Saturday, July 30, 2011

FW: + Robert Barnes, Confessor and Martyr +



Feed: Aardvark Alley
Posted on: Friday, July 29, 2011 11:01 PM
Author: (Orycteropus Afer)
Subject: + Robert Barnes, Confessor and Martyr +


30 July AD 1540

Robert BarnesRemembered as a disciple of Martin Luther, Robert Barnes is considered to be among the first Lutheran martyrs. Born in 1495, he became the prior of the Augustinian monastery at Cambridge, England. Converted to Lutheran teaching, he shared his insights with many English scholars through writings and personal contacts.

During a time of exile to Germany he became a friend of Luther and later wrote a Latin summary of the main doctrines of the Augsburg Confession titled Sententiae. Upon his return to England, Barnes shared his Lutheran doctrines and views in person with King Henry VIII and initially had a positive reception. In 1529 Barnes was named royal chaplain.

The changing political and ecclesiastical climate in England later claimed him as a victim; he was burned at the stake in Smithfield in 1540. His final confession of faith was published by Luther, who called his friend Barnes "our good, pious table companion and guest of our home, this holy martyr, Saint Robertus."

For a bit more on Barnes, please read the introduction to Lutheran Carnival 26 at A Beggar at the Table.

Technorati Tags: Robert Barnes | Saint Robertus | Martin Luther | Doctor Martin Luther | Dr. Martin Luther | Augsburg Confession | Sententiae | King Henry VIII | Henry VIII | martyr | martyrdom | history | Church Year | liturgical calendar | Christianity | Christian | Lutheranism | Lutheran | Lutheran Confessions | festivals | biography | hagiography | commemorations | lectionary | theology | systematic theology | Church history | Christian history | English history | British history | German history | European history

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FW: Agone triumphali militum



Posted on: Friday, July 29, 2011 10:14 PM
Author: Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes)
Subject: Agone triumphali militum


Here is my translation of the Sequence for martyrs (plur.) by Notker, "Agone triumphali militum Regis summi," as found in Lossius (amended by H. Bonnus). Brackets, unless noted otherwise, show the original reading. A discrepancy in the notation of the melody in Lossius should be noted. The 7th and 8th notes are given one step higher in line 3a (or one step lower in 3b). I have taken the higher ones (B - A instead of A - G) from the music given for 3b. The "D flat" in the melody for line 7 seems wrong but I cannot find any better reading. Suggestions are welcome.


THE CONTEST now completed,
Won by the High King's soldiers,
Makes this day with praise to ring
In all the Church,
Faithful to the Christ, her King.

2a. They on earth rejected
Passing glories, joys, and pleasures,
2b. Every day the burden
Of the shameful cross they treasured.

3a. From their Lord no lust or vice
Did their soul separate,
3b. When they hastened from this life
Whither the saints await.

4a. No dungeon dark or iron fetter
Softened their confidence;
In Christ their heart believed;
4b. Nor did the bitter stings they suffered
Weaken the martyrs' will,
However oft received.

5a. No sword o'er them threatening
Managed to terrify
5b. These boldest of warrìors,
Now with their Lord on high.

6a. Now in God's keeping
Securely they ridicule
The cruèl hostilities
Shown by their torturers.
6b. And Christ's own people
They comfort abundantly
Through all their adversities
In this world perilous.

7a. Now Christ's in martyrdom, [Ye now with Christ reside]
7b. No more corruptible. [We weakly yet abide.]

8. Lo, what examples of constancy
In the true confession
Of Christ Jesus!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011.

LATIN ("L" = Lossius's/Bonnus' variant)

1. Agone triumphali
militum Regis summi
dies ille celebris.
Est populis [L: Et populus]
Christo regi credulis. [L: credulus]

2a. Hi delectamentum
respuerant mundanorum
2b. Et crucem tunc turpem
quotidie bajularunt;

3a. Hos nullius feritas
a Christo separat,
3b. Dum ad eum mortibus [Quin…]
millenis properent. [L: nullenis…]
4a. Non carcer ullus aut cathena
molliunt fortia
in Christo pectora,
4b. Sed nec ferarum morsus diri
martyrum solidum
excavant animum;

5a. Non imminens capiti
gladius terreat […territat.]
5b. Fortissimos milites
optimi Domini.

