THE ORDER OF BAPTISM - MAR. LU.
The administrator says: Depart thou unclean spirit, and give room to the Holy Spirit. Then he signs him with a cross on his forehead and breast, and says: Receive the sign of the holy cross both on thy forehead and breast.
Let us pray.
O Almighty, Eternal God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: I cry to Thee for this N. — , Thy servant, who prays for the gift of Thy baptism and desires Thy eternal grace through spiritual regeneration; receive him, Lord, and as Thou hast said, Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you, so give now the blessing (1523: lohn — reward) to him that asketh and open the door to him that knocketh so that he may obtain the eternal benediction of this heavenly bath and receive the promised kingdom of Thy grace; through Christ our Lord.
Let us pray.
Almighty, Eternal God, Who, according to Thy righteous judgment, didst condemn the unbelieving world through the flood and, in Thy great mercy, didst preserve believing Noah and his family; and Who didst drown hardhearted Pharaoh with all his host in the Red Sea and didst lead Thy people Israel through the same on dry ground, thereby prefiguring this bath of Thy baptism; and Who through the baptism of Thy dear Child, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast consecrated and set apart the Jordan and all water as a salutary flood and a rich and full washing away of sins: We pray through the same Thy groundless mercy, that Thou wilt graciously behold this N. — and bless him with true faith in spirit, that by means of this saving flood all that has been born in him from Adam and which he himself has added thereto may be drowned in him and engulfed, and that he may be sundered from the number of the unbelieving, preserved dry and secure in the Holy Ark of Christendom, serve Thy Name at all times fervent in spirit and joyful in hope, so that with all believers he may be made worthy to attain eternal life according to Thy promise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I adjure thee, thou unclean spirit, by the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost that thou come out of and depart from this servant of Jesus Christ, N. — Amen.
Let us hear the Holy Gospel of St. Mark.
At that time they brought little children to Jesus, that He should touch them. But the disciples threatened those that brought them. When Jesus saw this, it annoyed and grieved Him, and He spoke to them, Let the little children come unto me, and do not prevent them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Truly, I tell you, he who does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child, will not enter into it. And He took them to His heart and laid hands on them and blessed them. Then the priest lays his hands on the head of the child and prays the Our Father together with the sponsors who have knelt.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, as in heaven and on the earth; Our daily bread give us today; And remove from us our guilt as we free our debtors; And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from the evil. Amen. Thereupon the little child is led to the font, and the priest says: The Lord preserve thy coming in and going out from now on to eternity. Then the priest requires the ,child, through his sponsors, to renounce the devil, and says: N. — , dost thou renounce the devil?
And all his works?
And all his ways?
Answer: Yes. Then he asks: Dost thou believe on God the Almighty Father, Creator of heaven and earth?
Dost thou believe on Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, born and suffered?
Dost thou believe on the Holy Ghost, a holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and after death an eternal life?
Dost thou desire to be baptized?
Answer: Yes. Then he takes the child and dips him in the font, and says: And I baptize thee in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Then the sponsors shall hold the little child in the font, and the priest shall say while he puts the christening robe on the child: The Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath regenerated thee through water and the Holy Ghost and hath forgiven thee all thy sin, strengthen thee with His grace to everlasting life. Amen. Peace with thee.
HOW ONE SHALL PROPERLY AND INTELLIGIBLY BAPTIZE A PERSON INTO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, BRIEFLY INDICATED BY DOC. MAR. LUTHER, AT THE REQUEST OF AN UPRIGHT BURGOMASTER
The baptizer says: How are you named? The sponsor answers: Peter or something else. The baptizer: Do you renounce the devil and all his works and all his pride and pomp? The sponsor: I renounce. The baptiser: How are you named? The sponsor: Peter or something else. The baptizer: Do you believe in God the Father, the almighty Creator of heaven and earth? The sponsor: I believe. The baptizer: Do you believe also in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was born of Mary and suffered? The sponsor: I believe. The baptizer: Do you believe also in the Holy Ghost, a Christian Church, Communion of saints, Forgiveness of sins, Resurrection of the flesh and an eternal Life after death? The sponsor: I believe. The baptizer to the child: The sign of the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, I make for you on your forehead. The sign of the Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ, I make for you on your breast. Accept the sign of the cross of Christ, as on the forehead, so also in the heart. Receive the faith of the heavenly commandment, conform your life thereto, that you may be a temple of God, and acknowledge with joy, since you have entered into the Church of God, that you have escaped the snares of the devil. Have a horror of the idols; despise their likenesses; keep before your eyes God the almighty Father and Jesus Christ His Son, Who with the same Father and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns one God in eternity. Amen. The baptizer takes salt in the fingers and casts it in the child’s mouth, and says: Receive the salt of wisdom, thou, to whom God is gracious, unto eternal life. The peace be with you. The baptizer says, when the child is carried into the church: The Lord guard thy entering in and going out from now on unto eternity.
AT THE FONT The baptizer says: How are you named? The sponsor: Peter or something else. The baptizer: Do you renounce the devil and all his works and all his pride and pomp? The sponsor: I renounce. The baptizer: How are you named? The sponsor: Peter or something else. The baptizer pours water on him and says: Ego baptizo te in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti. In German (this is): I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. The baptizer says to the child when he puts the christening robe on him: Receive a white garment, which you shall bear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that you (may) have eternal life.
The peace be with you.
A SHORT METHOD OF CONFESSING TO THE PRIEST, FOR THE USE OF SIMPLE FOLK EINE KURZE WEISE ZU BEICHTEN, FUER DIE EINFAELTIGEN, DEM PRIESTER
This short Form of Confession, the Evangelical substitute for the Roman method for auricular confession, is appended to the Small Catechism, First Wittenberg Edition, 1529.
Reverend, dear Sir: I beseech you, for God’s sake, give me good counsel for the comfort of my sul.
What then do you desire?
Answer: I, miserable one, confess and lament to you before God that I am a sinful and weak creature. I do not keep God’s commandments; I do not rightly believe the Gospel; I do nothing good; I cannot bear ill; especially I have committed... N. —... and this, which burden my conscience. Therefore, I beseech you that in God’s stead you will declare forgiveness to me and comfort me with God’s Word.
Another Form of Confession.
I confess before God and you, that I am a miserable sinner and full of all sin, of unbelief, and of blasphemy. I also feel that God’s Word is not bringing forth fruit in me. I hear it, but I do not receive it earnestly. I do not show the works of love toward my neighbor; I am incensed, full of hate and envy toward him. I am impatient, avaricious, and inclined to everything that is evil. Therefore my heart and conscience are heavy and I would gladly be freed of the sins. I plead, please strengthen my little faith and comfort my weak conscience by means of the Divine Word and promise.
Why dost thou desire to receive the Sacrament?
Because I desire to strengthen my soul with God’s Word and tokens and to obtain grace. But in this Office thou dost obtain forgiveness of sin. And why not? But I want to add God’s token also to the Word; and to seek God’s Word frequently is much the better.
A MARRIAGE BOOKLET FOR SIMPLE PASTORS EIN TRAUBUECHLIN FUER DIE EINFELTIGEN PFARHERR
Luther begins the Foreword to his proposed Order for Marriage with an old saying, “Many lands, many customs.” It could have been narrowed down to, “Many customs in this land”; for local, provincial, and national practices and uses in connection with marriage rites were many.
Luther’s approach to the task before him is characteristic and reveals a careful consideration of the whole question from the Evangelic point of view and his arrival at a fairly certain conclusion. He is proposing this Order of Marriage not as a form in itself or as a binding ordinance but as an example of how to proceed when those who purpose entering the estate of matrimony desire pastoral ministration. Here is not an ordering by the Church or even for the Church. This is a model, embodying certain traditional customs, tested and accepted, and developing this particular ministry on Evangelic principles.
The rite of marriage is considered and frankly acknowledged to be a civil action and therefore under the control of civil authority. With this Luther does not quarrel nor interfere in the slightest degree. Only when the express desire is present for the pastor to act may the “spiritual” enter; not as of right, but as a free ministration. It is Evangelical ministration as over against ecclesiastical functioning.
The situation at Luther’s day seemed to emphasize the claim of the Church for complete control in validating marriage and governing its various preliminary steps. Over against this the civil tradition remained, — a growing accumulation through centuries, fostered by government and enactment, . which still made its claim felt. The Church was forcing two things: A sacramental conception of marriage and her right as superior to civil government. The question of the relation of Church to State and vice versa entered here. And the Reformation Movement was trying to solve this question along with many others. Luther meets it fairly in this document in so far as it concerns the external marriage rite and its relation to society.
The Church however, in process of time, had accommodated herself to much of the civil tradition in order to gain her end, — authority, and had added functions peculiar to her own purpose. “Many lands, many customs” might be asserted again; for even with the Church emphasizing her power, the situation is not clear. The commixture of the civil and the ecclesiastical (the latter in some parts “spiritual”) continued to raise legal questions, did not “standardize” the method, nor did it prevent abuses, such as clandestine marriage, etc., or surround the estate or the rite with sanctity and place upon it a spiritual idealism.
Before examining Luther’s work, it is necessary to gain a general view of the situation in so far as fairly normal customs obtain.
The marriage rite in Teutonic lands, in early Middle Ages, was recognized entirely as a family function. This paralleled the early Roman conception.
After preliminary matters, such as contract payment, dowry arrangement, etc., had been arranged satisfactorily, the contracting parties plighted their troth in the presence of the father of the bride, or her guardian, or another relative. This consisted first in a statement by the groom, that he took N. — to be his wife. The bride on her part replied with similar words. Then the ring was placed on the fourth finger of the bride’s left hand by the groom, and thereupon at the word of the father, or guardian, they joined right hands, testifying thereby to their purpose; and with a statement of the fact of their mutual consent the ceremony was completed. This originally was the extent of the marriage rite, but other, — a great variety of, — customs were connected with it.
In the course of the next few centuries, and under the growing influence of the Church, the rite was developed into a longer function consisting of a number of consecutive parts; but it continued to remain a civil contract and ceremony.
The betrothal, as described above, was the first step. This was still presided over by a layman but in the presence of the parish priest. This act was regarded as the “Declaration of Intention.” The next step was the publication of this intention publicly by the priest in the church that N. and N. purposed to enter into the estate of matrimony. This publication of what later became known as the Banns was intended to bring to light any legal hindrances and prevent the marriage of persons related within the forbidden degrees of consanguinity. The publication took place three times (high days or Sundays) and then the contracting parties made their Kirchgang, that is, they went to the church, which was usually the most imposing structure in the town, situated facing an open square. Here in public, before the church, with a layman again as officiant but with the priest present, the contracting parties again exchanged their statement of acceptance, attesting it by joining their right hands (and giving the ring, if this had not been done at the betrothal). The statement legalizing the marriage then followed made by the layman.
About the thirteenth century the Church began to gain full control of the ceremony. The parish priest is now normally the functionary at the betrothal, which is conducted much in the same manner as before, but prayer and a short benediction follow the Declaration of Intention.
