Time Out #35: If Thou But Trust

This week on Time Out, the featured hymn is If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee.

Southern Lutheran Kantor is at the organ, and Layman Dan once again offers his golden voice.

Some comments are already posted over there, so let's keep the party rolling!

I will add my own in the next day or so.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Issues, Etc.: The Nicene Creed

The Lutheran Confessions refer to the three ecumenical creeds as the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian.  The Western Church subscribes to all three of these "because" they are the correct exposition of Scripture, and not "insofar as" they are the correct exposition of Scripture.

The Eastern Church sees only the need for the Nicene Creed.  A little research revealed that they view their entire liturgy as creedal, so they did not adopt additional creeds.  Their version differs in a couple of spots, the most significant of which is that the third article does not include the words "and the Son."

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and Giver of Life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]

Issues, Etc. did an entire week on the Nicene Creed with Pastor Wil Weedon.  You can catch the "and the Son" controversy and more on the Nicene creed all right here.


* There was some issue with the embed codes (probably a user error) so links are provided instead of direct broadcasts.

* A download will start when you click on the link

* The some of the differences between ICET, ELLC, and LSB translations will be discussed in a future post.

* Latin Lesson 1:  A "because" subscription is often referred to by it's Latin word, quia (pronounced quee-ah)

* Latin Lesson 2: An "insofar as" subscription is often referred to by it's Latin word, quatenus (pronounced quah-tay-noos)

* Latin Lesson 3: The "and the Son" controversy is often referred to by the single Latin word that has the same meaning, filioque (pronounced fee-lee-oh-quay).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Table Talk Radio: Show 66

A new episode has surfaced for Table Talk Radio.  Here are the show's highlights.

Show #66: Old Time Games

It seems it's been awhile since we placed Google It or Who Wants to be a Theologian. So that's what we play in this edition of Table Talk Radio, finishing up with some Bible Bee.

No word from the show's hosts.  I want to give out "frequent commenter points" to my readers, and I was hoping Table Talk Radio would sponsor the points in exchange for these shameless plugs, but apparently the points are in short demand since Seminarian Goeglein was given something like 2 million of them.  This is my hypothesis, since they didn't return my emails.

That's Table Talk Radio, where the points are like infant baptism in a Pentecostal church, pretty much non-existent.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Introducing Sound of Majesty... those of you who have not yet discovered it!

Sound of Majesty features choral and instrumental music interspersed with readings from Scripture and theologians (both ancient and modern).  The program airs at 11 pm Central Sunday through Friday on or you can check out the audio archive, which is currently showing the entire week's episodes.

You will find a mix of music from the Protestant tradition, including liturgical, classical, spiritual and gospel.

The goal here at All for Hymn is to feature one program a week.

The October 13 broadcast features an interesting combination: Organist Martin Jean playing Bach's Orgelbuchlein "In Dir Ist Freude" (in English, "In Thee Is Gladness") followed by the spiritual, "I Can Tell the World" as performed by the Calvin College Alumni Choir.

Martin Jean has served Concordia College-Ann Arbor (now a university), Valparaiso University, and is now with Yale University.  I believe he is playing the organ at the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the campus of Concordia Seminary-St. Louis.

Fine Tuning: Choir Director or Song Leader

Join the discussion over at Fine Tuning, where the topic of the kantor's/music director's/organist's/conductor's participation in leading congregational song (or even choir parts) is in the choir loft, but perhaps the microphone is not turned on ;)

You can chime in here.  Please bring your own handbells hehe

Also covered is the role of pastors leading congregational responses.

My last comment over there seeks advice on using microphones when a solo verse is in order.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: One Song, Two Meters

One thing a person might ask if they looked closely at most hymns in the Lutheran Service Book is "What are all those numbers at the bottom of the page?"

There are two different sets of numbers, one for each version of the hymn.
  • 87 87 55 56 7 (Rhythmic)
  • 87 87 66 66 7 (Isorhythmic)
Each number refers to the number of syllables in each line of the hymn.

A MIGH-TY FOR -TRESS IS OUR GOD  (8 syllables)
A TRUST-Y SHIELD AND WEAP-ON (7 syllables - rhythmic)
A BUL-WARK NEV-ER FAIL-ING (7 syllables - isorhythmic)

Things get a little sticky a few lines down, as the number of syllables differs from rhythmic to isorhythmic.