6a. Nunc manu Dei
complexi persequentum
insultant furoribus
quondam crudelibus
6b. Et plebi Christi […Christi plebi]
solamen suppeditant
in cunctis laboribus
lubrici saeculi.

7a. Nunc Christi martyres, [Vos…]
7b. Non valde fragiles, [Nos…]

8. Exemplis faciunt constantes [Precibus nos justo judici]
in confessione [sinceris jugiter]
Jesu Christi. [commendare curate.]

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From the LCMS

Commentary: 'Lutheran Service Book' after five years
LSB's project director shares thoughts on its development, impact
By Paul J. Grime
During the development of Lutheran Service Book (LSB), which started in earnest at the beginning of 1999, all of the work advanced with one date in mind -- 2004.
That was the year when final approval would be sought from delegates attencommentary.gifding the Synod's triennial convention. Each of the hymnal's committees operated with the year 2004 firmly etched in their minds, and as it grew nearer, work intensified to a level none of us ever imagined. When the delegates gave their approval with a gratifying 88 percent of the vote, the relief was palpable.
So the pressure was finally over. Hardly.
Next came two solid years of production deadlines that often rivaled the intensity of the original development of the hymnal. Decisions about content were replaced with choices concerning layout, design, and a myriad of finicky little details that required our attention. Very quickly we came to know personally what it means when we say that the devil is in the details.

Approval in 2004. Publication in 2006. Now it is 2011, with this August marking the fifth anniversary of the first appearance of LSB. 

In the midst of all those deadlines, none of us who worked on this project had the time to consider that one day we would be looking back. Yet, here we are, and five years out seems a good time to reflect on how far we've come.
Nearly a year ago Concordia Publishing House reported that the 1 millionth copy of LSB had recently been sold. CPH estimates that between 75-80 percent of LCMS congregations have adopted LSB. Considering that our previous hymnal, Lutheran Worship (LW), was never used by more than 60 percent of our congregations, the reception of LSB has been most gratifying.