Publication of the Banns is an ecclesiastically ordered procedure, with canonically promulgated restrictions governing the relation of the contracting parties. The banns must be published from the, pulpit (choir) three consecutive Sundays. During certain seasons weddings are not to be consummated. The priest acts at the function before the church, where after a fourth announcement (publication) the interchange of consent is followed by personally spoken vow, attested by joining right hands, the blessing and giving of the ring (rings), and the declaration on the part of the priest of the union consummated in the sight of God and “solemnized” by himself.
Immediately the priest leads the wedding party into the church for the celebration of the Nuptial Mass (Missa pro sponso et sponsa) with which is connected the Benediction of the Marriage (Benedictio nuptiarum f298).
The sacramental character of marriage and necessity for ecclesiastical approval and consummation were the ultimate outcomes of the Church’s objective here.
Luther refused to accept this conception of marriage. Ultimately marriage, to him, is not a sacrament, nor an ecclesiastical action per se. It is a civil act, perpetuating a Divine institution, true; but one dealing distinctly with “worldly” ends, even though the priest be the officiant. The “spiritual,” not as opposed to the worldly but as necessary companion, functions thus far, — in blessing in the Name of God and praying for the Divine favor to rest upon those entering this holy estate.
Luther does not cast aside tradition, either civil or ecclesiastical, as he works toward his purpose. He accepts important elements of both, but he places an element of freedom on the use which is distinctly new. Again this is an emphasis of the Evangelic principle.
With the “civil” he is not concerned, either to order or govern custom or method; authority must regulate this. But there is no choice left except to respond when “anyone desires us to bless them... pray over them... marry them...” “We are in duty bound to do this.” If so much honor and ceremonial display has been connected with the consecration of monks and nuns in the past, an estate purely human in invention, “how much more should we honor this Divine estate and in a much more magnificent way bless, pray, and adorn it?” Then, too, this (our) ministry should be active to the end that the holiness and seriousness of this estate should be emphasized over against the frivolity and burlesquing of the world, so that by common prayer and blessing persons may enter it in the fear of the Divine Creator and Ordainer.
Luther follows the traditional in dividing the rite into three distinct but related actions.
First , — the Publication of the Banns. This is not to discover illegal impediments primarily, but to ask for the prayer of the congregation in behalf of the contracting persons, that they may initiate their purpose in God’s Name and under His blessing. The exhortation to present information regarding impediments is secondary. The tone of this act has been changed completely. It is now a spiritual action.
Second , — the Marriage proper. This as formerly takes place before the church. Much of the traditional form is retained, but simplified.
Each of the parties is questioned in turn as to consent. Then the ring (rings) is given. Whereupon in testimony they join right hands, and the officiant pronounces, “What God has joined together...” This is a new element...scriptural. Then the officiant pronounces the marriage consummated, — since they have acknowledged their purpose publicly “before God and the world,” — “ In the Name of the Father, etc.”
Third , — The Benediction before the Altar. The Nuptial Mass is ignored entirely, the Nuptial Benediction likewise. Slight reminiscences of phrases from collects are found in the closing prayer which Luther provided. This Office is wholly evangelical; it is built of Scriptures and prayer.. the Benediction of the Word and Prayer which Luther in another writing says is the only right benediction. The Scriptures record the Divine institution and matters related to the estate. The order is: Divine institution, Genesis 2:18, 21-24; Holiness, spiritual earnestness of the estate, Ephesians 5:25-29; Subjection, mutual relations, Ephesians 5:22-24; Burden, cross, Genesis 3:16-19; Comfort, blessing, Genesis 1:27,28,31; Proverbs 18:22.
The benediction is in the form of prayer, prayed with hands outstretched over the groom and bride.
Luther accomplished a number of things with this Order. He admitted the place of the civil right in marriage and continued it; this is the “worldly” side. He denied the sacramental character fabricated by the Church, but on the other hand declared its Divine institution and purpose and its spiritual values; this was the “religious” sphere. He qualified the action of the Church through her ministry by making it dependent upon desire (invitation), not right, restricting the action to “solemnization,” i.e., pronouncement, intercession and benediction.
The Reformation Movement had already produced a number of Marriage Orders prior to Luther’s. One issued at Wittenberg in 1524 was ascribed to Bugenhagen, but this he refused to admit. It was Evangelical and broke away from Roman practice and was used widely. This Wittenberg order served somewhat in the nature of a model to Luther in his own work.
There are points of agreement but Luther goes quite a bit farther. His Order is much closer to the traditional and is much more full liturgically.
While this historic element is evident in Luther’s Order it is not as distinctively a liturgical accomplishment as his Order for Baptism.
However his purpose was single and simple: to provide an Evangelical model for the procedure at a marriage.
Literature: The Traubuchlin will be found in Walch 10:854 Erlangen 23:207 Weimar 303:74 Clemen 4:100 Daniel , Codex, 2:315ff.
Hering , Hulfsbuch, 151ff See also Hofling, Urkundenbuch, 173ff Kliefoth , Lit. Abhandlungen, 1, 1, 147ff Cf. Legg, Saturn Missal, 143ff: Ordo ad facienda sponsalia (Benediction and Missa) Missale Romanum,  Missa pro sponso et sponsa Rituale Romanum, 221, De sacramento rnatrirnonium; 224, Ritus celebrandi matrimonii sacramentum And the very fine Introduction to the Luther Order in Weimar as above, page 43ff.
PAUL ZELLER STRODACH
A MARRIAGE BOOKLET FOR SIMPLE F299 PASTORS MART. LUTHER WITTEMBERG
(At the end of book:) Printed at Wittemberg by Nickel Schirlentz MARTINUS LUTHER “Many lands, many customs” is a common saying. Since marriage and the marriage state is a worldly business, it behooves us pastors or ministers of the Church not to attempt to order or govern anything connected with it, but to permit every city and land to continue its own use and custom in this connection. Some lead the bride to the church twice, both evening and morning. Some only once. Some announce it formally and publish the banns from the pulpit two or three weeks in advance. All such things and the like I leave to the lords and the council to order and arrange as they see fit: it does not concern me.
But should any one desire us to bless them before the church or in the church, to pray over them, or also to marry them, we are in duty bound to do this. For this reason I have desired to offer this advice and form to those who do not know anything better, in case some should desire to follow our custom in this matter. The others who know all about it, that is, who do not know anything about it but permit themselves to think that they do know all about it,-well, they do not need this service of mine, — except that they may be overwise and conceited about it and should guard themselves very zealously lest perchance they do something that somebody else does! Otherwise one might think that they might learn something from somebody else, and that certainly would be a great pity.
Since it has been customary up to the present to surround the consecration of monks and nuns with such great ceremonial display, (even though their estate and organization are an ungodly and purely human invention which does not have any foundation in the Scriptures,) how much the more should we honor this Divine estate and in a much more magnificent way bless, pray, and adorn it? For even if it is a worldly estate it does have God’s Word in its favor and was not invented or instituted by men, as was the estate of the monks and nuns. Therefore, too, it should be accounted more spiritual than the estate of the cloisterettes, — yea, a hundred times more so, — which in truth should be considered the most worldly and fleshly of all, because it was fabricated and instituted out of flesh and blood and is above all the invention of worldly cleverness and wisdom.
And for this reason, too, in order that the young people may learn to regard this estate seriously and honor it as a Divine creation and command, and not act so disgracefully in connection with it and make fools out of themselves with their laughing and mockery and the like frivolity, as has been customary heretofore, just as if it was a joke or child’s play to enter into the marriage state or to have a wedding.
Those who at the first instituted the practice that one should lead the bride and bridegroom to church, truly did not regard it as a joke but as a very earnest matter; for there is no doubt but that they were seeking the blessing of God thereby and the common prayers, and were not making a ridiculous burlesque out of it or a bit of heathenish monkey business.
Thus, too, the act in itself reveals its earnestness. For whoever desires prayer and blessing from the pastor or bishop shows thereby indeed, — even if he does not express it in so many words, — into what peril and need he is entering and how greatly he stands in need of the Divine blessing and common prayer for the estate which he is undertaking. And this serious situation can be seen daily in the misfortunes caused by the devil in the marriage estate with adultery, unfaithfulness, discord, and all manner of ill.
Therefore, we will deal in the following way with the bridegroom and bride, — if they desire and ask it.
(1) FIRST, PUBLISH THE BANNS FROM THE PULPIT WITH SUCH WORDS AS THESE:
Hans N. and Greta N. desire, according to the Divine institution, to enter the holy estate of marriage; they desire that common, Christian prayer be made on their behalf so that they may begin it in God’s Name and prosper therein.
And should any one have anything to say against it, let him speak in time or hereafter keep silence. God grant them His blessing. Amen.
(2) BEFORE THE CHURCH MARRY THEM WITH WORDS SUCH AS THESE:
Hans, dost thou desire Greta to thy wedded wife? He says: Yes.
Greta, dost thou desire Hans to thy wedded husband? She answers: Yes. Then the pastor lets them give each other the wedding ring and joins their right hands together, and says: What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Thereupon he speaks in the presence of all: Since Hans N. and Greta N. desire each other in marriage and acknowledge the same here publicly before God and the world, in testimony of which they have given each other the hand and the wedding ring, I pronounce them joined in marriage, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
(3) BEFORE THE ALTAR HE READS GOD’S WORD OVER THE BRIDEGROOM AND BRIDE. GENESIS, THE SECOND CHAPTER.
And God the Lord said: It is not good that man should be alone: I will make a helpmeet for him who can be with him. Then the Lord God let a deep sleep fall on the man, and he went to sleep; and he took one of his ribs and closed the place with flesh. And God the Lord fashioned a wife out of the rib, which he took from the man, and brought her to him. Then the man said: This was at one time bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.
She shall be called Woman, because she was taken from man. Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and the two will be one flesh. Thereupon he turns to both of them and speaks to them thus: Since both of you have given yourselves to the marriage estate in God’s Name, hear first of all God’s commandment concerning this estate. Thus speaketh St. Paul: Ye men love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her so that he might sanctify her and purify her through water in the word and present her to himself a glorious congregation without spot or blemish or any such thing, but that she might be holy and blameless. Thus also should men love their wives as their own body. He who loveth his wife loveth himself. For no one has ever yet hated his own flesh but has nourished it and cared for it as also the Lord for the congregation.
The wives are to be subject to their husbands as unto the Lord, for man is the head of the woman just as Christ is the head of the congregation and he is the Savior of the body. But as now the congregation is subject to Christ, so shall the wives be subject to their husbands in all things.
Second hear also the curse which God has placed upon this estate. God spoke thus to the woman: I will cause thee much sorrow when thou dost conceive. Thou shalt give birth to thy children with much sorrow, and thou shalt yield thee to thy husband, and he shall be thy lord.