THE OLD E-VIL FOE (5 syllables)
NOW MEANS DEAD-LY WOE (5 syllables)
ON EARTH IS NOT HIS E-QUAL (7 syllables)

DOTH SEEK TO WORK US WOE (6 syllables)
AND, ARMED WITH CRU-EL HATE, (6 syllables)
ON EARTH IS NOT HIS E-QUAL. (7 syllables)

Both tunes are recognizable as "A Mighty Fortress" yet the texts are not exactly interchangeable.  In this version of Hans Leo Hassler's setting, they used an isorhythmic text with the rhythmic tune.

The video uses a different translation.  It will help to have those words for the sake of discussion.  This was not easy to track down.  It is a newer translation by Omar Westendorf.

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Protecting us with staff and rod,
And power all prevailing.
What if the nations rage
And surging seas rampage;
What though the mountains fall,
The Lord is God of all;
The Lord of hosts is with us.

You can hear them "double down" near the end of lines six and seven.  In the rhythmic tune, these lines are all half notes (each note is held for two counts).  In this version, the second last half note is changed to two quarter notes.

Perhaps a visual will help.  The capital letters represent beats with a spoken syllable, the small letters represent beats with a non-spoken syllable.  The text from

Rhythmic text from LSB:
ONE  two  ONE  two  ONE  two  ONE  two  ONE  two
Now       means     dead -    ly        woe 
Deep      guile     and       great     might

Isorhythmic text (Hassler recording):
ONE  two  ONE  two  ONE  two  ONE  TWO  ONE  two
And       surg  -   ing       SEAS RAM- PAGE
What      though    the       MOUN-TAINS FALL

As much as the isorhythmic text's capital letters (SEAS RAMPAGE and MOUNTAINS FALL) and bold TWO beat stand out, you can hear that extra syllable in the recording.

So we have multiple translations, two meters, and two versions of the same tune.  Yet the differences make it difficult to switch tunes and translations around.

Now, this all feels wordy to me.  I welcome comments that will help simplify things.

Next in the series, translating the first verse.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

From Cyberstones: Preaching Law to the Choir

As I am not an ordained minister of the Word, I will be linking to other blogs written by experienced pastors.

Rev. David Peterson is the pastor of Redeemer, Fort Wayne.  His Cyberstones blog post, Preaching Law to the Choir, got my attention simply from the title, of course!  It talks about the appropriate preaching of the law to a congregation.

The law needs to convict the listeners of their sins as opposed to getting them to agree that the behavior is wrong.

Our pride gets in the way as usual.  Rev. Peterson notes that old-time Reformation Services included preaching against the pope.  Since none of the people present were the pope, preaching the law in this manner does not convict the listeners of their own sin.

Peterson writes:
We preach the Law not to condemn the absent, but to condemn sin and sinners, to teach sinners the hard and humility work of examining themselves, of confessing the pitiful lies we've told and our self-absorption, our thousand pretend ways meant to fool ourselves and our neighbors into thinking we are better than we are, to confront what is really in us and who we really are, not as a way of nagging us to better behavior or to make us feel superior to other people, but to show us how great and selfless Christ's rescue is.

How beautiful, that even though our sinful nature tells us we are doing fine, the Law comes around and convicts us that we are not, the the Gospel kicks in and even though we do not deserve it Christ's forgiveness, bought for us on the cross, is offered.

The Law of God is good and wise
And sets His will before our eyes,
Shows us the way of righteousness,
And dooms to death when we transgress.

The Gospel shows the Father's grace,
Who sent His Son to save our race,
Proclaims how Jesus lived and died
That we might thus be justified.

- LSB 579 and 580

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Shouldn't we stand? LSB 602, The Gifts Christ Freely Gives

This evening I was asked to play LSB 602, "The Gifts Christ Freely Gives" in a worship setting.  In previous hymnals, the pastor or organist (or both) would decide on the trinitarian nature of the final stanza, then the organist would play an interlude, and the congregation would stand.

With the introduction of Lutheran Service Book, though, the trinitarian final verses have triangles next to them, which takes out some of the guesswork.

