Posts

Catechism Lesson for the Week of January 23, 2022

Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism lesson for the week of January 23, 2022:

[III] THE LORD’S PRAYER

IN THE PLAIN FORM IN WHICH THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY
SHALL TEACH IT TO HIS HOUSEHOLD

THE SEVENTH PETITION

“But deliver us from evil.”

What does this mean?

Answer: We pray in this petition, as in a summary, that our Father in heaven may deliver us from all manner of evil, whether it affect body or soul, property or reputation, and that at last, when the hour of death comes, he may grant us a blessed end and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.[1]

[1]Tappert, T. G. 2000, c1959. The book of concord : The confessions of the evangelical Lutheran church. Fortress Press: Philadelphia

Hymns for January 23, 2022

Sunday, January 23, 2022, Hymns
3rd Sunday after Epiphany (LSB Divine Service – Setting 3)

Hymn of Invocation: LSB #399, “The Star Proclaims the King is Here”
Hymn of the Day: LSB #401, “From God the Father, Virgin Born”
Epiphany Hymn: LSB #395, “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright”
Distribution Hymns: LSB #571, “God Loved the World So That He Gave”
LSB #400, “Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning”
LSB #594, “God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It”
LSB #832, “Jesus Shall Reign”
Evening Hymn: LSB #890, “O Blessed Light, O Trinity” (5 pm Only)

Please note the above links will open a separate window with an MP3 recording of the hymn from a shared Google folder.  You can also access additional information related to the composer history, hymn texts, scripture references, additional recordings, and much more related to the Lutheran Service Book (LSB), available at Hymnary.org.

Scripture Readings for January 23, 2022

Scripture Readings for January 23, 2022
3rd Sunday after Epiphany (LSB Divine Service-Setting 3)

PSALM: Psalm 110:1-4a (antiphon v.4b)
OLD TESTAMENT: 2 Kings 5:1-15a
GRADUAL: Psalm 102:15-16
EPISTLE: Romans 12:16-21
GOSPEL: Matthew 8:1-13

Links above will open a separate window at the Bible Gateway website showing the listed verses in the ESV.

Catechism Lesson for the Week of January 16, 2022

Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism lesson for the week of January 16, 2022:

[I] THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

IN THE PLAIN FORM IN WHICH THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY
SHALL TEACH IT TO HIS HOUSEHOLD

THE THIRD

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God, and so we should not despise his Word and the preaching of the same, but deem it holy and gladly hear and learn it.[1]

[1]Tappert, T. G. 2000, c1959. The book of concord : The confessions of the evangelical Lutheran church. Fortress Press: Philadelphia

Hymns for January 16, 2022

Sunday, January 16, 2022, Hymns
2nd Sunday after Epiphany (LSB Divine Service – Setting 4)

Hymn of Invocation: LSB #686, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Hymn of the Day: LSB #402, “The Only Son from Heaven” (Choir)
Psalm Hymn: LSB #931, “All You Works of the Lord”
Distribution Hymns: LSB #408, “Come, Join in Cana’s Feast”
LSB #872, “Come, Thou Bright & Morning ”
LSB #397, “As with Gladness Men of Old”
LSB #394, “Songs of Thankfulness & Praise”
Evening Hymn: LSB #888, “O Gladsome Light” (5 P.M. Only)

Please note the above links will open a separate window with an MP3 recording of the hymn from a shared Google folder.  You can also access additional information related to the composer history, hymn texts, scripture references, additional recordings, and much more related to the Lutheran Service Book (LSB), available at Hymnary.org.

LSB 395: O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright – Epiphanytide

We have chosen LSB 395: O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright, as our seasonal hymn for Epiphanytide, AD 2022. During the Epiphany season, the Church recounts the glorious appearances and manifestations of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The season is thus often known as the season of light, recalling Jesus as the light of the world, which the darkness has not overcome (John 1:4-5, 8:12).