Even better has been the ease with which LSB has been received by the members of these congregations. Anecdotal reports suggest that the transition to the new hymnal has, in many cases, been nearly effortless. Congregations that used The Lutheran Hymnal for more than 60 years, for example, have found that LSB preserved the most cherished parts of that heritage while providing new service settings and hymns to broaden their worship. And congregations that used LW, as well as other resources, have discovered a treasure trove especially in the diverse new hymnody contained in LSB.
Coinciding with the release of LSB in 2006 was a full complement of companion resources. All the standard books were part of that initial release, such as the Altar Book, Agenda, and the accompaniment books. Resources that were new with LSB include:
  • Pastoral Care Companion -- This resource has proven to be a huge success. Though designed initially as a resource for pastors in their work of caring for the flock, the Companion is clearly finding use among other workers in the church. This fall a smartphone Pastoral Care Companion app for iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod) and Android will be available through CPH.
  • Hymn Selection Guide -- Providing hymn suggestions for every Sunday of the year in both the one- and three-year lectionaries, the Guide has proven to be a valuable resource for worship planners.
  • Guitar Chord Edition -- Every hymn and chant in LSB is included in this resource. Soon it will be supplemented by an additional resource providing chords for all of the services in LSB.
  • The Concordia Organist -- Full recordings of every service and hymn (filling 31 CDs) has proven to be of great help in congregations where no one is able to lead the congregation's singing. While a "live" organist or pianist is always preferred to this "organist in a box," it has nevertheless been a welcome and very usable resource for some of our congregations.
  • Lutheran Service Builder -- This groundbreaking software package from CPH continues to evolve, with improvements and updates provided on a regular basis. With more than one-third of LCMS congregations using the Builder in some fashion, it has proven to be a flexible resource for worship planning, bulletin preparation and copyright management.
Other resources currently in the pipeline include:
  • a 12-volume collection of organ preludes on all the hymns (with volume one available by the end of the year);
  • the hymnal companion, containing background information on all of the hymns, as well as their authors and composers; and
  • a full commentary on all the services in LSB.
When I am occasionally asked when I think the Synod will produce the next hymnal, I jokingly reply, "Not during my lifetime!" The truth is, LSB has an abundance of treasures that most folks have yet to discover. After five years of use, many pastors and church musicians have become familiar with a good portion of the services and hymns. That probably means, however, that there are other resources in LSB that they have already learned to overlook.
I know from personal experience that when I look back at our previous hymnals, I'm often surprised by something I find that I had forgotten was there. I've even turned a page or two in LSB and thought to myself, "I forgot that we included that."
Exploring what's 'less familiar'
All of this is to say that now is the time for pastors and musicians to expend some effort to get to know those parts of LSB that are less familiar. For instance, I suggest the following:
  • When you come across a hymn you don't recognize, take time to examine the text.
  • If there's a melody with which you're not familiar, play through it (or ask your musician to play it for you if you can't read music).
  • Become acquainted with and use the large collection of prayers (LSB, Pages 305-18; Altar Book, Pages 427-70).
  • Consider using the left-column option in the "Service of the Sacrament" (Setting One, Page 162; Setting Two, Page 179) and be sure to use the seasonal texts for the Prayer of Thanksgiving in Setting Four (Page 209; Altar Book, Pages 266-68).
  • Start teaching new hymns to the congregation and consider introducing a new service setting -- always remembering to take it slowly.
As you get to know LSB better yourself, the congregation will be richer for it and will find the hymnal to be a plentiful resource that can serve for many years to come.
Dr. Paul J. Grime, executive director of the LCMS Commission on Worship from 1996 to 2007, served as project director during the development and production of Lutheran Service Book. He now serves as associate professor and dean of the chapel at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. Dr. Grime has launched a new blog -- "Lutheran Service Book: The Next Five Years" -- that offers insights and ideas for using LSB more fully. It is at
Posted July 29, 2011

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From: LCMS e-News []
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 3:02 PM
To: Paul Cain
Subject: LCMS News


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The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod July 29, 2011 • No. 68

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Friday, July 29, 2011

FW: The tomb of one of the Disciples?



Feed: Cranach: The Blog of Veith
Posted on: Friday, July 29, 2011 3:46 AM
Author: Gene Veith
Subject: The tomb of one of the Disciples?


Archeologists may have discovered the tomb of one of Christ's Twelve Disciples.   Tradition says that St. Philip was martyred in the Hierapolis in present day Turkey and that's where they found what appears to be his tomb in the ruins of an ancient church. From a Turkish newspaper:

An Italian professor has announced the apparent discovery of the tomb of St. Philip, one of Jesus Christ's apostles, at the ancient city of Hierapolis in the Aegean province of Denizli.

The discovery of the grave of the biblical saint, who was killed by the Romans 2,000 years ago, will attract immense attention around the world, said Francesco D'Andria. St. Philip, one of the 12 apostles, came to Hierapolis 2,000 years ago to spread the Christianity before being killed by the Romans, the professor said.

D'Andria has been leading archeological excavations at the ancient city for 32 years.

"Until recently, we thought the grave of St. Philip was on Martyrs' Hill, but we discovered no traces of him in the geophysical research conducted in that area. A month ago, we discovered the remnants of an unknown church, 40 meters away from the St. Philip Church on Martyrs' Hill. And in that church we discovered the grave of St. Philip," said D'Andria.

D'Andria and his team have not opened the grave but are planning to do so soon.

via Tomb of St. Philip the Apostle Discovered in Turkey –

What will they find?  The remains of a man who actually walked with Jesus?  That would be mind-blowing.  Of course, it's too early to say, and it could just be more Biblical archeology sensationalism.  But still, the mind reels.


