Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day and the Apostle's Creed, Article I

From Luther's Small Catechism. The Apostle's Creed is the second part of Luther's Small Catechism, so you will notice the roman numeral II begins this section.

II. The Creed

As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.

The First Article.

Of Creation.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.

Praise to the Lord the Almighty
Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König
Setting by JS Bach


What does this mean?

I believe that God has made
me and all creatures;
that He has given me my body and soul,
eyes, ears, and all my limbs,
my reason, and all my senses,
and still preserves them;

Praise to the Lord the Almighty
Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König
Setting by Hugo Distler


in addition thereto,
clothing and shoes,
meat and drink,
house and homestead,
wife and children,
fields, cattle, and all my goods;

Great is Thy Faithfulness
Sung by a mens chorus


that He provides me
richly and daily
with all that I need
to support this body and life,
protects me from all danger,
and guards me and preserves me
from all evil;

Children of the Heavenly Father
Sung in Swedish and English


and all this
out of pure, fatherly,
divine goodness and mercy,
without any merit or worthiness in me;

Children of the Heavenly Father
Setting by Wilbur Held


for all which I owe it to Him
to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him.
This is most certainly true.

Praise to the Lord the Almighty
Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König
German Gospel Choir

Adventures in Country Music: Father's Day

About a month ago I picked up a temp project in Los Angeles.  This is not one of my favorite towns, but I had rent to pay so I jumped on the plane and away I went.

For being a major market, there was surprisingly little variety on the radio. I started on classical. That station held three spots on the dial, so if you lost one you had to find the other. There was, of course, a ton of Spanish language stations, but no habla Espanol.

I finally settled on the country music station. There is the stereotype out there that when you play country music backwards you get your girl back, your dog comes home and your truck is fixed.

The truth is, country music covers the whole range of topics: break-ups and love songs, happy songs and sad songs, fluff songs and songs with substance, non-offensive songs and songs that push the envelope, religious songs and secular songs.

Note to those who write contemporary worship songs: country music isn't afraid to mention Jesus and stations still play those songs.

One of the top five songs in country music right now is "The Man I Want to Be" by Chris Young. While this particular song does not mention Jesus, it is a prayer and religous in nature. I wouldn't use this in the Divine Service, but it is fine for personal use.

Here's rlc1231 covering the song, followed by the video as seen on CMT.

God I'm down here on my knees
Cause it's the last place left to fall
Beggin' for another chance
If there's any chance at all
That you might still be listenin'
Lovin' and forgivin' guys like me

I've spent my whole life gettin' it all wrong
And I sure could use your help just from now on
I wanna be a good man
A do like I should man
I wanna be the kind of man the mirror likes to see
I wanna be a strong man
And admit that I was wrong man
God I'm askin’ you to come change me
Into the man I wanna be

If there's any way for her and me to make another start
Could you see what you could do
To put some love back in her heart
Cause it gonna to take a miracle
After all I've done to really make her see

That I wanna be a stay man
I wanna be a brave man
I wanna be the kind of man she sees in her dreams
God I wanna be your man
And I wanna be her man
God I only hope she still believes
In the man I wanna be

Well I know this late at night that talk is cheap
But Lord don't give up on me yeah

I wanna be a givin' man
I wanna really start livin' man
God I'm askin’ you to come change me
Into the man I wanna be

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Off Topic: Here come the HAWKS...

... the mighty BLAAAAACKHAWKS!!!

The Chicago Blackhawks have taken home the Stanley Cup.

Classic moments in Blackhawks History

Goal Song from the 2008-2009 Season

The Barton Theater Organ
at the old Chicago Stadium
World's Largest Organ
God Bless America
comes in around
the 2 minute mark

Interview with
Frank Pellico
Blackhawks Organist

Welcoming the Hawks home
with a Moonlight Serenade

A Little Night Music, Part IV: Abide with Me

I have notice subtle variations in the text with a few of these selections of Abide with Me. A hymn text in public domain is often changed to suit the needs of the individual, group or denomination.

Sometimes religious references are removed entirely (not so in these cases).

Sometimes the theology of one individual or denomination does not match the theology in a hymn.

Still other times changes are made for cultural reasons, like updating Elizabethan English or using "folk" instead of "man" in reference to people in general. Some go so far as to remove gender entirely whether it references humans or God (I don't think that happened with these).

The first two videos are the same setting, but both have altered the text to some extent. As you listen through each video, perhaps you will find more.

Anyways, here is the text of all eight verses of Abide with Me. I don't think any of these recordings covered all eight verses, but you can sing them yourself for your personal devotion.


Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

The Choir of Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Michigan


Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale


Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

RattlerMan's Wife and Daughter


Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

The Webb Family


Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

Mahalia Jackson


I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

Hayley Westenra


I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

The Voices of the Valley Men's Chorus


Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

St. Paul's Cathedral
Abide with Me with Schubert's Holy, Holy, Holy

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Little Night Music, Part III

Two songs are featured in this next clip from the evening service.

For the first one, you can find the tune in Lutheran Service Book, Hymn 734. That hymn, while not specifically an evening hymn, is quite appropriate for that time of day. Here is the first verse from LSB, followed by a more traditional translation from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941).


I trust, O Lord, Your holy name;
O let me not be put to shame
Nor let me be confounded.
My faith, O Lord,
Be in Your Word
Forever firmly grounded.


In Thee, Lord, have I put my trust;
Leave me not helpless in the dust,
Let me not be confounded.
Let in Thy Word
My faith, O Lord,
Be always firmly grounded.



The first hymn you hear in the evening service, though, has more nighttime themes to it.


Mit meinem Gott geh ich zur Ruh
und tu in Fried mein Augen zu,
denn Gott vom Himmelsthrone
ueber mich wacht
bei Tag und Nacht,
auf dass ich sicher wohne.


I go to rest with my God
and close my eyes in peace,
since God, from heaven's throne,
watches over me
by day and night,
that I may dwell in safety.



The second hymn you hear from this video is not familiar to me. The text and tune are neither in Lutheran Service Book nor The Lutheran Hymnal. It is considered a folk song or volkslied.

Der Mond ist aufgegangen,
die goldnen Sternlein prangen
am Himmel hell und klar;
der Wald steht schwarz und schweiget,
und aus den Wiesen steiget
der weisse Nebel wunderbar.


The moon is rising,
the little golden stars shine
in the heavens, bright and clear;
the forest remains dark and silent,
and from the meadows rises
the wonderful white fog.

Der Mond Ist Aufgegangen with metered English Text


If you are looking for a hymn with similar themes that is more readily accessible, you can try "Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow," (in German, Nun Ruhen Alle Wälder)which can be found in most Lutheran hymnals. The meter is the same, and the tunes are interchangeable.

In this video, you can see both German texts are used in the graphics.


Nun ruhen alle Wälder,
Vieh, Menschen, Städt und Felder,
Es schläft die ganze Welt;
Ihr aber, meine Sinnen,
Auf, auf, ihr sollt beginnen,
Was eurem Schöpfer wohlgefällt!


Now rest, all forest,
Animals, people, cities and fields,
As the whole world sleeps.
But you, my senses,
Up! Up! You should begin
whatever pleases your Creator.


Now rest beneath night's shadow
The woodland, field and meadow,
The world in slumber lies;
But now, my heart, awaken thee,
To prayer and song betake thee;
Let praise to thy Creator rise.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Little Night Music, Part II

Similar to Der Mond Ist Aufgegangen, the two selections in the next video fall under the heading of German folk songs or Volklied.

The first hymn, does not fit any tune in Lutheran Service Book or the Lutheran Hymnal. You would have to use, say, "Come to Calvary's Holy Mountain" or "Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty" and repeat the last to musical phrases to make it work. These tunes are not quite suited for an evening song.

Another option would be to sing LSB 428, "Cross of Jesus" with its meter 87.87. followed immediately by LSB 468, "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" with its meter 77.77.

The use of two tunes with one text isn't uncommon in German hymnody, but these particular tunes are not in the same style and were not ever meant to be put together.

Here is the text in German, followed by a word-for-word translation.


Weisst du, wieviel Sternlein stehen
an dem blauen Himmelszelt?
Weißt du, wieviel Wolken gehen
weit hinueber alle Welt?
Gott, der Herr, hat sie gezaehlet,
dass ihm auch nicht eines fehlet
an der ganzen grossen Zahl,
an der ganzen grossen Zahl,


Do you know how many stars are standing
in the blue sky?
Do you know how many clouds go
far across the world?
God, the Lord has number them,
that in Him also not one lacks
of the entire big number,
of the entire big number.


Where the first folk song is metered, the second folk song is metered Again, there is no tune in TLH or LSB that can be used. Now, I wouldn't recommend it, but you could sing the tune for LSB 486, "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" followed by LSB 428, "Cross of Jesus." Ugh! Don't do it! Perhaps you or another musician can transcribe this beautiful tune instead. I personally would love to learn this one!