And God spoke to the man: Since thou hast listened to the voice of thy wife and eaten of the tree of which! commanded thee and said, Thou shalt not eat thereof, Cursed be thy field for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou nourish thyself therefrom all thy life long; thorns and thistles shall it bear thee, and thou shalt eat the grass of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread until thou returnest again to earth from which thou wast taken. For thou art earth and shalt become earth.
Third; and this is your comfort that ye may know and believe that this estate is pleasing to God and is blessed by Him. For thus it is written: God created man in his own image; yea, in the image of God created he him. He created them, a man and woman. And God blessed them and said to them:
Be fruitful and multiply yourselves and fill the earth, and make it subject unto you, and reign over the fish in the sea and the birds in the heaven and over all animals that crawl on the earth. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, all was very good. Therefore Solomon also says: He who obtains a wife, obtains a good thing: and will receive favor from the Lord. Here he spreads forth his hands over them and prays thus: O Lord God Who hast created man and woman and hast ordained them for the marriage bond and hast typified: therein the sacramental union of Thy dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Church, His Bride: We beseech Thy groundless goodness and mercy that Thou wouldest not permit this Thy creation, ordinance and blessing to be disturbed or destroyed, but graciously preserve the same through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
ORDINATION OF MINISTERS OF THE WORD ORDINATION SFORMULAR 1535-1539 INTRODUCTION
The Formula for Ordination here translated is ascribed to Luther without question, although in many particulars it resembles an earlier form issued by Bugenhagen.
It is not a liturgical Order but an Office to be used in connection with the formal Order of Divine Service. The Office customarily followed the Epistle at some places, at others it was introduced immediately after the Sermon.
In the strictest sense it cannot be regarded as a liturgical action nor a liturgical form, even though it carries the marks of formality. Nor can it be classed either with Luther’s Order of Baptism or with his Order for Marriage. It is not primarily an Office of the Church. It must be considered as being an official congregational action, resembling somewhat the traditional Roman Induction, but bearing no resemblance whatever to the Roman Order for Ordination. The sense of “good order” only required the designation of proper persons to conduct the Examination and the “Ordination.”
The Office was born of necessity and bears witness to the complete severance with Rome on the doctrine of the priesthood.
The time had come when pastors were needed to serve vacant congregations. The number of men who had been consecrated to the priesthood in the Roman Church and who espoused the cause of the Reformation grew less and less. Men to meet, fill, the growing need had to be found elsewhere, — in the Movement itself.
As long as previously ordained priests became Evangelical pastors and preachers the question of ordination did not arise. But when someone who had not been ordained determined to enter the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments, the practical question of how it was to be done presented itself and had to be met.
George Rorer, who had not been ordained a priest, claims to have been the first to receive “Evangelical ordination.” This was at Wittenberg on May 14, 1525, at the hands of Luther. Luther ordained him Dekan of the Stadtpfarrkirche by prayer and the laying on of hands and confirmed (publicly ratified) his call and inducted him into his office. He had received his regular “call” on May 3 through Luther.
Luther and his co-workers defined “ordination” to be a regular (ordentliche — rite) call to the office of the Ministry (Pfarrampt) in a specific congregation and the official (congregational) confirmation (ratification of the same publicly) at a service by the congregation concerned. But the latter was not absolutely required to make the relation effective; the regular call was sufficient.
Anything in the nature of rite or ceremony as such, or act of consecration was wholly unnecessary; more it was irrelevant to the whole purpose and nature of the function. There was no “priesthood” involved other than that which every Christian had through his baptism.
Luther writes, “To ordain is not to consecrate. Therefore, if we know a pious man we single him out and through the power of the Word which we possess we give him authority to preach the Word and to administer the Sacraments. This is to ordain.” (W. 15:721.)
Luther’s conception of ordination is not a liturgical one but consists essentially in the regular call to the preaching office (Predigtampt), — to preach the Word and to administer the Sacraments, — and in the transmission of this office to the candidate. Out of this, out of this alone, the congregational ceremony develops.
Four elements make up this “ordination”: — 1. The examination of the candidate as to his worthiness and fitness; 2. election to the office; 3. confirmation and commendation in the presence of the (calling) congregation; 4. the Church’s intercession for the chosen candidate.
Emptied of such elements as a confession of faith, a vow of faithfulness, and any formal statement of the transmission of the office, such “ordination” carries every characteristic of a formal induction (installation).
But whatever the characteristics good order required some sort of official control and administration, and a fair amount of uniformity in procedure.
Luther’s Formula provided the latter, and different authorities, governmental or ecclesiastical, the former. Certain persons in the different localities were thus designated to conduct the examination into vocation and fitness, and usually one was designated to act as ordinator. At Wittenberg, the theological faculty acted in the first part and Bugenhagen was appointed to officiate as ordinator. Luther acted in this capacity in Bugenhagen’s absence.
Luther’s Office is usually dated around 1535. The Formula is preserved in a number of recensions which appeared beginning with that date; the last of these is dated 1539. This Ms., first published by Rietschel, is considered the best text; our translation has been made from this recension.
After introductory rubrics relative to the examination of the candidate and ordering an admonition through preaching and intercession for the Ministry, the ordinator, presbyters and ordinand kneel before the altar.
The choir then sings the Veni Sancte Spiritus, after which a versicle and response introduce the collect Of the Holy Spirit. This versicle and response and collect are evidently said in Latin. All rubrical directions likewise are in Latin. The remainder of the Formula is in the vernacular.
Then the ordinator standing before the altar reads the lesson. This is the apostolic summary of the duties of the office and an exhortation to faithfulness and watchfulness.
The ordinator then addresses the ordinand briefly, ending with this question, — the only one asked, — “Are you now ready to do this?”
Upon the ordinand’s affirmative answer, the whole presbytery and the ordinator lay their hands on the ordinand’s head and the ordinator prays the Lord’s Prayer. After this another prayer, developed from the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, may be said.
Then follows a brief Scriptural address to the ordinand by the ordinator, whereupon he imparts the blessing to him, using the sign of the cross.
The congregation then sings the hymn Nun bitten wit den heiligen Geist, after which Holy Communion is celebrated, the ordinand being the first to receive the Sacrament.
Literature: — The various recensions of the Formula will be found in Weimar 38:423ff. See the same volume, p. 401if, for an excellent introduction.
The translation has been made from the 1539 recension as found in Weimar as above and in Hering, Hulfsbuch, p. 155ff. See also Sehling, Kirchenordnungen, 1:24ff.
Cf. also Hofling, Urkundenbuch, 137ff; Kliefoth, Lit. Abhandlungen, 1:341ff; Rietschel, Lehrbuch d. Lit., 2:405ff; 427ff; and Rietschel, Luther und die Ordination.
PAUL ZELLER STRODACH
ORDINATION OF MINISTERS OF THE WORD
First , — An examination having been made, either on this or on a preceding day, if they are found worthy, after being admonished through preaching, prayer shall be made by the Church for them and for the whole ministry, to wit, that God would deign to send laborers into His harvest, and preserve them faithful and constant in sound doctrine against the gates of hell, etc.
Second , — The Ordinator and the ministers or presbyters of the Church with the Ordinands in the midst beside the Ordinator, shall kneel before the altar.
And the choir shall sing: Veni sancte spiritus. f303 Versicle: Create in me a clean heart, O God. Response: And renew a right spirit within me. f304 The customary Collect Of the Holy Spirit shall be read. f305 Third , — This finished, the Ordinator shall ascend the step and turn with his face to the Ordinands, and standing he shall recite with clear voice 1 Timothy 3:1 Thus writeth St. Paul in the First Epistle to Timothy, in the third chapter:
This is indeed certainly true, If anyone desires a bishop’s office, he desires a precious work. But a bishop must be irreproachable, the husband of one wife, abstemious, temperate, well-mannered, hospitable, clever at teaching, not a wine-bibber, not sharp tongued, not carry on dishonorable business, but he must be gentle, not quarrelsome, not avaricious; one who manages his own home well, who has obedient children in all uprightness; — for if such an one cannot manage his own home wisely, how will he administer the Church of God? — not a novice, so that he does not puff himself up and fall under the judgment of the blasphemer. But he must also have a good testimony from those who are without, so that he does not fall into the ignominy and snare of the blasphemer. f307 Thus St. Paul admonishes the Elders of the Congregation at Ephesus:
Therefore be mindful of yourselves and of the whole flock, among which the Holy Ghost has placed you as bishops, to feed the Church of God which he purchased with his own blood. For this I know, that after my going away terrible wolves will come among you, who will not spare the flock. Also from among yourselves men will arise who will speak false teaching in order to draw disciples to themselves. Therefore be watchful and remember this, that I did not cease for three years, day and night, to warn every one with tears.
Fourth , — The Ordinator addresses the Ordinands in these or similar words:
Herein you hear, that we are called to be and are to be bishops, that is, preachers and pastors; that we do not have committed to us the watching over geese and cows, but the Church, which God purchased with his own blood; that we should feed it with the pure word of God, also be on guard and see to it that wolves and sects do not burst in among the poor sheep.
For this reason he calls it a precious work.
Also personally we should live decently and honorably, and manage and oversee our home, wife, children, and servants in a Christian way.
Are you now ready to do this. f310 He answers: Yes.
Fifth , — Then with the hands of the whole presbytery imposed on their heads, the Ordinator says the Lord’s Prayer in a clear voice. f311 Let us pray. Our Father...
Then if he desires, or time permits, he may add this prayer, which explains more fully the three parts of the Lord’s Prayer.
Merciful God, heavenly Father, thou hast said to us through the mouth of thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, The harvest is great, but few are the laborers; pray the Lord of the harvest that he will send laborers into his harvest.
Upon this thy divine command, we pray from our hearts, that thou wilt give thy Holy Spirit richly to these thy servants, together with us and all those who are called to serve thy word, so that with great crowds we may be thy evangelists, remain true and firm against the devil, the world, and the flesh, to the end that thy name may be hallowed, thy kingdom increased, thy will be done. Do thou also at length restrain and bring to an end the detestable abomination of the pope, Mohammed, and other sects which blaspheme thy name, hinder thy kingdom, and oppose thy will. This is our prayer — (because thou hast commanded, taught, and assured) — O thou graciously hear, even as we believe and trust, through thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost in eternity. Amen. f312 Sixth , — The Ordinator shall address the Ordinands with these words of St. Peter. 1 Peter 5:2 Therefore go forth and feed the flock of Christ, which is committed to you, and take good care of it, not being forced to it, but willingly; not for the sake of shameful gain, but of a steadfast heart; not as those who lord it over the people, but be examples to the flock: thus ye will (when the Arch- Shepherd appears) receive the imperishable crown of glory. f313 Seventh , — The Ordinator blesses them with the sign of the cross, and uses these or other words:
The Lord bless you that ye may bring forth much fruit. f314 After this each one shall return to his own place. And if it is desired, the Church may sing:
Now we pray the Holy Spirit. f315 This ended, the presbyter sings: Our Father. f316 And the Ordinands shall commune first with the Church, then presently, the Ordinator if he desires, or he may commune with them or after them. f317
THE LATIN LITANY CORRECTED LATINA LITANIA CORRECTA 1528-1529 THE GERMAN LITANY DEUDSCH LITANEY
The Litany of All Saints, the parent of both of Luther’s versions of the Litany, fell into disuse among the churches related to the Reformation Movement at the time of the Carlstadt liturgical reforms. These centered at Wittenberg and took place about 1520-1521. As the influence or example of Wittenberg was far-reaching, reforms effected there were likely to be instituted at other places. The Litany of All Saints was not attacked as some other rites and ceremonies were, because of unevangelical and superstitious character. On the other hand it was regarded highly by Luther, and valued as a form of prayer of great power and spiritual helpfulness. But this Litany had been connected with observances and ceremonies, of long, long standing, which in themselves were viewed with distaste and aversion. This was particularly true of the Processions, where superstition ran riot, and the almost endless repetition of prex and respond seemed to be nothing more than a lot of meaningless mumbling and plappern. When these Processions (Bittgange) and the other rites with which the Litany was connected or of which it was a part fell into disuse, the Litany disappeared quite as a matter of course, but not because there was any radical opposition to it in itself except for the lengthy invocation of saints.