St. Philip's Tomb


HT:  James Kushiner

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Resources Received

Korcok, Thomas. Lutheran Education: From Wittenberg to the Future. St. Louis: Concordia, 2011. 299 Pages. Paper. $39.99. (LHP)

Steinmann, Andrew E. Foreword by Nicholas Perrin. From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology. St. Louis: Concordia, 2011. 421 Pages. Cloth. $79.99. (P)

Sawler, David. Before they Say Goodbye: Thoughts on How to Keep This Generation.  Winnipeg, Canada: Word Alive Press, 2011. 235 Pages. Paper. $17.00. (LHP)

FW: Speaking of the Congregation in her Prayers...



Feed: Weedon's Blog
Posted on: Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:31 AM
Author: (William Weedon)
Subject: Speaking of the Congregation in her Prayers...


...perhaps the petitions for the government that appear in the Prayers of the Church would be good for us to use as tempers flare in DC:

Behold all who are in authority over us.  Supply them with Your blessing that they may be inclined to Your will and walk according to Your commandments.  (General Intercession)

Grant heath and prosperity to all who are in authority, especially to the president and congress of the United States, the governor and legislature of this state/commonwealth, and to all who make, administer, and judge our laws.  Grant them grace to rule according to Your good pleasure for the maintenance of righteousness and the hindrance and punishment of wickedness, that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty. (General Prayer 1)

Bestow Your grace on all nations of the earth.  Bless especially our country, its inhabitants and all who are in authority.  Let Your glory dwell in our land that mercy and truth, righteousness and peace may abound in all places.  (General Prayer 2)

Preserve our nation in justice and honor that we may lead a peaceable life with integrity.  Grant health and favor to all who bear office in our land, especially the President and Congress of the United States, the governor and legislature of this state/commonwealth, and to all who make, administer, and judge our laws.  Help them to serve this people according to Your holy will.  (Prayer of the Church - Responsive)

For the government and all who have been set into positions of leadership that they may use the authority entrusted to them honorably and for the good of the people, let us pray to the Lord:  Lord, have mercy.  (Prayer of the Church - Ektene)

For the president, for all public servants, for the government and those who protect us, that they may be upheld and strengthened in every good deed, let us pray to the Lord:  Lord, have mercy.  (Evening Prayer)

For this nation, for our cities and communities, and for the common welfare of us all, let us pray to the Lord:  Lord, have mercy.  (Prayer and Preaching)

O merciful Father in heaven, because You hold in Your hand all the might of man and because You have ordained, for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do well, all the powers that exist in all the nations of the world, we humbly pray You graciously to regard Your servants, the President of the United States, the Congress of the United States; our Governor; and all who make, administer, and judge our laws, that all who receive the swords as Your ministers may bear it according to Your Word; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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FW: Bach and the Mass in B minor



Feed: Lutheran Kantor
Posted on: Thursday, July 28, 2011 7:45 AM
Author: Chris
Subject: Bach and the Mass in B minor


Last night, on the eve of the commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach's death, I listened to Bach's Mass in B minor (which I now seem to be doing with greater frequency).  I've become increasingly convinced that it is his finest composition and has few, if any rivals, amongst the works of other composers past or present.

The text itself is quite familiar — the words of the Divine Service that have been sung by Christians for hundreds of years.  The same words that have accompanied the travelers of this world as they receive the gifts of God and confess and respond with thanksgiving.  The same words where the "now" of earthly life and "not yet" of eternity are joined.  Kyrie Eleison.  Gloria in Excelsis.  Credo.  Sanctus.

One of the things you find with Bach is the interconnectedness of words and music.  Bach takes these words and through the music provides a theological commentary.  For those interested in learning more about Bach's compositional techniques in his Mass and how they enrich the text, you can download Christ's Gifts in the Liturgy: The Theology and Music of the Divine Service (free download) from the Good Shepherd Institute and read Bach and the Divine Service: The B-Minor Mass by Paul W. Hofreiter.  The music isn't just background noise to provide cover for the text and neither does the music dominate the text.  This is a good reminder for church musicians even today.