The structure of the hymn is this:
  • Stanza 1: Gifts are for the Church
  • Stanza 2: Gifts in Baptism
  • Stanza 3: Gifts in Absolution
  • Stanza 4: Gifts in God's Word
  • Stanza 5: Gifts in the Eucharist
  • Stanza 6: Glory, praise and thanks to the triune God
The author of the text is Kantor Richard Resch of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.  It would seem that he intended for the final verse to be trinitarian/doxological in nature.  Yet there is no triangle next to the last stanza.

Had we been using HS98, LW or TLH, I would have gone ahead and played the interlude and if the congregation observed this tradition, they would stand.  However, there was no triangle.  I am wondering if the hymnal committee specified the three-in-one names be detailed as "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" instead of simply "triune God."

Back when Hymnal Supplement 98 was in use, I once cued the trinitarian stanza for "Now Greet the Swiftly Changing Year."  I was told that this was not a stanza in which we would stand because it was prayer-like in nature and not praise-like in nature.  But alas, in LSB this stanza got the the triangle and "The Gifts" did not.

Lets discuss this here first, then I will attempt to contact a member of the hymnal committee or perhaps even Kantor Resch.

"Finger" "Quotes"

Are you one of those people who lift their fingers in the air to show they are "quoting" "something"?

Habitual quotation marks are apparently not just for casual conversation, but there are also plenty of "written" "examples" of this humorous hand gesture.

Over at Jottings and Such, the blog of author Julie Stiegemeyer, you will find this post on The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

Those of you with young children might know of Julie's board book series, Things I [See/Hear/Do] in Church.  Check out all of's offerings by putting "stiegemeyer" in the search box, and choosing "books" in the dropdown menu.

She also has writings for a more general children's audience.  My favorite is Gobble, Gobble, CRASH.

From the Wittenberg Trail

Not everything on the Wittenberg Trail is centered on Lutheranism.

One blog post over there dealt with common misspellings and misuse of the English Language.  Since the Trail is a private site and registration is required, I cannot bring the entire post here.  I can bring my own comments, though!

Make no mistake, I type full sentences in my emails and on my blog.  I make every effort to spell things properly.  The Firefox browser leaves an orange line under words that are misspelled when you are typing in it.  Back when I taught music, I used to say, "Spelling counts in music class because spelling counts in life!"

That being said, I couldn't resist leaving a comment similar to this:

Your definately onto something hear. I no alot of people who has know clue about there usage of the English language. Irregardless, these issues are not two hard too get ahold of. I think Im loosing my mind.

If you are a member of the Trail, you can find the original post with my original comment here.  I tweaked the one above to include more errors. :)

Welcome Wittenburg Trail Readers

I posted a link to this blog over on the Wittenberg Trail, a social networking site for Lutherans.

I want to welcome any readers who found the blog because of my post on the Trail.

I am new to the Trail, and even newer to blogging, so this is all quite an adventure!

Who knows, maybe I will warm up to Facebook eventually.  This Facebook thing is just a trend, right?  You know, like radio, television, internet, etc.?  It probably won't last.  ;)

Time Out #34: Comments now available!

Join the angelic discussion over at  I posted comments over there on the featured hymn, I Walk in Danger all the Way.  My focus was on verse 4:

I walk with angels all the way,
They shield me and befriend me;
All Satan’s power is held at bay
When heavenly hosts attend me;
They are my sure defense,
All fear and sorrow, hence!
Unharmed by foes, do what they may,
I walk with angels all the way.

Also, if you haven't listened to the podcast, get out your personal copy of LSB and follow along with Hymn 716.  Don't have a personal copy?  You need one!  Buy it here, or contact your local Christian bookstore.

Why will you need one?  Assuming I get my act together, I plan to do a series on "Singing through LSB in One Year."  It's hard to sing along without a hymnal.  Look for this to start on the First Sunday of Advent.  That will be November 29 this year.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Search this Blog?

OK, so I added in the "Search this Blog" gadget to the sidebar.  I am not sure how it works, as I have searched words that I know are in the blog, and nothing came up!

There is a disclaimer that says, "New posts may not be readily available."  No problem, I searched for "translation" since it was in my first post.  There were no results for this blog.

I am going to leave it up for a few weeks and test it out from time to time.

BBC goes Bach!

The BBC has done a nice biography of JS Bach.

You can read Pastor Peters' post at Pastoral Meanderings and leave a comment there as well.

The BBC has broken down the bio into 6 parts, around 10 minutes for each part.