Please note this particular song has at it's center the moon and not Jesus, so perhaps the discussion on tunes is futile if we are talking about the Divine Service or perhaps Evening Prayer.


Guter Mond, du gehst so stille
durch die Abendwolken hin.
Deines Schoepfers weiser Wille
hiess auf jene Bahn dich zieh'n.
Leuchte freundlich jedem Mueden
in das stille Kaemmerlein
und dein Schimmer giesse Frieden
ins bedraengte Herz hinein!


Dearest Moon, you go so quietly
through the evening clouds.
The will of your Creator
takes you on the path.
Friendly light of every tired one
be in that quiet little chamber
and pour your light of peace
into the troubled heart.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Little Night Music, Part I

The Evening Hymns perhaps make up my favorite section in the hymnal.

I came across an evening hymn service in Germany a few days ago.

As best I can, I will try to give translations. The first is a favorite bedtime prayer for many who are of German ancestry. So, dim the lights, set the video to full screen, light your own candle, and enjoy!


Müde Bin Ich

Muede bin ich, geh' zur Ruh',
schließe beide Aeuglein zu.
Vater lass die Augen dein
ueber meinem Bette sein.

Hab ich Unrecht heut getan,
sieh es lieber Gott, nicht an!
Deine Gnad' und Jesu Blut
machen allen Schaden gut.

Alle, die mir sind verwandt,
Gott lass ruhn in deiner Hand.
Alle Menschen gross und klein,
sollen dir befohlen sein.

Back in high school, we learned this hymn alongside Now the Light Has Gone Away. This was first year German, and I had no idea these two hymns were not at all related! For more on the latter's hymn writer, check out this post featuring Francis Havergal over at Wordwise Hymns.

Here is a rough word-for-word translation, with a group effort from the Wittenberg Trail community on stanza 3. Special thanks to Trail friend Rik for piecing together everyones' translation bits into one cohesive stanza.

I am tired, I go to rest.
My little eyes are sleepy.
Father, let Your eyes
Be over my bed.

The wrong I have done today,
Look not on it, Loving God!
Your grace and Jesus' blood
Make all sorrow good.

(Let) all who are akin to me,
Rest, God, in Your hand.
(Keep) all mankind, great and small,
Commended to Your care.

Of course, if you want to sing along in English, you can always sing this fine hymn, which was originally penned in English and is paired with the tune, "Muede Bin Ich."

Now the light has gone away;
Father, listen while I pray,
Asking Thee to watch and keep
And to send me quiet sleep.

Jesus, Savior, wash away
All that has been wrong today;
Help me every day to be
Good and gentle, more like Thee.

Let my near and dear ones be
Always near and dear to Thee.
Oh, bring me and all I love
To Thy happy home above.

Now my evening praise I give;
Thou didst die that I might live.
All my blessings come from The;
Oh, how good Thou art to me!

Thou, my best and kindest Friend,
Thou wilt love me to the end.
Let me love Thee more and more,
Always better than before.

LCMS Convention Proposals

All for Hymn is a decidedly Confessional Lutheran blog, but the author does not want to bring his denomination's politics into a blog about hymns.

So, if you want to discuss these things, you can check out the facebook page for Iggy Antiochus (the author of All for Hymn) or you can follow the commentary over at Vocation in the Valley. The writer of VV is facebook friend Brian Y., who is a delegate for the convention.

Both Brian and I are walking through each resolution. Brian is more informed, since he has been to delegate meetings and other events to that aid delegates in their decisions.

Brian operates a public blog, so you can go ahead and leave comments at will over there. You probably need to be a facebook friend to see my comments. When requesting facebook friendship, please let me know you are a blog reader using "add a personal message."

For the hymn below, I am providing the public domain words. They will differ slightly from the ones that are sung.


Ach Bleib Uns Herr
Lord Jesus Christ, With Us Abide

Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide,
For round us falls the eventide;
O let Thy Word, that saving light,
Shine forth undimmed into the night.

In these last days of great distress
Grant us, dear Lord, true steadfastness
That we keep pure till life is spent,
Your holy Word and Sacrament.

To hope grown dim, to hearts turned cold
Speak tongues of fire and make us bold
To shine Your Word of saving grace
Into each dark and loveless place.

Restrain, O Lord, the human pride
That seeks to thrust Your truth aside
Or with some man-made thoughts or things
Would dim the words Your Spirit sings.

Stay with us, Lord, and keep us true;
Preserve our faith our whole life through-
Your Word alone our heart's defense,
The Church's glorious confidence.