It is for these reasons that I'm drawn to the Mass in B minor.  While the words are in Latin, I inwardly "know" what is being sung — the music helps to reinforce those words.  It is a sung confession in faith of what Christ has done for us.  Hofreiter writes that "Bach could proclaim, in unison with Luther and all who have believed and will believe:"

All to the praise of Him who is the Master of all beauty.  All praise sung by faith at the present time is but a beginning of the eternal hymn. (Luther)

In closing, I'll leave you with two of my favorite selections from Bach's Mass — the Sanctus and Dona nobis pacem.  If you watch the Dona nobis pacem, notice what happens at the conclusion — a hushed silence and reverence.  Grant us peace.  If you don't see the videos, click here and here.

Related posts:

  1. J.S. Bach: The Music Lives On
  2. Singing With All the Saints
  3. J.S. Bach: Kantor for Today

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FW: July 28



From: LCMS e-News []
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 8:00 PM
To: Paul Cain
Subject: TIH: July 28


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Johann Sebastian Bach, Kantor

large photoJohann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685–28 July 1750) is acknowledged as one of the most famous and gifted of all composers past and present in the entire western world. Orphaned at the age of ten, Bach was mostly self-taught in music. His professional life as conductor, performer, composer, teacher and organ consultant began at the age of nineteen in the town of Arnstadt and ended in Leipzig, where for the last twenty-seven years of his life he was responsible for all the music in the city's four Lutheran churches. In addition to his being a superb keyboard artist, the genius and bulk of Bach's vocal and instrumental compositions remain overwhelming. A devout and devoted Lutheran, he is especially honored in Christendom for his lifelong insistence that his music was written primarily for the liturgical life of the church to glorify God and edify his people. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

July 28

1148 The armies of the Second Crusade besieged Damascus.


1827 Moses Henkel, a Methodist pastor and the only non-Lutheran among the famed Henkel family in early America, died (b. 18 September 1757).


1839 Benjamin Hobson, medical missionary to China, died (b. 2 January 1816, Welford, England).


1847 The Mormon community that followed Brigham Young across the plains chose the site for their future temple on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The Salt Lake Tabernacle was constructed from 1853 to 1893.


1850 Andrew Baepler, college professor and president, was born at Baltimore, Maryland (d. 10 October 1927).


1881 American Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen was born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1 January 1937).


1942 W. M. (William Matthew) Flinders Petrie (b. 3 June 1853), English archaeologist, died.


1986 Paul F. Koenig died in Saint Louis, Missouri (b. 17 February 1889, Seward, Nebraska). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1914 and served as a pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Saint Louis). He was a member of the Missouri Synod's Board of Education before becoming president of the Western District. From 1946 to 1950 he was on the synodical Board of Directors and from 1952 to 1959 was on the Western District's Commission on Missions and Church Extension. He retired in 1967.

CHI News and Coming Events

Our Walther Bicentennial Exhibit is now open in the Institute's museum gallery on the campus of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis (Clayton), Missouri.


The exhibit "F. C. D. Wyneken: The Thunder That Follows the Lighting" continues. The exhibit commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth in 1810 of this pioneer missionary and second president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.


The Institute's collection of Albrecht Dürer woodcuts is also currently on display. A $3.00 per person donation to CHI is suggested to view this exhibit.


Be sure to visit the Concordia Historical Institute Museum at the LCMS International Center when you are in the Saint Louis area. Hours are Monday–Friday, 8:15 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is located at the intersection of Lindbergh Boulevard (Kirkwood Road) and Interstate 44.


Check out the CHI blog and look for the Concordia Historical Institute group on Facebook.


For membership information, go to .


Previous mailings of "Today in History" are archived on the Concordia Historical Institute web site at .

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FW: Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach: Kantor



Feed: Cyberbrethren Lutheran Blog Feed
Posted on: Thursday, July 28, 2011 4:09 AM
Author: Paul T. McCain
Subject: Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach: Kantor


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is acknowledged as one of the most famous and gifted of all composers past and present in the entire western world. Orphaned at the age of ten, Bach studied with various family members but was mostly self-taught in music.

He began his professional career as conductor, performer, composer, teacher, and organ consultant at age 19 in the town of Arnstadt. He traveled wherever he received good commissions and steady employment, ending up in Leipzig, where the last 27 years of his life found him serving as Kantor, responsible for all music in the city's four Lutheran churches.