Modern Lutheran Classics, Part I: "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come"

Pastor Peters over at Pastoral Meanderings has a post about the Paul Manz choral piece, E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come.

You can head over there and find background information and links to the recordings as well.

This particular piece is wonderful for the coming weeks, as we head into All Saints Day and the Last Sundays of the Church Year.  This is the time of the church year where we focus on the second coming of Jesus.

Our focus as Christians, though, is not on the judgment, but that Christ is returning to take us home.  Christ already suffered our final judgment for us, so we look forward to the second coming with great hope and expectation!  We do not fear this, but long for it.  This second coming will put an end to wars and tribulation, and we will forever be with Jesus.

As the last section of the text states,

E'en so Lord Jesus quickly come
And night shall be no more
They need no light, no lamp, nor sun
For Christ will be their All!

Kantor/Cantor, what is a Kantor, Cantor? Part II

Southern Lutheran Kantor adds this to the conversation about kantors.

...If I could add one thing: Kantors also tend to have theological training, in addition to musical training. As Bach said (and I paraphrase), "A church musician music be a theologian first." In fact, there is a growing trend of kantors being ordained pastors, as well as trained musicians. Both seminaries have one (Kantors Resch and Gerike), as well as church such as Hope Lutheran in St. Louis.

Lest I forget this important distinction!  A kantor in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod usually studies at an institution of the Concordia University System and/or one of two seminaries.  A music class with a theological bend might focus on what liturgy and music teach us about our faith.

To paraphrase Carl Schalk, topics are covered from the perspective of liturgical theology because most dogmatics books don't touch on these things.  If they do, it is way in the back of the book, right after The Last Things.

Of course, not all kantors come through the Concordia system.  These kantors might attend workshops and lectures sponsored at the local, district, synod or university/seminary level.  Another option is a masters program in church music through one of the Concordias.

Kantor/Cantor, what is a Kantor, Cantor? Part I

Kantors/Cantors have a long tradition in the church.  The term is derived from the Latin (canto means "to sing").

The spelling is interchangeable. Kantor with a "k" is a German spelling, while cantor with a "c" is an English spelling.

Kantors such as Southern Lutheran Kantor, Chris at Lutheran Kantor and Cantor Magness at Fine Tuning, not to mention Kantor Henry Gerike at the St. Louis Sem act as overseers for the music life of the church.

You might find your kantor conducting the choir, worship planning with the pastor, playing the organ, teaching a new song before service, organizing instrumentalist for Easter Sunday, teaching music in a church's grade school, or composing music for a worship service.

There is another type of kantor/cantor, though, and this one is normally spelled with a "c".  A church may have a cantor just to lead in the singing of the psalms, hymns with a verse and refrain, gospel acclamations, and other selections.  Generally, you might find this type of cantor singing from the front of the church, either at the lectern or perhaps off to the side.

This kind of cantor most likely wears just one hat.  This cantor's participation in a given psalm might look like this:

Cantor introduces the antphon: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Congregation repeats: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Cantor chants verses 1-3 of psalm 23.
Congregation repeats: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Cantor chants verses 4-6 of Psalm 23.
Congregation chants the Gloria Patri (if a psalm tone is used) and repeats the Antiphon

For the purposes of this blog, "kantor" with a "k" will refer to the person who oversees the music in a parish or educational institution, and "cantor" with a "c" will refer to the person who leads the congregation in singing.

Kantors and cantors have held parish positions going all the way back to ancient Israel.  For a five minute preview of cantoral contributions at the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, click here.

One famous Kantor was Johann Sebastian Bach.  During one of his tenures, he composed one cantata per week for the Sunday service.

Like I always say, "If it ain't baroque, fix it!"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Table Talk Radio: Show 65

Table Talk Radio, everyone's favorite Lutheran talk show on the internet featuring a game show format, has just posted their latest episode.

Show #65: You Might be a Pietist If...

You have to listen this week as we go through the top 10 list for, "You Might be a Pietist if..." we also play "Name that Church Body."

The description of each show tend to disappear when a new show is aired, so said descriptions will appear here on All for Hymn, starting with the current episode.

You can comment on the show both on this blog and at TTR's forum.

