Hymn of the Day: “Rejoice, Rejoice Believers” ELW 244
Text: Laurentius Laurenti (1660-1722) tr. Sarah B. Findlater (1823-1907)
Tune: HAF TRONES LAMPA FARDIG Swedish Folk Tune
Considered to be one of the finest hymn writers of the Pietistic period, Laurentius Laurenti wrote the text for this hymn based on the parable of the wise and foolish maidens (Matt. 25: 1-13). Stanzas 1 and 2 focus on the expected coming of the bridegroom; stanza 3 is a prayer for Christ's return to complete the work of redemption and to set his people free. Born Lorenz Lorenzen (1660-1722) in Schleswig, Laurenti studied at the University of Rostock and in Kiel. In 1684 he moved to Bremen, where he was appointed music director and cantor in the Lutheran Cathedral Church. He is a well known writer of German hymns in the Pietist tradition, and based most of his hymn texts on the gospel lessons for the church year. They were published in Evangelia Melodica (1700). Sarah Borthwick Findlater translated the text into English and published it in Hymns from the Land of Luther (1854), a collection of 122 hymns translated by her (53 hymns) and her sister Jane Orthwick. Findlater was a fine linguist, and as a translator of German chorales, she is considered second only to Catherine Winkworth.
There are quite a number of different tunes published in combination with this text. In the ELW we find the setting, HAF TRONES LAMPA FÄRDIG, a Swedish Folk tune. It is one of the 3 most used.
Musical Meditation: GOTTES SOHN IST KOMMEN , “Once He Came in Blessing”, John Leavitt
An extraordinary composer, performer, and clinician for church and school music literature, John Leavitt continues to teach, lecture, and guest conduct numerous workshops, festivals, and symposia. He serves as a regular guest conductor in major venues throughout the United States including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has served as artistic director for the National Capitol Choral Festival in Washington DC and the Chicago Sings Choral Festival. His compositions are represented in nearly every major music catalog in this country.
Michael Weiss, a pastor among the Bohemian Brethren and a contemporary with Luther composed the tune GOTTES SOHN IST KOMMEN and also wrote the text.