Acclaimed more in his own time as a superb keyboard artist, the majority of his compositions fell into disuse following his death, which musicologists use to date the end of the Baroque Period and the beginning of the Classical Era. However, his compositional ability was rediscovered, in large part due to the efforts of Felix Mendelssohn. The genius and sheer magnitude of Bach's vocal and instrumental compositions remain overwhelming. Also, whether due to nature or nurture, he was but one of the giants in, perhaps, the most talented musical family of all time.

Christendom especially honors J. S. Bach, a staunch and devoted Lutheran, for his lifelong insistence that his music was written primarily for the liturgical life of the Church, glorifying God and edifying His people. For an overview of the Christological basis of his work and a strong argument that he was among the theological giants of Lutheranism, please read J. S. Bach: Orthodox Lutheran Theologian?.

Today we remember his "heavenly birthday," for it was on 28 July AD 1750 that the Lord translated Mr. Bach to glory.

Soli deo gloria — To God alone the glory! These words appear on most manuscripts of Bach's compositions as testimony to his faith and his idea of music's highest, noblest use.

A friend, Mr. Bob Myers, drew this to my attention. It would be best for you to watch this while it still remains up on YouTube. This is a recent documentary that offers a fairly good overview of the Reformation and the work of J.S. Bach as the servant of the Lutheran Church that he was, laboring away in near obscurity, using limited resources. It's kind of quirky, in a typically British way. It is good that it focuses on the music as Bach actually wrote it and for the purpose he wrote it. Everyone is familiar with Bach's instrumental works, but in fact his massive cycles of Church cantatas are his greatest achievements. This documentary "gets it" as well, if not better, than anything I've seen before. There are some great scenes filmed in St. Mary's Church, Wittenberg; St. Thomas, Leipzig, and St. George, Eisenach. The churches are not always clearly identified. It's a shame they didn't subtitle the chorales and cantatas as they were sung. But that's often the way it is: people focus more on the music and not the words, which, to Bach, were the most important reason why he wrote his music. The Word of God was conveyed by Bach's music in powerful ways, but it is not the music, per se, that is the thing, it is the Word of God, and … most importantly and significantly of all Bach was interested in conveying Christ and Him crucified. This aspect of his work is hinted at but never specifically articulated. We can only assume the American Lutheran pastor who is interviewed in this piece did explicitly confess Christ, but his remarks were edited out. That's usually how it is with Bach. People grow increasingly uncomfortably the more specifically Christian the talk gets. But Bach's great church music was all about Christ. They can't help but tell us that when they feature the popular chorale from Bach's Cantata 147,  Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring.

Renowned actor and former chorister Simon Russell Beale explores the flowering of Western sacred music in this documentary series for BBC FOUR. Simon's travels bring him to Germany where Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation led to a musical revolution and ultimately to the glorious works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Luther, a Catholic monk who was also a composer, had a profound effect on the development of sacred music. He re-defined the role of congregational singing and the use of the organ in services. Crucially he also developed the hugely important tradition of singing in the vernacular which would characterize protestant worship for the next 500 years. Martin Luther's reforms – and the century and a half of music that followed – shaped the world of JS Bach. Although today he is considered by many to be one of the greatest composers in history, in reality Bach spent most of his life working for the church and unknown to anyone outside of a small part of Germany. Simon's journey includes Eisenach, in Eastern Germany, where Bach was born and the extraordinary space of the Thomaskirke in Leipzig where the composer spent much of his career. Here he discovers how Johann Sebastian Bach was in many ways a one man music factory, who for many years produced for the church work of the very highest quality, week after week after week. Bach wrote over a thousand pieces of music, and nearly two thirds of them he produced for the Lutheran Church. Throughout the programme, in the period setting of St George's Lutheran Church in East London, conductor Harry Christophers leads singers from 'The Sixteen' and a small group of baroque instrumentalists through some of the key repertoire – including: 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring', one of Bach's most celebrated religious works, which is based on a Lutheran hymn tune.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

HT: Bob Myers.

