Music Notes for August 21, 2022

Hymn of the Day: “O Christ, the Healer” ELW 610

In 1967, in England, "at a late state in their deliberations the Working Party on Hymns and Songs… felt there was a major sphere of healing (in which mental healing was the prior necessity) not covered." Fred Pratt Green "spent most of the night--in bed--struggling with this theme and produced a first draft by the following morning." In discussions the working party made modifications. Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) omitted the third stanza, substituted "recognize for "diagnose," and changed the last line to "shall reach and prosper humankind." Evangelical Lutheran Worship followed Lutheran Book of Worship, but used Green's last line, "shall reach the whole of humankind.”

This pentatonic tune comes from William Walker's The Southern Harmony (1835), where it was paired with Anne Steele's "So fades the lovely blooming flow'r."

Closing Voluntary: Toccata: Grosser Gott, Matthew H. Corl (1965)

Matthew H. Corl is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, where he received the Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music in 1987. He also studied organ at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD, and served as director of music and organist at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Trenton, NJ. Since 1987 Matthew has been organist and associate director of music at First United Methodist in Lakeland, FL, where he directs vocal and handbell ensembles for children and youth. Matthew has been a clinician for workshops and a published composer of works for organ, choir, handbells and instrumental ensembles.

GROSSER GOTT was set to the German versification in the Katholisches Gesangbuch. The German text is a paraphrase of the "Te Deum.” Variants of the tune abound; the version found in the Psalter Hymnal came from Johann Schicht's Allgemeines Choralbuch (1819), and the harmonization came from Conrad Kocher's setting in his Zions Harfe (1855).