There is no evidence bearing witness to the use of the Litany in the churches of the Reformation Movement from 1521 to 1529. Early in the latter year both the Litanis Correcta and the Deudsch Litaney appear fully established in the use of the Stadtpfarrkirche at Wittenberg. The probably is that both had been prepared by Luther during the latter part of 1528 and introduced into the worship of the Wittenberg church ‘during the late months Of the same year, the actual introduction antedating the appearance of the printed forms. At all events Luther writes his close friend Hausmann on February 13, 1529, that they are singing the Litany in the church in Latin and in the vernacular. Just a month later Luther sent a printed copy of the Deudsch Litaney, printed with accompanying musical notations, to Hausmann. There is strong probability that the Latina Litania Correcta was also issued in separate form this year, but the earliest print known is in Luther’s Enchiridion piarum precationurn, issued in 1529.
In the light of Luther’s statements regarding the Litanyin sermons and writings of earlier years, it would be unfair to say that it was necessary to reawaken his interest in it. One doubts that he ever forgot it, or lost interest in it for any length of time. On the other hand, one cannot help but think that he was awaiting the opportune moment for its reintroduction into congregational use. That was what he thought it should be, . the prayer of the congregation in the church, dissociated from Bittgang or any other rite.
Two things contributed to the reestablishment of the Litany as a congregational prayer form. Whether one or the other led the way is a question; probably the one being present, as a long-standing desire, used the other when it arose as a timely opportunity.
The one was Luther’s constant desire to foster congregational worship: to furnish all things needful to this end, that the common people might be able to participate intelligently and heartily and devoutly in the corporate worship. His interest in these matters did not end with the publication of the Deutsche Messe in 1526, but continued unfailingly thereafter, showing itself in the writing of hymns and prayers, etc., the publication of hymn books and prayer book. The spiritual interests of the youth were as important to Luther as their elders.’ His activity in the sphere of worship always included their advancement in these holy, spiritual exercises as well.
With them well trained in these worship uses, not only would the result be to their benefit, but their elders through them. That the Litany lent itself to this objective, the way in which it was used very shortly (if not immediately) after reestablishment is proof, and quite able evidence that Luther had been thinking of it in just this way.
The other is the timely opportunity. This was occasioned by the terrifying threat of the feared Turk. Some time during October of 1528 Luther began his pamphlet, Vom Kriege wider die Turken. In this Luther urges that the Christians be exhorted and taught to pray with great earnestness and in faith. And it would be better not to pray at all than to pray without faith.
Then he continues, “For this reason I want processions to be spoken against, as they are a heathenish, vain, unprofitable use; they are more an ostentatious show and empty formality than a prayer. In the same fashion I speak against the saying of many Masses and the many invocations of the saints. But this might help somewhat, — if one would have the Litany sung or read in the churches, especially by the young folk; this might be done at Mass, or at Vespers, or after the sermon.” (W. 30, 2, p. 118).
According to the letter to Hausmann, of February 13, 1529 (mentioned above), Luther made his own advice effective in the Wittenberg church, Here the Deudsch Litaney was a Lord’s Day use, connected with Divine Worship (Mass), and the Litania Latina was a ferial use.
Luther provided the musical settings for both. Early (original) prints are with the words set to the music. The indication is for two choirs, singing the prex and respond antiphonally, the congregation joining with the second, responding, choir. Weekdays, the choirs were composed of boys, the responding choir being located in the body of the church in order to be more effective in aiding the congregation to learn the responds. Where these methods could not be carded out, the pastor read the prex and the choir and congregation, or congregation alone, sang or repeated the respond.
Luther’s desire was to have the re. introduction of the Litany as widespread as possible. His wish was accomplished very quickly. The Deudsch Litaney in particular appeared in many editions and forms. It was published alone; it was printed with the Small Catchism; it appeared in. the hymn books; it had its place in his prayer book. Kirchen Ordnungen, which shortly thereafter began to appear in every section of Germany, included it.
Here was the great congregational prayer, useful in many contingencies; not only under the threat of the invading Turk, but in times of need, pestilence, famine, preceding great events, etc.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Deudsch Litaney seems to have been the first of the two versions to be published, our opinion is that the Latin version was the first prepared by Luther. The uses to which he had been accustomed and to which he clung were Latin. It would seem to be the more natural thing to make the probe, the first attempt, in that language when the model was Latin and his whole worship feel and tradition was embedded in a Latin liturgical atmosphere. Further, Luther speaks of his Latin version as the Latin Litany Corrected; his German version is simply The German Litany. Then, too, the Latin version is much fuller than the German. An excision of further material, a compression of the number of petitions, as in the German, would seem to evidence the fact that the German version resulted as a revision of the Latin after the Latin had been given a practical trial in service use. It is far more natural to prune and abbreviate than to enlarge, especially in liturgical forms. The German, no doubt, was the objective; but it was reached through the Latin. Witness the evidence by comparison, as shown in the comparative table appended to this introduction. With the two versions placed side by side, and compared with the original Litany of All Saints , one can follow the process fairly plainly. Besides there is other evidence that Luther was inclined to work in this way. This appears in his two Orders for Baptism, where the method is exactly this one. Therefore, we accept the Latin version as the first, and this in turn as the model for the German.
Luther’s Latina Litania Correcta is very similar to the Litany of All Saints, in form, in order, and in contents. The marked divergences are in the complete omission of the invocation of all saints, the intercessions for the pope and for the departed. His petitions are more concise m expression, and he is much more spirit in the things for which he pleads to God. For example, he prays for faithful pastors; against sects; for those who err or are misled; against Satan; for faithful laborers in the Vineyard; for those distressed and affected; for the king and princes; for the emperor; for the civil council and for the congregation; for those in danger; for prospective mothers and infants; for children and the sick; for prisoners; for widows and orphan; for enemies and blasphemers; for the fruits of the earth. In this group of intercessions, Luther has done the largest amount of independent writing in his revision. For a complete survey of the omissions, variations, and insertions, the reader is referred to the appended table of comparisons.
Following the traditional custom of adding special prayers to the Litany, Luther completed both versions with a number of collects. These again are translations of Latin originals. f320 In the reform or “correction” of the ancient Litany Luther contributed a lasting gift to the worship life of the Church. The Litany, like his major Orders, were valued as models in every section of the Church of the Reformation; but while this or that section might depart from his Order of Worship, they all accepted the Litany, — Germany, Austria, Scandinavian countries, all perpetuated his versions; and it contributed to the reform of the Litany in England. Today it is preserved and used in the Kirchenbuch and in the Common Service Book. f321 Literature: — The translations have been made from the text in Weimar 30, Pt. 3, 29ff (German); 36ff (Latin).
See also — Jena 8:368 Walch 10:1758 Erlangen 56:360 On the Litany in general see:
Bingham and Cheetham’s , Dicty. Christian Antiquities, 2:999 Bona , Divin. psalmod, c 14, 4, Calvor , Rituale, 2, c 16, Thalhofer-Eisenhofer, Lehrbuch d. Lit., 2, 498ff.
On the Litany in general and Luther’s versions see: Kliefoth, Zur Gescht. d.
Litanei, (1861) Liturg. Abhand. 5:301ff, 373ff, 398ff; 6:152ff, 225ff, 298ff; 8:66ff, 243, Schoberlein , Schatz d. lit. Chor. und Gemeindegesangs, 1, 521; 725ff Rietschel , Lehr. d. Lit., 1, 200f, 294, 358ff, 431, 444, 505 534ff Realencyc . 3, 11, 524ff, 528ff.
Drews , Studien sur Geschichte des Gottesdiensts, etc. Beitrage su Luthers lit. Reformen, 1 and 2.
The comparative table has been taken from this study, but with this addition: the Augsberg Breviary, a conventual use of this immediate period has been also collated.
For the Litany collects see Drews as above and Althaus , Zur Einfuhrung in die Quellengeschichte der kirchlichen Kollekten etc. p. 12f.
It will also be interesting and profitable to compare the Litany of All Saints as now used by the Roman Church. For this see the Rituale Romanum, (Ratisbon) 91seqq.
PAUL ZELLER STRODACH
LATINA LITANIA CORRECTA 1528-1529 THE LATIN LITANY, CORRECTED
First Choir Lord, f327 Christ, Lord, Christ, Father of heaven, God; — v Son, redeemer of the world; — v Holy Spirit, God; — v Be gracious; Be gracious; From all sin; From all error; From all evil; From the snares of the devil; — v From sudden and unexpected death; From pestilence and famine; From war and carnage; From insurrection and party jealousy; f328 From lightning and tempest; — v From eternal death; Through the mystery of thy holy incarnation; — o Through thy holy nativity; Through thy baptism, fasting, and temptation; — o Through thy agony and bloody sweat; Through thy cross and passion; Through thy death and burial; — o Through thy resurrection and ascension; Through the advent of the Holy Spirit f329 In all time of our tribulation; — o f330 In all time of our happiness; — o In the hour of death; — v In the day of judgment; — v We sinners Thy Church, holy, catho- f331 All bishops, pastors, and min- That thou wouldest deign to destroy all sects and all offences; to lead back the erring and misled into the way of truth; — v to trample Satan under our feet; to send faithful laborers into thy harvest; to grant to all hearers increase in the word and the fruit of the Spirit; — v to lift up and encourage the lapsed and to strengthen those who stand; — o to encourage and aid the timid and tempted; to give peace and concord to all kings and princes; to give perpetual victory to our Caesar over his enemies; to direct and support our prince and his soldiers; f343 to bless and guard our magistracy and people; to care for the afflicted and deliver the endangered; to rejoice the pregnant in their bearing and nursing mothers in the growth of their offspring; to cherish and guard the infants and sick; to liberate the captives; to protect and care for the orphans and widows; to have compassion on all men; That thou wouldest deign to forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to convert them to give and preserve the fruits of the earth; That thou wouldest deign to hear us; Lamb of God who bearest the sin of the world; Lamb of God who bearest the sin of the world; Lamb of God who bearest the sin of the world; Christ, Lord, Christ, Second Choir Have mercy.