McCain observation:

Lutherans, ask yourself why it is that it takes the BBC to do a documentary like this, and why "we" can't muster the will and resources to produce this. I say this to our shame. While we fritter away our time chasing after whatever is popular in American Evangelicalism, the very things that can, and do, make Lutheranism an absolutely unique and distinct confession of Christianity are ignored, set aside, or worse yet, spoken of with derision—by Lutherans! Lord, have mercy on us all.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

FW: Renowned Musician Robert Bergt Dies



Feed: Concordia Seminary, St. Louis » News
Posted on: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 1:55 PM
Author: Ken Kogler
Subject: Renowned Musician Robert Bergt Dies


St. Louis musician and theologian, Robert Bergt, whose work and reputation are known around the world, died Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at the age of 81.  He was music director and conductor of the American Kantorei and artist-in-residence at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.  He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joan, who is herself an accomplished musician; four children, Jonathan, Philip (Iris), Marsha (Peter), and Joel (Mieko); and six grandchildren.

Rev. Bergt combined his passion for music with his deep theological understanding.  He founded the American Kantorei in 1968, the first group of its kind in the United States.  The Kantorei is a highly skilled choral and instrumental group that has performed in a variety of settings in St. Louis and beyond.  Since 1993, the American Kantorei, under the direction of Robert Bergt, has performed regular concerts in the Bach at the Sem series in the chapel at Concordia Seminary in Clayton.  The popular series of concerts featured the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and other sacred music composers and was open to the public at no charge.  Also, many of these concerts were broadcast on KFUO-FM.

Bergt, recognized with numerous awards through the years, was a 1952 graduate of Concordia Seminary.  He served Lutheran congregations in Illinois and Missouri and was music director, conductor, and instructor at Concordia Seminary, Southern Illinois University, Valparaiso University, and at the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo, Japan during his lengthy career.  As early as 1949 he was chosen to be concertmaster and assistant conductor of the St. Louis Philharmonic.

Rev. Bergt once wrote, "I have learned from teaching and praying the church's liturgy that doxology and Gospel proclamation are the purpose of my life."  Kathy Lawton Brown, a member of the American Kantorei for many years said, "All of us are saddened by this news, but grateful beyond words to have had the inestimable privilege of making heavenly music with Bob…music that will resound within our hearts forever."

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary, called Bergt a "singularly talented and devoted person who inspired so many with his abilities and with his strong Christian faith.  He devoted his career to the musical glorification of God.  We will always remember with thanksgiving his spirit, his outstanding abilities, and the powerful legacy he leaves."

A memorial concert is being planned for September 25.  It will take place in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the campus of Concordia Seminary where Rev. Bergt conducted so many concerts. The family has asked that memorial gifts be given to Concordia Seminary for the future of Bach at the Sem.


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FW: De Tempore



Feed: Weedon's Blog
Posted on: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:32 PM
Author: (William Weedon)
Subject: De Tempore


In his wonderful presentation to the Deaconesses in Seward, Dr. Herl unpacked a few things that shaped Lutheran spirituality in the 16th century, and one of those was a strong sense of "de tempore" - that is, that the Church has a daily, weekly, and yearly way of moving through time and celebrating in time the great sacrifice of praise to the Triune God for His wonderful acts.

First, the daily:  morning and evening are times for prayer of the individual or household.  As we wake and greet the sun and remember the women meeting the Risen One at first light; and as we lay down to rest (or at the evening meal), and remember our own death and Christ's rest in the tomb, and how in the evening the people would throng about Him for healing, so we pray for those in need.  These are times for the reading of God's Word, the offering of intercessions, the singing of praises.

Second, the weekly:  Saturday afternoon there was Vespers with an opportunity for Confession (generally, all who would commune the next day came to Confession - the pastor had an exact count of his communicants that way.  "Announcing" for communion was a remnant of this).  Sunday early morning, the choir boys would sing Matins in the Church and an early sermon might be preached for the benefit of any domestics would had to have the meal ready by the time the family arrived home from the Divine Service.  Divine Service itself could be a monster of a liturgy - it could last up to three hours.  Not that everyone attended the whole thing, but the devout often did.  Think Praetorius' Mass for Christmas Day and you get a flavor of the richness of the Divine Service in those days.  Then a second Vespers would close out the Sunday, often with Catechism instruction attached in some way.  Additionally, Wednesday and Friday were regarded as days of penitence, when fasting and praying of the Litany was especially appropriate.