Choir Director vs. Lead Singer

Kantor (also spelled Cantor) Phillip Magness has a thought-provoking article on appropriate times for choir directors, organists, and even pastors to lead by singing.  Of course, when to sing and when not can depend on the circumstances in the individual congregation.  You can join the dialog by leaving a comment on the post at Fine Tuning.

Kantor Magness serves at Bethany, Naperville, IL, and was instrumental in organizing the hymn festival that supported Lutherbrook and LCFS.

Embedded Experiment

So, blogging is new to me, and this is my first attempt at embedding a video into a blog.

This is the Benjamin Britten setting of the Te Deum Laudamus. 

If for some reason this doesn't post, you can find it here on Seminarian Josh Schroeder's blog.  Josh is attending Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  I don't know him apart from his blog, but I want to thank him for posting this.

A blog series of the Te Deum is probably in order at some point down the road, perhaps for the season of Pentecost next year.

HYMN FESTIVAL: Lutheran Child and Family Services

Over at Round Unvarnish'd Table, there is a post about a hymn festival highlighting Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS).

For a link to the podcast,  a list of participants, and the order of the program check out the original post.

We want to thank Bethany, Naperville for posting the podcast and, as you will read in the comments over there, all those who contributed to this event.

I would like to put in a plug for LCFS, which has, among the many wonderful services it provides, a residential treatment center for children with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties.  Lutherbrook in Addison, IL, has been around for many, many years.  May the Lord bless them with many, many more!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Time Out #34: I Walk in Danger all the Way

Please check out this week's Time Out broadcast featuring the hymn, I Walk in Danger all the Way.

Hear Southern Lutheran Kantor at the organ and Layman Dan with his golden pipes.

I will be leaving a comment about this particular hymn over in the post's comment section either tomorrow or Thursday.

Turn up the volume on this one once the music starts playing.  The lower range of the organ can be heard better with the volume turned up.

Please note that Southern Lutheran Kantor improvises the accompaniment to each verse of the hymn, taking into consideration what the hymn is saying at any given time.  This is called "text painting," and Kantor does excellent improvisations on this broadcast.

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Definitions, Part III: bulwark?!

BULWARK: I have no idea what this means.

In the Lutheran tradition we have a ton of words that we use that we assume people know, especially in the liturgy.  Words like Salutary, Nunc Dimittis, Absolution and Collect (this has nothing to do with the gathering offerings, and you place the emphasis on the first syllable).

For example, The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contains the phrase, "It is truly meet, right and salutary..."

Lutheran Worship (1982) and Lutheran Service Book (2006) changed it up a little to read, "It is truly good, right and salutary..."

On Sunday, someone asked me what salutary meant.  After a brief brainstorm I came up with "beneficial - it's good for us!"

"Are you sure?" I was asked.

I bring all this up because we who have retained lots of big words over the years have not used "bulwark" in our hymnal.

I will leave it up to the readers to explain it.  This may take awhile, because I have all of two readers, and they belong to my tradition!

What I do have, though, is some TABLE TALK RADIO points that I have accumulated.  Yes, this is the Table Talk Radio ... everyone's favorite Lutheran radio program featuring theology within a game show format.

Yes, folks, that's Table Talk Radio ... where the points are like papal primacy to a Lutheran ... they are both good things for him to write about but he has to question the authority of both the points and the pope.

I will give 10 Table Talk Radio points to the person who can tell us all what a "bulwark" is in plain, simple terms.  Please use your own words and not something you found on wikipedia.

There are 10 bonus points on the line if you can provide a link to a photo of one.

I only have around 700 points total, so I must ration them out carefully.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Definitions, Part II: rhythmic

The rhythmic tune probably predates the isorhythmic tune.  It does not fit very nicely into a 3/4 or 4/4 time signature, and even The Lutheran Hymnal (1941, aka TLH) didn't try.  You find a mix of half- and quarter notes, and even a dotted rhythm or two.  Also, as you sing it, you feel like you are going from duple to triple meter. 