Spare us, Lord.
Free us, Lord. — v Free us, Lord. — v f348 Free us, Lord. — v Free us, Lord.
Free us, Lord. — v Paraclete. — o Free us, Lord.
Free us, Lord. — v Entreat thee, hear us. lic do thou deign to rule and govern, — v isters of the Church do thou deign to preserve in saving word and holy life. — v We entreat thee to hear us.
We entreat thee to hear us.
We entreat thee to hear us.
Have compassion on us.
Have compassion on us.
Give peace to us. — v Hear us.
Have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
OUR FATHER, ETC. — O PRAYER Lord, deal not with us according to our sins:
Neither recompense us according to our iniquities. f351 O God, merciful Father, who dost not despise the groaning of the contrite and dost not scorn the emotion of the sorrowful: Be present to our prayers which ‘mid afflictions that so heavily overwhelm us we pour out before Thee, and graciously hear them, so that that which is laid against us as snares, the deceits of the devil and of man, may be reduced to nothing and scattered according to the counsel of Thy goodness, to the end that vexed by no reproaches we may ever give thanks to Thee in Thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
f361 Aid us God of our salvation: f362 And for the glory of Thy Name free us, and be gracious to our sins. f363 Almighty eternal God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is sanctified and ruled: Hear our supplications for all orders, that by the gift of Thy grace Thou mayest be served by all these in pure faith, through Christ, etc.
We have sinned with our fathers:
We have dealt unjustly; we have done iniquity. f366 O God who dost not permit those who fall to perish as long as they may be converted and live: Lift freely the debt of our sins and be graciously present: let not dissimulation heap up punishment: rather let Thy compassion abound for our sins; through the Lord, etc.
Enter not into judgment with Thy servant:
Because all living shall not be justified in Thy sight. f371 Almighty God who knowest that we, placed in so many perils, are not able to stand firmly because of human frailty: Give us health of mind and body, that, Thou aiding, we may conquer those things which, for our sins, afflict us; through the Lord, etc.
Invoke me in the day of tribulation:
And I will search you out, and you shall honor me. f373 Spare, Lord, spare us sinners, and although to us who fail unceasingly there should be continual punishment, be present nevertheless, we entreat, that what we deserve to [our] eternal destruction may pass from us to aid in [our] correction; through the Lord, etc.
DIE DEUDSCH LITANEY THE GERMAN LITANY
The First Choir Lord, Christ, Christ, Lord God, Father in heaven Lord God, Son, Savior of the world, Lord God, Holy Spirit, Be gracious unto us; Be gracious unto us; From all sins, From all going astray, f377 From all evil, Against the devil’s deception and trickery, Against evil, sudden death, Against pestilence and hard times, Against war and carnage, Against insurrection and discord, Against hail and tempest, Against eternal death, Through thy holy birth, Through thy mortal combat and bloody sweat, Through thy cross and death, Through thy holy resurrection and ascension, In our last hour, f379 At the final judgment, We poor sinners pray And that thou wilt govern and direct thy holy Christian Church; Keep all bishops pastors, and parish ministrants in the saving word and in holy living; Resist all factions and offences; Lead back all erring and misled; Trample Satan under our feet; Send faithful laborers into the harvest; Add thy Spirit and power to the word; Help and comfort all sorrowful and timorous; [That thou wilt] give to all kings and princes peace and unity; Grant to our king uninterrupted victory over his enemies; Lead and defend our liege-lord and all his mighty ones; f382 Bless and protect our council and congregation; [That thou wilt] be present to help all who are in danger and need; Grant to all pregnant and nursing mothers joyful fruit and increase; Nurse all children and sick; Set free all prisoners; Defend and provide for all widows and orphans; Have mercy on all men; Forgive and convert our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers; Give and preserve the fruits of the land; And graciously hear us; O Jesus Christ, Son of God, f384 O thou Lamb of God that bearest the sin of the world, O thou Lamb of God that boarest the sin of the world, O thou Lamb of God that bearest the sin of the world, Christ, Lord, Christ, The Second Choir Have mercy.
Have mercy upon us.
Spare us, dear Lord God.
Help us, dear Lord God.
Protect us, dear Lord God.
Guard us, dear Lord God.
Help us, dear Lord God.
Help us, dear Lord God.
That thou wilt hear us, dear Lord God.
Hear us, dear Lord God.
Hear us, dear Lord God.
Hear us, dear Lord God.
Hear us, dear Lord God.
Have mercy upon us.
Grant us abiding peace.
Both choirs together Lord, have mercy.
A PRAYER FOLLOWING THE LITANY
Lord, deal not with us according to our sins:
And requite us not according to our misdeeds. f388 Or, We have sinned together with our fathers:
We have transgressed and have been godless. f389 Lord, almighty God, who dost not disdain the sighs of the forlorn, and dost not despise the longing of [the] troubled hearts: O look upon our prayer, which we bring before thee in our need, and graciously hear us, so that all which striveth against us, both of the devil and of man, may come to naught, and, according to Thy good providence, may be turned away from us, to the end that, unhurt by all temptation, we may thank Thee in Thy Church and praise Thee at all times, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
The Lord’s anger endureth a moment:
And He taketh pleasure in life. f391 Or, Call upon me, saith the Lord, in the time of need:
And I will save you, and thus thou shalt praise me. f392 Lord God, heavenly Father, who dost not take pleasure in the miserable sinners’ death, also dost not willingly permit them to perish, but desirest that they become converted and live: We humbly pray Thee, that Thou wilt graciously turn away from us the well-deserved punishment for our sins, and, in order to our improvement henceforth, graciously grant us Thy mercy, for Jesus Christ, our Lord’s sake. Amen.
Lord, enter not into judgment with Thy servant:
For before Thee not a one that liveth will be justified. f394 Lord God, heavenly Father, Thou knowest that because of our human weakness we are not able to stand fast amid so many and great dangers:
Grant us strength both in body and soul, that, by Thy help, we may conquer all things which harass us because of our sins, for Jesus Christ our Lord’s sake. Amen.
ANOTHER PRAYER F396
Help us God of our salvation, for Thy Name’s sake:
Rescue us and forgive us our sins, for Thy Name’s sake. f397 Almighty, everlasting God, who, through Thy Holy Spirit, sanctifiest and rulest the whole Church: Hear our prayer, and graciously grant that she with all her members, by Thy grace, may serve Thee in pure faith, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
HYMN BOOK PREFACES
Circumstances and the laudable determination to provide the common people with evangelical hymns for their worship made of Luther a poet of no mean ability. Thirty-six spiritual hymns from Luther’s pen appear in the hymn books of the Reformation period, but in only four of the latter was he directly interested to the extent that it may be said either that he authorized or that he edited the book. For these four books Luther wrote prefaces.
These like his hymns were copied, and at times “revised,” by ambitious printers and anonymous “editors” whose purposes were not always simon pure: the purpose being in some cases to make the book appear to have been authorized, and in others simply to capitalize something that had become tremendously popular.
No attempt has been made to render Luther’s hymns into English anew for our Edition. The hymn which Luther wrote was, to him distinctively a spiritual song, an element of worship, and not so much a poem; as such it expressed his own spiritual reactions, and in this way he strove to guide the worship of the mass of people loyal to his movement. Naturally the ruggedness of his character and of his way of expressing things also appear in his hymns; besides those peculiar turns of language and unique forms of speech current in those days are met constantly. To express all of this in English form; to translate faithfully, spiritually, and poetically is well nigh an impossible task. As far as our Edition is concerned we are content to leave the hymns of Luther in their original. The reader is referred to more or less satisfactory translations in Miss Catherine Winkworth’s Lyra Germanica; to the Richard Massie translations; and to the standard hymnals, such as The Common Service Book, where various Luther hymns in common use will be found. However these hymns have been briefly annotated for our Edition and these notes will be found following the translation of the Prefaces.
The first of the hymn books in which Luther was directly interested and for which he wrote a Preface was the Geystliche Gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg, 1524. This is commonly spoken of as “The Walther Choir Book,” because Luther called upon the services of Johann Walther, cantor at the palace of Frederick, the Wise, at Torgau, and an intimate friend of Luther’s, to assist him in preparing the hymns for singing. Luther’s desire was to have the school children taught these hymns first of all and then after they had become familiar with words and melody they would be able to lead the congregational singing, and the people would learn them more rapidly. The Preface for this book has been translated and appears below.
This book contained twenty-four of Luther’s hymns as follows: Nun freut euch, liebe Christen gemein Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir Ein neues Lied wir heben an Es wollt uns Gott gnudig sein Wohl dem, der in Gottes Furcht steht Gelobet seist du, Jesus Christ Jesus Christus, unser Heiland — (Hus’ hymn) Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet Mitten wir im Leben sind Jesus Christ unser Heiland, der den Tod uberwand Christ lag in Todesbanden Nun komm, der Heiden Helland Christum wir sollen loben schon (schon) Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott Komm, Gott schopfer, heiliger Geist Dies sind die heiligen zehn Gebot Wir glauben all an Einen Gott Gott der Vater wohn uns bei Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin Mensch, willst du leben seliglich War Gott nicht reit uns diese zeit Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist Two other hymnals are contemporary with this first Luther hymnal and each of them contain Luther hymns. It cannot be definitely established whether these appeared earlier than Luther’s first hymnal, or whether they were unauthorized ventures on the part of rival printers or publishers, or the work of interested friends. But, in any case, they are valuable for comparison in studying Luther’s hymns.
The first of these, sometimes described as the earliest evangelical or Protestant hymnal, but this without definite grounds, bears the title: Etlich Christlich lider, Lobgesang und Psalm, dem rainen wort Gottes gemess aus der heyliegen schrifft durch mancherley hoch gelerter gemacht, in der Kirchen zu singen, wie es dann zum teyl berayt zu Wittenberg in ubung iSt. Wittenberg, 1524. There is no question relative to the date 1524, but German scholars state that the style of this title definitely establishes the fact that it was not a Wittenberg publication, but South German in origin, probably at Nurnberg. This book is known as the Achtliederbuch and contains four of Luther’s hymns; the first four in the foregoing liSt. The second of these books appeared in 1524 at Erfurt. Its title is: Eyn Enchiridion oder Handbuchlein, einem ytzlichen Christen fast nutzlitch bey sich zu haben, zur stetter ubung und trachtung geystlicher geseng und Psalmen, Rechtschaffen und Kunstlich verteutscht. 1524. Gedruckt zu erfurd yn der Parmentergassen, zum Ferbefass. This book is known as the Erfurter Enchiridion; it contains twenty-five hymns, eighteen of which are Luther’s, number one to eighteen in the foregoing list. The book does not bear the name of any editor nor does its Preface have any name connected with it. Both book and Preface have been ascribed to Luther; it would seem that this would not be borne out because Luther signed the Prefaces that he wrote and is known to have resented anonymous and unauthorized publication of his own hymns. But the editor and writer of the Preface of the Enchiridion, whoever he may have been, has given this book an original character. It was issued in order to give the congregation, — the common people, — opportunity and means to familiarize themselves with the songs sung in church, so that they would understand what would be going on there. This book may, ,therefore, be looked upon as a hymnal for household and private use primarily and not necessarily or distinctively congregational.
