Hymn of the Day: “Crashing Waters At Creation” ELW 455
Text: Sylvia G. Dunstan(1955-1993)
Tune: STUTTGART, Christian F. Witt (1660-1716)
Sylvia Dunstan wrote this hymn to. Accompany the blessing for water she had written for the baptismal rites of the Uniited Church of Canada. She conceived it as “calling to mind the richness of salvation history. After a brief, arduous battle with liver cancer, Sylvia died in 1993 at the age of 38. For thirteen years, Dunstan had served the United Church of Canada as a parish minister and prison chaplain. She is remembered by those who knew her for her passion for those in need, her gift of writing, and her love of liturgy.
STUTTGART was included in Psalmodia Sacra (1715), one of the most significant hymnals of the early eighteenth century. Christian F. Witt was an editor and compiler of that collection; about 100 (of the 774) tunes in that collection are considered to be composed by him, including STUTTGART, which was set to the text "Sollt' es gleich." Witt was chamber organist and later Kapellmeister at the Gotha court. He composed vocal and instrumental music, including some sixty-five cantatas.
The tune title STUTTGART relates to a story about Rev. C. A. Dann's banishment from his pulpit at St. Leonard's Church in Stuttgart in the early nineteenth century. When Dann was eventually invited back to his church, his congregation greeted him with the singing of "Sollt' es gleich."
Musical Meditation: Meditation on “Waterlife”, David Christiansen
David Christiansen is University organist and adjunct professor at Elmhurst, where he has taught organ and church music since 2000. A native of Iowa, he studied organ at Drake and Yale Universities, as well as in France with Marie-Claire Alain. He holds a doctor of musical arts degree from Yale, and has done further studies in theology through Concordia University, Chicago, where he also has taught. His compostitions have been published by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Augsburg-Fortress, Concordia, GIA, and the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada.
I hope you enjoy this reflective setting of “Waterlife”, or “I was there to hear your borning cry”. The text and music to this hymn was written in 1985 by John Ylvisaker (1937-2017) and is currently published in 11 hymnals.