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About Sunday’s Music – Septuagesima

Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone

The HYMN OF THE DAY, “Salvation Unto Us Has Come” (555), is one of the oldest core Lutheran chorales.  Written by Pastor Paul Speratus (1484-1551) in 1523, it was included in the first Lutheran hymnal Etlich Christlich lider, also known as the Achtliederbuch (“Eight Song Book”) of 1524.  In its first printing, it was described as “a hymn of Law and Faith, Powerfully Furnished with God’s Word.”

Originally in fourteen stanzas, in our current version it sets forth the doctrine of justification, man’s bondage to sin under the Law (stanzas 2-4), the work of Christ for salvation (stanzas 5-6), the Christian life, and rendering praise to the Triune God for His great work.


Speratus was forced to leave several parishes because of his evangelical views.  Eventually he came to Wittenberg and associated with Luther.  He became pastor in Königsberg and served as the Lutheran bishop of Pomerania until his death.



The PRELUDE is a setting of this hymn by Max Reger (1873-1916) (Opus 67, Number 10).  Reger’s compositions are examples of the Romantic period in German organ music.  Notice the thick texture and chromatic chords in today’s prelude.  His career was spent in Leipzig, Meiningen, and Jena.  A skilled organist, pianist, and teacher, he composed for choir, organ, piano, and orchestra.

The lessons are Exodus 17.1–7; 1 Corinthians 9.24—10.5; and St. Matthew 20.1–16.
The hymns are: 724 If God Himself Be For Me
555 Salvation Unto Us Has Come
TLH 267 If God Had Not Been on Our Side
566 By Grace I’m Saved
640 Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior

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