In 1529 Luther prepared the second hymn book and wrote a new Preface for it. The title of this book is: Geistliche Lieder auffs new gebessert zu Wittemberg. D. Mar. Luther. 1529. Gedruckt zu Wittenberg durch Joseph Klug, 1529.
This is the Klug Gesangbuch. It contained fifty-four numbers of which twenty-eight were Luther hymns. In addition to the twenty-four of the Wittenberg Walther Book, the following new hymns were printed here for the first time: Verleih uns Frieden gnadiglich Jesaia dem Propheten das geschah Herr Gott, dich loben wir Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott Thirteen years later another booklet issued from the Klug press bearing Luther’s name and the longest hymn book Preface which he ever wrote.
The title of this booklet is: Christliche Geseng Lateinisch und Deudsch, zum Begrebuis. D. Martinus Luther. Witternberg, Anno 1542. Gedruckt durch Joseph Klug. Although this did not contain any new hymns it, nevertheless, is unique. It is probably the first hymnal ever prepared for this distinctive and specifically limited use; namely, in connection with the Burial of the Dead. It is the first evangelical collection of this character and must ever be outstanding on account of the explicitness and doctrinal character of its Preface. And the collection of Epitaphs both in direct quotations from Holy Scriptures and in versified form is by no means the least part of Luther’s contribution to this particular use. The booklet contains the following Luther hymns: Aus tiefer Noth Mitten wir im leben sind Wir glauben all Mir Fried und Freud Nun bitten wit den heiligen Geist The only other hymns in the booklet were Michael Weiss’, Nun lass uns den Leib begraben, and the Latin hymn of Aurelius Prudentius, Iam moesta quiesce querela.
The last authorized Luther hymnal appeared in 1545. The title is: Geystliche Lieder. Mit einer newen vorrhede. D. Mart. Luth. Leipzig. At the end of the book is the following colophon: Gedruckt zu Leipzig, durch Valentin Babst, in der Ritterstrassen. 1545.
This is quite a good sized book. It is in two parts. The first contains eightynine hymns with many interspersed prayers, in many cases German translations of proper Collects. After number 80 in this first part there follows a complete reprinting of Luther’s Christliche Geseng Lateinisch und Deudsch zum Begrebnis, including the Preface to that booklet.
Number 37 is Die deutsche Litaney and number 38 is the Latina Litania Correcta. The second part includes forty numbers. There are many interesting full page wood cuts and every page is surrounded by an ornamental border. In his Preface, Luther refers to the pains the printer had taken to make this hymnal attractive. He certainly succeeded. It is not only artistic but a beautiful specimen of the printer’s art in those early days. The book includes all the Luther hymns already noted in connection with the earlier hymnals, and in addition eight others as follows: Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her Sie ist mir lieb, die werte Magd Vater unser im Himmelreich Was furchst du, Feind Herodes, sehr Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar Der du bist drei in Einigkeit.
Geystliche Gesangk Buchleyn W. Ed., 35:474 B. 8:3 Wa: 10:1722 Geistliche Lieder auffs neu gebessert W. Ed., 35:475 B. 8:7 Wa: 10:1726 Christlithe Gesang Lateinisch und Deutsch zum Begrebnis W. Ed., 35:478 B. 8:9 Geistliche Lieder W. Ed. 35:476 B. 8:16 Wa: 10:1724 See also: Koch, E. E., Geschichte d. Kirchenlieds u. Kirchengesangs, 3d Ed.
Wackernagel, Ph., Das deutsche Kirchenlied.
Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology.
PAUL ZELLER STRODACH GEYSTLICHE GESANGK BUCHLEYN WITTEMBERG
Commonly spoken of as the Walther’sche Chorgesangbuchlein
SPIRITUAL HYMN BOOKLET
PREFACE BY MARTIN LUTHER
That the singing of spiritual hymns is a goodly thing and pleasing to God, I do not think is hidden from any Christian, since everyone is aware not only of the example of the kings and prophets in the Old Testament, (who praised God with singing and playing, with poesy and all manner of string music), but also of the universality of this custom in Christendom from the beginning, especially psalm singing. Indeed, St. Paul also instituted this in 1 Corinthians 14:15, and exhorted the Colossians 3:16 to sing spiritual songs and psalms heartily unto the Lord in order that God’s Word and Christian teaching might be propagated by this means and practiced in every way.
Therefore, together with some others, I, too, have collected some spiritual songs as a fair beginning and to offer this as an example and an incentive to those who are better able to do this, in order that the Holy Gospel may be fostered and brought into use, so that we, too, may boast, as does Moses in his song ( Exodus 15:1), that Christ is our praise and song, and that we should know nothing either to sing or to say, save Jesus Christ, our Savior, as St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:2.
And these [songs] are arranged in four parts for no other reason than that I greatly desire the youth, who certainly should and must be trained in music and other proper and useful arts, to have something whereby they may be weaned away and freed from the love ballads and worldly (carnal) songs, and instead of these learn something wholesome and beneficial, and take up good things with enthusiasm, as is proper for the youth. Furthermore I am not of the opinion that all arts are to be cast down and destroyed on account of the Gospel, as some fanatics protest; on the other hand I would gladly see all arts, especially music, in the service of Him who has given and created them. I therefore pray that every pious Christian may be pleased with this, and if God has given him greater or equal gifts in such things, help [this good cause]. Even apart from this, unhappily, all the world is all to negligent and indifferent in teaching and training the youth that one may not be permitted to be the first of all to offer an incentive in this direction. God grant us His grace. Amen.
GEISTLICHE LIEDER AUFFS NEU GEBESSERT ZU WITTEMBERG D. MAR. LUTHER Gedruckt zu Wittemberg durch Joseph Klug SPIRITUAL HYMNS NEWLY REVISED AT WITTEMBERG D(octor) Mar(tin) Luther Printed at Wittemberg by Joseph Klug A New Preface by Martin Luther Now some individuals have shown themselves to be rather clever and have enlarged and revised the hymns to such a degree that they have far surpassed me and they certainly are my masters in this sort of thing. But at the same time they have added very little of worth to the others. And since I realize that this daily, indiscriminate revising and supplementing, according to each individual’s fancy, will reach no other end than that the longer our first hymns are printed the more false they will be in comparison with the originals, I fear the same thing will happen ultimately to this little book as has been the fate of good books in all times, namely, that it will be completely submerged by the additions of bungling heads and made a desolate thing so that the good in it will be lost and only the good for nothing will be kept in use. Just as we see in the first chapter of St. Luke, that at the beginning every one wanted to write gospels until one had all but lost the true gospel among so many gospels. The same thing happened to St. Jerome’s and St. Augustine’s books. Well, you’ll always find mice dirt mixed with the pepper!
In order that we may be protected as much as possible against such an experience in the future, I have gone over this entire booklet once more and have arranged our own hymns in order by themselves and have printed the name in connection with them, something which I refrained from doing previously on account of the distinction or fame but now am driven to this by necessity so that strange and unfit hymns will not be sold under cover of our name. Then after these we have added the others which we consider the best and useful.
I beg and admonish all who love the pure word [more than those who are guilty of such questionable practices], that in the future they will not attempt to improve or enlarge our little book without our knowledge and permission. But where it has been “improved” without our knowledge, let it be known that such is not the little book which was published by us at Wittenberg. Surely every one can get together his own booklet of hymns to suit himself and leave ours alone, just as it is, unaugmented, as we beg, desire, and herewith declare that this is our wish. For we are zealous to preserve our treasure in the value in which we hold it,-not grudging any one the privilege of making a better one for himself, — in order that God’s name alone be praised and our name be not sought after. Amen.
CHRISTLICHE GESENG LATEINISCH UND DEUTSCH, ZUM BEGREBNIS D. MARTINUS LUTHER Wittenberg, Anno Gedruckt dutch Joseph Klug CHRISTIAN SONGS LATIN AND GERMAN, FOR USE AT FUNERALS D. Martinus Luther Wittenberg, Anno Printed by Joseph Klug To the Christian Reader. D. Mart. Luther.
Christian Songs, Latin and German, for use at Funerals.
St. Paul writes to those at Thessalonica [ 1 Thessalonians 4:13], that they should not sorrow over the dead as the others who have no hope, but that they should comfort themselves with God’s Word, as those who possess sure hope of eternal life and the resurrection of the dead. For it is no wonder that those who have no hope grieve; nor can they be blamed for this. Since they are beyond the pale of the faith in Christ they either must cherish this temporal life alone and love it and be unwilling to lose it, or store up for themselves, after this life, eternal death and the wrath of God in hell, and go there unwillingly. But we Christians, who have been redeemed from all this through the precious blood of God’s Son, should train and accustom ourselves in faith to despise death and regard it as a deep, strong, sweet sleep; to consider the coffin as nothing other than our Lord Jesus’ bosom or Paradise, the grave as nothing other than a soft couch of ease or rest. As verily, before God, it truly is just this; for he testifies, John 11:21: Lazarus, our friend sleeps; Matthew 9:24: The maiden is not dead, she sleeps. Thus, too, St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:1, removes from sight all hateful aspects of death as related to our mortal body and brings forward nothing but charming and joyful aspects of the promised life. He says there [vv. 42ff]: It is sown in corruption and will rise in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor (that is, a hateful, shameful form) and will rise in glory; it is sown in weakness and will rise in strength; it is sown a natural body and will rise a spiritual body.
Accordingly we have driven the pestilential abominations from our churches, such as vigils, masses for the dead, processions, purgatory, and all other mockery and hocus pocus on behalf of the dead. We have abolished all these and have cleaned them out thoroughly and do not want our churches to be houses of wailing and places of mourning any longer, but koemiteria, as the old fathers were wont to call them, that is, dormitories and resting places. No or-r do-we sing any funereal hymns doleful songs over our dead and at the graves,-but comforting hymns, of the forgiveness of sins, of rest, of sleep, of life, and of the resurrection of Christians who have died, in order that our faith may be strengthened and the people may be moved to proper devotion.