For Lutheran Service Book (aka LSB) #656, you get an example right off the bat!

duple meter: A mighty
triple meter: fortress is
duple meter: our God

Another good example is Jesus, I Will Ponder Now.  Here it is in an organ arrangement (.mp3 format), just scroll down to the first track.  Here it is with a rock beat (.mid format), just scroll down to rk140.  Both versions cite TLH as their source.  Both are arranged by Rev. Richard Jordan.  I do not know him, but we thank him for these examples.

triple meter: Jesus, I will
duple meter: ponder now
triple meter: on Thy holy
duple meter: passion

Sloppy playing (or singing) does not capture the duple-triple nature of these rhythmic tunes, so again we thank Rev. Richard Jordan for posting his fine examples to the internet.  It is especially tricky going from one phrase to the other.  The temptation is to hold out the last note longer than necessary before beginning the next phrase.  This does make it easier to sing, because it interrupts the rhythmic nature of the tune.  For you church musicians out there, if you must hold onto that last note a little longer, make it a really short hold, catch a short breath, and move on to the next phrase.

For the modern-classic version of the Rhythmic Mighty Fortress, check this out. LSB is cited.  Lutheran Service Book restored the TLH accompaniment, and I believe the text is the same as well.

For the Hans Leo Hassler's classic-classic version of the Rhythmic Mighty Fortress, check this out.  The group does not use the TLH/LSB text. We are going to come back to this recording when we talk more in-depth about meter.

For Rev. Richard's Rockin' Rhythmic Mighty Fortress inspired by TLH, click here and scroll down to rk262.

There are far fewer recordings of the rhythmic, mostly because we Lutherans might be the only ones who have sought to preserve it, and most hymnals only feature the isorhythmic.

While you can recognize the isorhythmic text when you see the word "bulwark," look for "a trusty shield" in the first few lines of the rhythmic text.

FYI: Luther's German version works best with the rhythmic text.  You can find it over at hymntime.

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Definitions, Part I: isorhythmic

Isorhythmic: This refers to the beat of the tune.  An isorhythmic tune is very consistent. The notes tend to fall on the beat, and the rhythm tends to fit nicely in to a 4/4 or a 3/4 time signature.  A straight-up isorhythmic tune might be Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus (LSB 685, for those of you who want to follow along).

You can find an organ-only version of the isorhythmic Fortress here, complete with a humorous beginning from Hi-Fi Hymn Book.  And to mix in a little irony, this one is played at St. Mary's Cathedral in Dayton, OH.

There are a multitude of vocal arrangements featuring the isorhythmic version
  • this one from Pacific Lutheran University
  • this one from Salem Academy (in Salem, Oregon?)
  • this one in a classic gospel style featuring Mahalia Jackson
  • this one in a modern gospel style, featuring Albert S. Hadley with New Orleans Gospel Soul Children.  Now THAT is an AMEN!!!

The isorhythmic text is found in most hymnals.  It is the first text over at hymntime and cyberhymnal. You can easily recognize it by the word "bulwark" in the first line or two.  We'll save that word for another post.  For those of you using LBW, LW or LSB,  you will find, "a sword and shield" in the first line or two.

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Introduction

In Lutheran Service Book, there are two translations of "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."

One of those is in the public domain, and the other is not.  We will focus on the "rhythmic" version (LSB 656), as that is the one in public domain.

From there we will look at the "isorhythmic" version found in most other hymnals.

Lastly, there will be some German involved.  My German is a little rusty, and those of you who know the German well are free to make corrections in the comment section.  My mistakes will remain posted on the main page, so be sure to check the comment section for corrections.

As for the isorhythmic version in LSB, we will reference a line or two from each verse, but will not post the full text.

Up next: defining rhythmic and isorhythmic.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I have been posting on Lutheran blogs for around 9 months now.  As I was commenting on regarding the featured hymn, I finally resolved to start my own hymn blog. 

Potential topics include
  • Appropriate use of a hymn: which season, where in the Divine Service, when it works for the lectionary
  • Translation issues: when a hymn originates in Latin/German/Spanish/Greek etc., it is difficult to put those thoughts into English and have them match up with the intended tune.  Sometimes the theology of the translator gets inserted into the translation.  We will take up some of these issues.
  • Hymns from outside the Lutheran tradition: would you use them in the Divine Service, would you include them in a hymnal or supplement, what would it take to make it Lutheran, etc.
  • Feature posts from musicians, pastors, bloggers, authors, language experts and poets provided I can convince them to contribute!
Look for a series of posts in the near future honoring Reformation Day, October 31, entitled, "The Many Mighty Fortresses."   There is more than one translation out there, and, of course, the German text.  Not to mention two different meters. 

To whet your appetite, here is a setting from JS Bach's Cantata BWV 80, Ein Feste Burg.