O Morning Star was written as a wedding hymn of the Church to her heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ.  The first stanza opens the hymn with words of adoration for Jesus, the Morning Star (Revelation 2:26-28, 22:16) eternally begotten of the Father, who humbled Himself by taking on our flesh, was born into the lineage of David, and suffered death on the Cross to atone for our sins.  He rose again, defeating death, and now sits at the right hand of the Father, ruling over all (Psalm 110; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Philippians 2:5-11). The second stanza continues by speaking to the mystical union of the Church and her Bridegroom (Ephesians 5:22-33), in Whose Body she lives and is given that very life that sustains her even though times of great distress.  The third stanza speaks to the gifts bestowed on the Church by her Bridegroom; namely His very presence in His Word and Sacrament, bringing forgiveness, life and salvation. The fourth stanza reminds us that, in her Bridegroom, the Church and her members were chosen from before the foundation of the world to be ransomed by His blood, to live in Him now and into eternity (Ephesians 1:3-14), for which she returns her sacrifice of praise.  The fifth stanza describes the jubilant response of the Church in music to Her Bridegroom, Christ, the King of Glory, who is with her all the way (Psalm 33:1-5; Ephesians 5:19).  The sixth and final stanza speaks of the great joy of the Church in her Bridegroom, now and into eternity, knowing for certain that she will at the Last Day be taken to “that happy place beyond all tears and sinning” (Revelation 21:1-6).

This beautiful and powerful hymn was written by the Rev. Dr. Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608) during a time of plague, in which he lost 1400 of his parishioners in a seven-month period.  Additionally, throughout his time in the Office of the Holy Ministry, Nicolai frequently experienced persecution for his strong defense of Biblical Truth.  In spite of all he had suffered and was suffering, Pr. Nicolai knew that Jesus died to atone for his sins and rose again to declare him right with the Father (Romans 4:25). The faith gifted to him in his Heavenly Bridegroom was firm, and in full assurance of this faith, he experienced God’s heavenly joy even in the midst of tremendous hardship and suffering (Hebrews 10:19-25).

We experience our Lord’s epiphany to us throughout the year, as He comes to us when we gather for His Divine Services of Word and Sacrament (or simply of the Word).  And yes, He continues to come to us during times of persecution, plague and other hardship, giving us assurance of our salvation and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet to come, which, try as they might, no one can take away (Romans 8:38-39). For this, we rejoice (Philippians 4:4)! We thank God for your presence today and pray His richest blessings on you as you receive His gifts in our midst.

LSB 359: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming – Christmastide

https://www.folger.edu/events/lo-how-a-rose-e-er-blooming

We have chosen LSB 359, Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, as our AD 2021-2022 Christmastide seasonal hymn. During this beautiful season of the Church Year, we celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ’s taking on human flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to dwell among us, ultimately to die on the Cross to atone for our sins, and rise again to declare us right with the Father (Matthew 1:20-25; Luke 1:30-55, 2:1-18, 28-32, 38; John 1:1, 14; Romans 4:25).

Lo, How a Rose was originally written as a hymn about Mary.  In Church tradition, the Blessed Virgin has long been referred to as the, “Mystic Rose” (c.f. LSB 525.2, “Fruit of the mystic rose…”). This is possibly derived from Song of Songs/Solomon 2:1, in which the King’s bride, metaphorically the Church, calls herself a, “rose of Sharon.”1 When Michael Praetorius (c.1571-1621) adapted Lo, How a Rose for use in the Lutheran congregations, he changed the emphasis to Jesus as the Rose of the hymn.  Of note, Jesus is commonly referred to as, “Rose of Sharon.” It is unclear when the tradition began, though the title aptly fits.  Both the rose and Jesus are beautiful. Furthermore, the rose contains thorns and Jesus wore a crown of thorns at His Passion. Finally, roses are often given as gifts, and the salvation in Jesus is the greatest gift any of us could ever receive!2

The first two stanzas speak to the birth of Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, notably that of Isaiah (Isaiah 11:1-2).  The opening word, “Lo,” of the English translation of Theodore Baker (1851-1934), is an archaic way of saying, “Behold,” namely, “Pay attention,” emphasized by the use of the half-note to somewhat prolong the call.3 In response, we acknowledge that “with Mary we behold it,” namely the birth of Jesus our Savior (Matthew 1:20-21). He is the, “tender” (young) “stem” from the lineage (stump) of Jesse foretold by Isaiah.4 Furthermore, drawn from Luke 2:8-11, Church tradition has long held that Jesus’ birth took place, “when half-spent was the night,” namely at midnight, the darkest time of the night (c.f. John 1:4-5).