For it is also meet and right that one conduct and carry out the burials decently and fittingly in praise and honor of that joyful article of our faith, namely that of the resurrection of the dead, and in defiance and contempt of that dreadful enemy, death, who incessantly devours us so shamefully in all manner of terrible and ghastly forms and ways. Thus, we read the holy patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc., conducted their burials with much splendor and left very explicit directions concerning them. Later the kings of Judah made great show and pomp over the dead, accompanying this with costly incense composed of all kinds of goodly, precious herbs; all of this was done to smother stinking, shameful death and to praise and confess the resurrection of the dead, so that the weak in faith and the sorrowful might be comforted thereby. Hereto, also, belong the customs which the Christians practiced heretofor and which they continue to practice in connection with the dead and their graves, namely that they are carried forth in splendor, decked beautifully, sung over, and adorned with grave markers. All is to be done for the sake of this article of the resurrection to the end that it be founded in us firmly, for it is our final, blessed, eternal comfort and joy against death, hell, devil and all sorrow.
As a good example to serve to this end we have chosen fine musical settings or songs which are used in the papacy at vigils, masses for the dead, and funerals. Some of these we have had printed in this little book, and purpose in the future to choose more of them, — or whoever is better able than we, can; — but we have substituted other texts to these settings in order to honor our article concerning the resurrection and not to honor purgatory with its torment and satisfaction, on account of which their dead can neither sleep nor rest. The songs and the notes are precious; it would be a shame and a loss were they to disappear; but the texts or words are unchristian, unfit and absurd; these should perish. In the same way they far outstrip us in all other directions they have the most beautiful services, beautiful, splendid cathedrals and cloisters, but the preaching and the teaching which they practice in these in greater part serve the devil and blaspheme God. For he is the world’s prince and god, therefore he must have the most elegant, the best and the most beautiful. They also possess costly, golden and silver monstrances and pictures, embellished with rich ornaments and precious stones, but within are dead bones, quite as probably from the cadavers of the flaying-ground as from other places.
They have costly vestments, chasubles, palliums, copes, caps, miters, but who is under these or clothed in these? Lazy bellies, evil wolves, godless hogs, who persecute and blaspheme God’s Word.
And indeed they also possess many admirable, beautiful musical compositions or songs, especially in the cathedral and parish churches, but they have “beautified” them with many obscene, idolatrous, superstitious texts. Therefore, we have removed such idolatrous, dead and dumb texts, separating them from the noble music, and in their stead we have set the living, holy Word of God, to sing, to praise, to glorify With the same, so that this beautiful ornament, music, may, in proper use, serve her dear Creator and His Christians so that He be praised and honored thereby, but we, through the Holy Word united with sweet song, may be incited and confirmed and strengthened in faith. To this help us God and Father together with the Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
But it is not our opinion or intention that these precise notes must be sung, just as they are, in all churches; let every church use its notes according to its own book and usage. For I myself do not hear gladly when the notes of a responsory or song have been changed and it is sung among us in a different way from that to which I was accustomed in my youth.
If it is desired to honor the graves in additional ways, it would be fitting to carve or write (paint) good epitaphs on the walls (when there are such) or verses from Holy Scripture, so that they may be present before the eyes of those who go to the funeral or to the church-yard; namely these or the like:
He has fallen asleep with his fathers and has been gathered to his people.
I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will waken me out of the earth and I will go about in my body and in my flesh will I see God.
I laid down and slept and awaked, for the Lord kept me. I lay me down and sleep wholly in peace.
I will behold thy countenance in righteousness; I will be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness.
God will redeem my soul from the power of hell, because he has accepted me.
The death of his holy ones is held precious before the Lord.
The Lord will remove in this mountain the covering with which all peoples are covered, and the veil (lid) with which all holy ones are shrouded; for he will devour death eternally.
The dead shall live and rise with the body. Awake and: sing ye who lie under the earth, for thy dew is the dew of the green field.
Enter, O my people, into thy chamber and close the door: after thee; hide thyself a small moment until the wrath be passed over.
The righteous will be snatched away from the calamity,: and they who have walked uprightly shall enter into peace and rest in their chambers.
Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will open your graves, and: fetch you, O my people, out of the same.
Many who lie sleeping under the earth will awake, some: to everlasting life, some to everlasting dishonor and shame.
I will redeem them from hell and rescue them from death; O death, I will be a poison unto you; O hell, I will be a pestilence to you.
I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the: God of Jacob. But God is not a God of the dead but of the living.
This is the will of the Father, who hath sent me, that I: should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but that I shall raise it up at the last day.
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes on me, that one shall live, even though he should die forthwith. And he who lives and believes on me, that one will never die.
No one lives to himself and no one dies to himself. If we live, then we live unto the Lord; if we die, then we die unto the Lord. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ also died and rose and became alive again, so that he might become Lord over the dead and the living.
If we hope in Christ only in this life, then we are the most miserable among all people.
As in Adam they all die, thus, too, in Christ they all will be made living.
Death is swallowed up in the victory. Death, where is thy sting? Hell, where is thy victory? But the sting of death is sin, but the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is my life, and death is my prize.
If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so shall God also lead with him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.
Such verses and inscriptions will ornament the churchyard better than other worldly symbols, — shield, helmet, etc. If any one were able and had the desire to put such verses into good rhymes, this would be an advantage: they would be remembered more easily and read more gladly. For rhyme or verse make excellent sentences or proverbs, more gladly used than other smooth-flowing words. [Then follow two versifications of St. Luke 2:1, the Nunc Dimittis, a versification of St. John 11:1: The Resurrection and the Life; and a versification of <181901>Job 19:1.] THE GERMAN SONGS: MIR FRIED UND FREUD, WIR GLAUBEN ALL AN EINEN, NU BITTEN WIR DEN HEILIGEN, NU LASZT UNS DEN LEIB, ETC., MAY BE SUNG ONE AFTER THE OTHER AS ONE RETURNS HOMEWARD FROM THE BURIAL; IN THE SAME WAY, ONE MAY USE THE LATIN SONGS: ]AM MOESTA QUIESCE, F399 SI ENIM CREDIMUS, F400 CORPORA SANCTORUM, F401 IN PACE SUMUS, F402 ETC.
GEISTLICHE LIEDER Mit einer neuen Vorrede D. Martin Luthers WARNUNG Viel falscher Meister itzt Lieder dichten.
Siehe dich fur, und lern sie recht richten.
Wo Gott hin bawet sein Kirch und sein wort Da will der Teufel sein mit Trug und Mord.
LEIPZIG (At the end of the book:) Gedruckt zu Leipzig, durch Valentin Babst in der Ritterstrassen
SPIRITUAL HYMNS WITH A NEW PREFACE BY D. MARTIN LUTHER
Warning Many false masters now hymns indite.
Be on your guard and judge them aright.
Where God establishes His Church and Word There comes the devil with lie and sword.
LEIPZIG (At the end of the book:) Printed at Leipzig, by Valentin Bapst in the Ritterstrassen PREFACE BY D. MART. LUTH. Psalm 96:1 declares: Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth! Divine service in the Old Covenant, under the law of Moses, was very burdensome and laborious, since the people were compelled to offer so many and various sacrifices of all they possessed, both in house and field, — a duty which the people, who were lazy and avaricious, performed very unwillingly or else did it all only to gain temporal benefits.
Just as the prophet Malachi asks in the first chapter: Who is there among you who would close a door for nothing? or kindle a light on my altar for nothing? Now where such a corrupt, unwilling heart exists, it is impossible to sing anything at all or at best nothing good. The heart and mood must be joyful and cheerful if one is to sing. Therefore, God rejected such corrupt and unwilling service, as He Himself says: I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord Sabaoth; and your meat offerings are not acceptable to me at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to its going down, my name is glorious among the heathen, and at all places incense and a pure meat offering are offered to my name. For my name is great among the heathen, saith the Lord Sabaoth. f405 Now there is a better service of God in the New Covenant; of this the Psalm speaks in this passage: Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth! For God has made our heart and spirit joyful through his dear Son, whom he offered for us to redeem us from sin, death, and devil.
He who earnestly believes this cannot keep quiet about it; he must sing about it joyfully and exult over it and speak about it so that others also hear and come to it. But he who does not want to sing and speak about it, well, this is plain evidence that he does not believe it and does not belong in the new, joyful Covenant but in the old, corrupt, joyless Covenant [which does not possess or offer much cause for singing].
Therefore, the printers are doing a very commendable work when they print good hymns industriously and make them attractive to the people with all manner of ornamentation, to the end that they may be incited to this joy in believing and gladly sing. In such very pleasing fashion this book of Valtin Bapst has been prepared. God grant that by means of this (book) great losses and harm may happen to the Roman Pope who has caused nothing but howling, mourning, and sorrow in all the world through his damned, insufferable, and miserable laws. Amen.
But I must also give this warning: The hymn, which is sung at the grave, Nun laszt uns den Leib begraben, bears my name; but it is not mine, and hereafter my name is not to be connected with it. Not that I condemn it, for it pleases me very much, and a good poet wrote it, one named Johann Weiss, only he erred a bit being somewhat visionary about the Sacrament; — but I will not palm off any one’s work as my own. And in De profundis the reading should be: Des muss dich furchten Jedermann.
Whether by mistake or deliberately in most books the reading is made to be: Des muss sich furchten Jedermann. Ut timearis; for the idiom is Hebraic, as Matthew 15:9, In vain they fear (worship) me with human teaching; in Psalm 14:4f and Psalm 53:5f: They do not call on the Lord; there they fear, where there is no need to fear. That is, they know much humility, bending, and bowing in their worship, in which sort of thing I do not want any worship. So, too, this meaning is here: Since forgiveness of sins cannot be found anywhere except with Thee, they must do away with all of their idolatry, and with willing heart, bow and bend before Thee, crawl to the Cross, and hold Thee only in glory and honor, find refuge in Thee, and serve Thee as those who live by Thy grace and not by their own righteousness, etc.
LUTHER’S HYMNS BRIEFLY ANNOTATED Ein newes Lied wir heben an Title : A new hymn about the two martyrs of Christ who were burned at Brussels by the Louvain Sophists. Written late 1523 or early 1524.
The occasion: Two Antwerp Augustinians, Henricus Vos and Johannes van den Esschen, after being tried before the Inquisition on account of their adherence to Luther’s teachings and on their refusal to recant were burned publicly in the Market Place at Brussels.
See Weimar Edition, 35: 91ff; also 12: 73ff. Buchwald Ed. 8:23ff. Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, 326.
An original hymn in the narrative or story form and typic of the mediaeval folksong narrative, a style made popular by the ministrels.
In Wittenberg-Walther (Witt-W) Erfurd Enchiridion (Er-En) Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein Title : A hymn of thanksgiving for the highest blessings which God has shown us in Christ.
First appeared in 1523; in hymnal, 1524; written probably in 1523.
See W. Ed. 35:133 and 422ff. B.8:27ff. Julian, 821, Kirchenbuch, No. 268.
An original hymn.
In Witt-W; Er-En; Achtliederbuch (Acht) Ach Gott yore Himreel sieh darein Title : The 12 Psalm.
Appeared first 1524; Written probably prior to Jan. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:109ff and 415f. B.8:30ff. Julian, 9. Kirchenbuch, No. 170.
Free versification of a Psalm.
In Witt-W; Er-En; Acht. Es spricht der Unweisen Mund Title : The 14 Psalm.
