Category Archives: Hymns

Hymn text translation

For all of you German-singing carolers, Latin-lauding educators, and traditional textists, I’ve got an article for you: “The Challenge: Finding Translators for Hymn Texts.” It offers a little insight into the LCMS hymn writing symposium held this past fall, as well as the need for hymn text translation around the world. Continue reading

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Anniversaries

Occasions for hymns are all around us. Are you looking for a special reason to write one? It’s recently hit me how many congregations are having big anniversaries! My own, here in Oklahoma, just celebrated 90 years last year, but one of my previous congregations is wrapping up 100 years! To celebrate, they commissioned a hymn, so I’ll go ahead and link that, along with a respectful nod affectionately turned to Lisa Clark, wordsmith, and Kevin Hildebrand, musician extraordinaire.

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Liber Hymnorum

Today’s post is a bit eclectic. It includes my review of Liber Hymnorum: The Latin Hymns of the Lutheran Church, as well as two GoodRead Giveaways from Lutheran authors.

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God’s Own Child

I announced a Lutheran children’s book that caught my eye a while ago, and now it’s time to offer my review of God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It. Looking for a friendly way to introduce powerful hymnody to a child? Looking for baptismal birthday presents or a thoughtful gift for families with young children visiting your church? Or, just plain happy to see good Lutheran texts paired with illustrations for a powerful Gospel service? Then this is the thing for you!
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Hymn Writing Opportunity

Ok, poets and poetesses. A hymn writing opportunity is as common as a Sunday and as rare as a blue moon. Thankfully, I’ve learned of a symposium for LCMS hymn writers and translators: Fresh Hymns of Thankful Praise Arise. And, if you are not a hymn writer, rejoice that the LCMS cares about them enough to have this get together!

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Useful Hymns

Useful Hymns by Lutheran pastor and poet Robin D Fish is now available in a second, expanded edition. It contains 200 hymns “for worship, prayer, and instruction in the Lutheran church, school, and home.” I look forward to seeing it and trying them out!

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Reformation Hymn Winner

Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the Lutheran Reformation Hymn Competition has been announced, and the piece is well worth hearing. Below is a link complete with a video of the song sung. Congratulations, Rev. Dr. Wilfred L. Karsten, 2016 Reformation hymn winner!

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Living Lutheran Poets & Hymnists

It’s April! National Poetry Month! So now I can debut my list of Living Lutheran Poets & Hymnists for my expanding living Lutheran author page. Please let me know additional names or places to purchase (a few of these seem to have books out of print). Here they are: Living Lutheran Poets & Hymnists!

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Means of Grace

I’ve worked up three possible entries for the hymn contest (six days left!). While part of me liked the idea of playing around with the famous Reformation phrases and expressions, you know, like by grace through faith and justification, what I turned out really emphasized the means of grace.

Since we are nearing the end of this writing exercise—It’s increasingly clear to me that that’s what this is for me, rather than a seriously competitive entry!—it’s been pretty good. It’s been a rather devotional experience with a nicely theological depth to it. How do we confess our faith, and how do we do it with others? What elements of Scriptural imagery and vocabulary leap quickest to our tongues (and typing)? Are there things we avoid, or things that prove extra tricky? For me, lately, I kept returning, again and again, to the means of grace. Continue reading

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Filed under As Christian Writers, As Theological Writers, Hymns, Writing Exercises

Hymn Example

Seven days left for the hymn contest! To encourage you, I asked a hymn-writer if he could offer us a glimpse into something he’s written: a hymn example for our consideration with a little of his thinking behind it. Rev. Mark Preus, who writes Lutheran poetry especially in its hymnic form at Revive Lutheran Hymns, kindly responded with the following. Would any more of you hymn-writers like to share and so encourage? Just let me know!

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Filed under As Theological Writers, Hymns