The third stanza, a nineteenth-century addition by Friedrich L. C. Layritz (1808-1859), points us squarely to the Cross as the ultimate reason for our Lord’s incarnation. His “fragrance tender” speaks to His sacrificial death for us (Ephesians 5:2).  His work on the Cross is “glorious splendor” (Psalm 111:3-4; John 12:23-24), dispelling the darkness everywhere (John 12:46; 2 Corinthians 4:6 and others).  On Calvary’s mountain, Jesus, “True man, yet very God,” saves us, “from sin and death” (Hebrews 2:14-15), “and lightens every load” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The fourth and final stanza ends the hymn with a prayer to our Savior, “who felt our human woe,” and “who dost our weakness know” (Hebrews 4:15), that He bring us at last “to the bright courts of heaven, and to the endless day,” namely eternal life in His presence (Revelation 21:22-22:5).  We pray this in certain confidence, knowing that He has promised this to us and is faithful to His promises (Hebrews 10:23).

The LSB has retained Praetorius’ musical setting for this hymn.  This past year has marked the 400th anniversary of his going to be with Jesus, and possibly the 450th anniversary of his first-article birth, namely his emergence from his mother’s womb.  Praetorius’ musical contributions were significant, and we commend to your reading Brian Lenharth’s excellent Michael Praetorius 1571-1621, a Biography; copies are available in the Narthex.

We rejoice that God has brought you into our presence today as together we behold His Son, our Rose, receiving His gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation. We pray His richest blessings on you this Christmastide and throughout the new year of His grace (LSB 896).

End notes

  1. See also Isaiah 35:1, where the Hebrew word chabatseleth is translated, “crocus” in the ESV; the KJV retains, “rose” in the Isaiah text.
  2. Bob Riggert, It’s Still All About Jesus, 2017-2018 Chapel Talks for Lutheran Schools (St. Louis: LCMS School Ministry, 2017) p. 38
  3. The German text reads, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, literally, “It is a rose sprung up.”
  4. The Hebrew word for “stem,” or, “branch” in the Isaiah text, netzer, contains the prophecy of Jesus that, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23, Gospel text for Christmas 2)

LSB 949 Heavenly Hosts in Ceaseless Worship – All Saints-tide

Today marks the beginning of All Saints-tide, the final part of the long Trinity season.  As we end the Church Year looking to the Eschaton (the Last Day), we have chosen LSB 949, Heavenly Hosts in Ceaseless Worship, as our seasonal hymn.  This hymn is a versification of the Dignus es (“Worthy are You”) canticle, which in turn is drawn from the song of praise sung by the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders (Revelation 4,5 [also Isaiah 6]) and all the company of heaven (Revelation 7). The hymn is similar to LSB 950, which we studied together as a congregation and sang during Eastertide (for further detail please see the notes at https://catalinalutheran.org/blog/2020/03/27/lsb-950-splendor-and-honor/).  In our singing of this hymn (as well as in our singing of the Gloria and the Sanctus), we join our voices with those of the angels, the archangels, and all the company of heaven, in their ceaseless praise of God!  When we do so, we are reminded in this time of pandemic, unrest and temporal uncertainty, “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).  We can rejoice and be glad, knowing that we will sing these very same songs of praise into eternity, as we take our places, along with those who have gone before us and have died in The Faith, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Matthew 22/Luke 14; Matthew 25; Revelation 19). The 20th century tune Love’s Light (also used for LSB 416) echoes the strains of early American folk music, note for example the similarity to the 1825 tune Holy Manna (LSB 540, 584 and 782). We are pleased that you have joined us today and pray God’s blessings on you as you receive His gifts in our midst.

LSB 768: To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray – Spiritual renewal Legacy Hymn

Our Lutheran fathers recognized that solid Christian hymnody teaches important Truths of The Faith.1 Thus, as an evangelical Lutheran congregation, we naturally selected hymns for the two parts of our Building a legacy in Christ Crucified campaign. Titled Legacy Hymns, these hymns, joined with the readings and prayers, are chosen to help guide your devotions during this time of intensified reflection on what God is doing in the life of our congregation, and how we, as His people, respond.