Appeared first 1524; written probably prior to Jan. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35: 121ff and 441f. B.8: 32ff. Julian, 354.
Versification of a Psalm; admitted one of Luther’s weakest hymns.
In Witt-W; Er-En; Acht. Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir Title : The 130 Psalm.
Appeared first 1524; written probably prior to Jan. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:97ff and 421f. B.8:34ff. Julian, 96. Kirchenbuch, No. 248.
Free versification of a Psalm; one of Luther’s finest hymns, much loved and used.
In Witt-W; Er-En; Acht. Es wollt uns Gott genadig sein Title : The 67 Psalm.
Appeared first 1524; written probably Dec. 1523.
See W. Ed. 35:123ff and 418f. B.8:36f. Julian, 355. Kirchenbuch, No. 204.
Free versification of a Psalm.
In Witt-W; Er-En.
In one of the Wittenberg editions of Paul Speratus’ translation of Luther’s Formula Missae (Ein weyse Christlich Mess zu halten) this hymn is printed together with John Agricola’s Frolich wollen wit Alleluia singen, and is considered as being the first “closing hymn” of the Lutheran Chief Service. Wohl dem der in Gottes furcht steht Title : The 128 Psalm.
Written probably 1524; appeared first the same year. See W. Ed. 35:125 and 437f. B. 8:37f. Julian, 1291. Kirchenbuch, No. 344.
Free versification of a Psalm.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Gelobet seist du Jesus Christ Title : A song of praise on the Birth of Christ.
Written probably about Christmas, 1523; appeared first 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:147ff and 434f. B.8:38f. Julian, 408. Kirchenbuch, No. 33.
Based on the Latin Sequence, Grates nunc omnes reddamus, authorship of which is uncertain. For text see Daniel, Thesaurus hymnologicus, 2:5.
A Christmas hymn.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Jesus Christus, unser Helland, der yon uns den Gottes zorn wandt Title : The hymn of St. John Huss, improved.
See W. Ed. 35:142ff and 435f. B.8:40f. Julian, 598. Kirchenbuch, No. 234.
Virtually an original hymn; inspired merely by the hymn of John Huss.
For comparison: The Huss hymn, Jesus Christus, nostra salus see text W. above. Cf. Julian, 598.
For Holy Communion. Gott sei £elobet und gebenediet Title : The song, God be praised. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:181ff and 452f. B.8:42. Julian, 444. Kirchenbuch, No. 243.
Probable inspiration a pre-Reformation sentence-hymn beginning with the same words. This referred to in the Form. Miss.
In Witt-W; Er-En.
For Holy Communion. Mitten wir im Leben sind Title : The song of praise, In the midst of life we are The first half of 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:126 and 453f. B.8:43ff. Julian, 721. Kirchenbuch, No. 539.
Based on the Latin Antiphon, Media vita in morte sumus, whose authorship is ascribed by tradition to Notker. See Julian, 720.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Jesus Christ unser Helland der den Tod uberwand Title : A song of praise on the Easter Festival. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:160 and 445. B.8:45. Julian, 598. Kirchenbuch, No. 103.
An original hymn.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Christ lag in Todesbanden Title : The song of praise, Christ is risen, improved. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:155 and 443f. B.8:46. Julian, 225. Kirchenbuch, No. 102.
Virtually an original hymn, although inspired by the early spiritual folksong, Christ ist erstanden, of the 12th century. See Julian, 225.
Stanzas 4 and 5 show evident traces of the Latin Sequence, Victimae paschali laudes; for which see Julian, 1222f.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Nun komen der Heiden Heiland Title : The hymn, Now come, Savior of the Gentiles. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:149 and 430f. B.8: 48f. Julian, 1212. Not in Kirchenbueh.
A translation of the Latin hymn, Veni redemptor gentium, by Ambrose.
Text, Daniel 1:10. Cf. B.8:49; Julian 1211.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Christum wir sollen loben schon (schon) Title : The hymn, From the rising of the sun. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35: 150 and 431f. B.8: 50f. Julian, 4. Not in Kirchenbuch.
A free translation of the Latin hymn, A solis ortus cardine, by Sedulius.
Text, Daniel 1:119; cf. Julian, 4.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott Title : The song, Come Holy Spirit. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:165ff and 448f. B. 8:51f. Julian, 631. Kirchenbuch, No. 140.
First stanza based on a pre-Reformation German sentence and the 11 Cent.
Antiphon, Veni Sancte Spiritus. See Daniel II, 315; Julian, 631, 1215.
Stanzas 2 and 3 original.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Komm, Gott Schopfer, heilger Geist Title : The hymn, Come Creator. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:161ff and 446f. B.8:52f. Julian, 1209. Kirchenbuch, No. 141.
Translation of the Latin hymn, Veni creator Spiritus, on which see Daniel 1:213; B.8:53; Julian, 1206.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Dies sind die heiligen zehn Gebot Title : The ten commandments of God to the tune, In Gottes Namen fahren wir. — (A 14 century folksong sung on pilgrimages). 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:135ff and 426ff. B.8:55f. Julian, 301, Kirchenbuch, No. 212.
A catechetical hymn.
In Witt-W; Er-En. Wir glauben all an einen Gott Title : The German Confession of Faith. Another: The German Patrem. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:172ff and 451f. B.8:57f. Julian, 1287. Kirchenbuch, No. 269.
Versification of the Nic. — Constan. Creed. Appointed in the Deudsche Messe, 1526. See B.7:187.
In Witt-W. Gott der Vater wohn uns bei Title : God the Father be with us 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:177 and 450. B.8:58f. Julian, 443. Kirchenbuch, No. 414.
Probably inspired by old German spiritual folksong addressed to the B. V.
M. and various saints.
In Witt-W. Mir Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin Title : The song of praise of Simeon, Now do thou dismiss. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:154 and 438ff. B.8:60. Julian, 760. Kirchenbuch, No. 540.
Free versification of the Nunc Dimittis.
In Witt-W. Mensch, wilt du leben seliglich Title : The Ten Commandments, as brief as possible. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:135ff and 428f. B.8:61. Julian, 724.
Not in Kirchenbuch.
The second of Luther’s hymns on the Ten Commandments and a much shorter hymn. Catechetical.
In Witt-W. War Gott nicht mir uns diese zeit Title : The 124 Psalm.
See W. Ed. 35:124 and 440. B.8: 62. Julian, 1232. Kirchenbuch, No. 189.
Versification of a Psalm.
In Witt-W. Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist Title : The song of praise, Now pray we the Holy Spirit. 1524.
See W. Ed. 35:163 and 447f. B.8:63. Julian, 821. Kirchenbuch, No. 139.
Based on an old German sentence hymn beginning with the same words, in popular use before Reformation times. Stanzas 2, 3 and 4 original.
Referred to by Luther in the Form. Miss.
In Witt-W. Verleih uns Frieden gnadiglich Title : Give peace, Lord, — in German. 1529.
See W. Ed. 35:232ff and 458. B.8:64. Julian, 275. Kirchenbuch, No. 535.
Appeared first in prose form, then metrical, the inspiration being a German pre-Reformation prose form and the Latin Antiphon, Da pacem Domine, — 6-7 centuries. Text, Julian, 275.
In Klug, Gesangbuch, 1529. Jesaia dem Propheten dos geschah Title : The German Sanctus. 1526.
See W. Ed. 35:230ff and 455. B.8:64f. Julian, 584. Kirchenbuch, No. 441.
Probably written for use in the Deudsche Messe of 1526. See B.7:192. A versification of the Sanctus in the Communion Office.
First in Deudsche Messe, 1526; then Erfurt Gesangb., 1527. Herr Gott dich loben wir Title : Te deum laudamus. 1528-1529.
See W. Ed. 35:249ff and 458f. B.8:65f. Julian, 1134. Kirchenbuch, No. 440.
Versification of the Te deum. Text, B.8:67f; Julian, 1119ff.
In Klug, 1529. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott Title : The 46 Psalm. 1527-1528.
See W. Ed. 35:185ff and 455ff. B.8:68ff. Julian, 322ff. Kirchenbuch, No. 192.
Versification of a Psalm. Luther’s greatest hymn.
First probably as a broad-sheet publication almost immediately after composition.
First hymnal, Weiss, Witt. Gesangb., 1528; then Klug, 1529; and Blum, Enchiridion, 1529, for which the claim is advanced that this is the first hymnal in which the hymn appears in High German. Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her Title : A children’s hymn for Christ’s Holy Night.
Bet. 1533 and 1535.
See W. Ed. 35:258ff and 459ff. B.8:71ff. Julian, 1227. Kirchenbuch, No. 35.
In Klug, Geist. Lied., 1535. Sie ist mir lieb die werte Magd Title : A hymn concerning the Holy Christian Church out of the 12th chapter of the Revelation. 1535.
See W. Ed. 35: 254ff and 462f. B.8: 73f. Julian, 1057. Kirchenbuch, No. 172.
In Klug, 1535. Vater unser im Himmelreich Title : The Our Father briefly explained and put into form for singing. 1538 end or early 1539.
See W. Ed. 35: 270ff and 463ff. B.8: 74fl. Julian, 1205. Kirchenbuch, No. 417.
Versification of the Lord’s Prayer. Numerous pre-Reformation examples.
In Schumann, Geist. Lied., 1539. Was furchtst du, Feind Herodes, sehr Title : The hymn, The enemy Herod, to the tune A solis ortus, etc.
Dec. 12, 1541.
See W. Ed. 35:267f and 470f. B.8:76f. Julian, 5. Kirchenbuch, No. 55.
Based on the Latin hymn, Hostis Herodes impie, by Sedulius. See Daniel 1:120; Julian, 4.
In Klug, Gesangb., 1543. Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam Title : A spiritual hymn concerning our holy baptism, wherein is comprehended briefly: What it is; who instituted it; and what good it does; etc. 1541.
See W. Ed. 35:281ff and 468ff. B.8:78ff. Julian, 226. Not in Kirchenbuch.
Hymn on Baptism.
Printed as broad-sheet, 1541; then in later books. Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort Title : A children’s hymn, to be sung against the two archenemies of Christ and His Holy Church, the pope and the Turks, etc. 1541 — uncertain — 1542.
See W. Ed. 35:235ff and 467f. B.8:80. Julian, 352. Kirchenbuch, No. 193.
First as broadsheet, 1542. Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar Title : Another hymn of Christ (Christmas hymn), to the former tune (i.e. Vom Himmel hoch).
Cir. Christmas, 1542.
See W. Ed. 35:264ff and 471ff. B.8:81. Julian, 1227. Kirchenbuch, No. 37.
Klug, 1543. Der du bist drei in Einigkeit Title : The hymn, O glorious Light, germanized. 1543.
See W. Ed. 35:285ff and 473. B.8: 82. Julian, 843. Kirchenbuch, No. 498.
Translation of the Latin hymn, O lux beata, trinitas. See Daniel 1:26.
B.8:82. Julian, 842.