Third, the yearly: and here is where de tempore really comes into its own.  There is too much Jesus, too much new life in the Spirit, too many joys as children of the heavenly Father, to squeeze it all into a single Sunday.  So the Church of those days (as the Church had for centuries) delighted to string out across the year the various Feasts and Festivals like jewels.  Some, like the Easter Cycle, were closely tied to the weekly cycle; some, like Christmas or Annunciation or Apostles' Days were fixed on certain dates and could fall anytime during the week.  Each feast or festival arrived with its own joy, its own gifts for the faithful.

Lutheran spirituality was literally shaped in that joyous living out of time.  "Oh, it's Good Shepherd Sunday!"  "Oh, today's 'Wake, Awake, Sunday'" - you see, the hymnody and music that we inherited and that we continued to write came to fill our churches and mark the various feasts and festivals, and it would be greeted as an old friend when it showed up again on the given feast day.  Think of how we delight to welcome All Saints with "For All the Saints"; Reformation with "A Mighty Fortress" and you get the idea.

The de tempore spilled over into our prayers books.  Starck's is a perfect example.  Check out how there are weekly prayers (Morning, day, night) and immediately following it are the prayers for the festivals and such.  Luther's House-Postils came to great use in the homes on a Sunday evening, too, or other feast day, when Luther's sermon might be shared.  They were into sanctifying the DAY, not just an hour!


It's a great treasure of our Church, and a much underutilized aspect of Lutheran spirituality.  The more comfortable we grow with De Tempore, the more we realize the wisdom of the Church teaching us to sanctify time by welcoming each hour, each day, each feast or festival during the year, as a special gift of Christ!  We mark the passing of time in this world (that is passing away) with the praise of Him whose Appearing will bring in a new heavens and new earth - Him whose praise endures forever.

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FW: Chemnitz on the Big Beef

On Rome…


Feed: Weedon's Blog
Posted on: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:23 PM
Author: (William Weedon)
Subject: Chemnitz on the Big Beef


What's the big beef between Rome and the Lutherans on justification?  Chemnitz disposes of several myths - the Lutherans do not teach that believers have only forgiveness in Christ and not renewal by the Spirit; the Lutherans do not teach that people saved by faith are free to do whatever they want; we certainly teach that faith is bound to produce love and all good works and that a faith that doesn't is just a sham.  So, what's the big beef, then?  Here are his sublime words:

For this is the chief question, this is the issue, the point of controversy, the krinomenon:  namely, what that is on account of which God receives sinful man into grace; what must and can be set over against the judgment of God, that we may not be condemned according to the strict sentence of the Law; what faith must apprehend and bring forward, on what it must rely, when it wants to deal with God, that it may receive the remission of sins; what intervenes, on account of which God is rendered appeased and propitious to the sinner who has merited wrath and eternal damnation; what the conscience should set up as the thing on account of which the adoption may be bestowed on us, on which confidence can be safely reposed that we shall be accepted to life eternal, etc.; whether it is the satisfaction, obedience, and merit of the Son of God, the Mediator, or, indeed, the renewal that has been begun in us, the love, and other virtues in us.  Here is the point at issue in the controversy. 

This is what is at stake in the sola fide.

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FW: Deserting Hymnody On a Boat

Have you discovered Rev. Fisk? Watch…


Feed: Uploads by Revfiskj
Posted on: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 2:34 PM
Author: Revfiskj
Subject: Deserting Hymnody On a Boat


Worldview Everlasting Greek Tuesday is back after a week singing hymns at the Higher Things youth conference in HOTlanta, and we check out Matthew 14:13-21 where Jesus thinkum iz more than his disciples thinkum iz. Yeah, we'll learn'em'guuuud! Philly Ministries: Find'em on facebook! HigherThings 1 2: And check'em out in Scandanavia!!!

From: Revfiskj

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