The Legacy Hymn chosen for the first phase of the campaign, the period of spiritual renewal, is To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray (LSB 768).2 The hymn is an example of a Leise, a German language spiritual song from the late Middle Ages, usually a single stanza, ending with the word Kyrieleis, short for Kyrie eleison (“Lord have mercy”).

The text dates back at least to the 13th century and the melody is thought to be just as old. German congregations sang the one-stanza hymn at Pentecost after the choir had sung the sequence Veni sancte spiritus (“Come Holy Spirit”).3 Dr. Luther (1483-1546) retained the hymn, believing it to be exemplary for use in the service and a model for new hymn writers.

In 1524, he expanded the hymn to 4 stanzas, following which it was published both in Straßburg and in Wittenberg. Dr. Luther positioned it in his 1526 Deutsche Messe (“German Mass,” from which the CLC Festival Service is adapted) as a Gradual Hymn between the readings of the Epistle and the Gospel, invoking the presence of the Holy Spirit that those present might believe and receive the forgiveness proclaimed in the Gospel.4 The melody is written in a pentatonic scale, namely, it uses just a five-note set of pitches, a common folk-music tradition at the time. Johann Walter (1496-1570) wrote a five-voice chorale arrangement of the melody for his 1524 Wittenberg hymnal. In the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, this hymn is now used as Hymn of the Day for Trinity 1.

The purpose of spiritual renewal is to learn better how God desires to strengthen us in The Faith in and through our use of His gifts. As we enter into the spiritual renewal phase of the campaign, we are reminded that we are not able to accomplish this by our own reason or strength, and need the help of the Holy Spirit (SC, Creed, Third Article). Each of the stanzas of our spiritual renewal Legacy Hymn contain elements of a Collect, in which we address the Holy Spirit by name, make a petition for spiritual renewal, and follow with a reason for the petition.

The first stanza, the original which Dr. Luther retained, sets the overall theme with an address to the Holy Spirit, followed by a spiritual renewal petition for True Faith, and concluding with a reason for the petition, that in the end He defend us and grant us a death in that same True Faith to await the resurrection to eternal life in Christ. The second through fourth stanzas each begin with an address to the Holy Spirit by a name that reflects one of His properties (sweetest Love, transcendent Comfort, precious Light).

Then follows a spiritual renewal petition suitable to the specific property named (His grace setting our hearts aglow with sacred fire, help to not heed scorn or death, teach us to rightly know Jesus). Finally, each concludes with a reason for the petition, noting accomplished renewal (Christian unity and love, strength during times of trial, perseverance until death). At the end of each of the stanzas is the Kyrie eleison, the “Lord have mercy,” confessing the Lordship of the Holy Spirit and His merciful nature.  

We cannot build a legacy in Christ-crucified without being strong in The Faith that He was crucified for us. Just as Dr. Luther used the words of our Legacy Hymn for the faithful of his time to invoke the Holy Spirit that they believe and receive the forgiveness proclaimed in the Gospel, so it is meet and right that we begin our campaign by using the same hymn to pray to God the Holy Spirit for that same True Faith needed on our way.

God’s richest blessings on your journey to spiritual renewal as you behold anew what God is doing for you and for us at Catalina Lutheran Church, and discern the particular role to which He is calling you in the building of His salvific legacy in our congregation. 

End notes:

1.     See for example FC Ep I 8 and FC SD I 23.

2.     Information on the hymn is taken from the notes in Joseph Herl, Peter C. Reske and Jon D. Vieker, eds. Lutheran Service Book Companion to the Hymns (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2019), pp. 1128-1131

3.     AE 53:263. 

4. AE 53:74. Also Robin A. Leaver, Luther’s Liturgical Music, Principles and Implications (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017), p. 179.  Later, as hymns were written specific to the Sundays and feast days of the Church Year, these were used as Gradual hymns in the Deutsche Messe and became our Chief Hymns, or Hymns of the Day, see Leaver, Luther, p. 302. Note that there was no Old Testament reading in the Deutsche Messe.