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About Sunday’s Music – Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity

My Heart’s Delight, My Crown Most Bright, O Christ, My Joy Forever!  The HYMN OF THE DAY, “Seek Where Ye May to Find a Way” (557) is by George Weissel (1590-1635), a pastor in Königsberg, Prussia. His wonderful hymn describes the Gospel of Christ as the only way for our salvation. The Pharisees looked for their righteousness in the observance of the Law (in this case, the Sabbath), while Jesus fulfilled the law of love on our behalf to heal us. They hymn is full of great dogmatic assertions, such as “His Word is sure, / His works endure,” and “We’re justified / Because He died.” The entire hymn is didactic, that is, it teaches and applies dogmatic truths to our souls. Who is this Jesus? “The God-man and none other.” He is the One Who serves us as our King, and His goal is to lead us all to heaven.                       –Rev. Mark Preus, St. Andrew’s—Laramie, WY

Word Made Flesh, the bread He taketh, By His Word His Flesh to be.  The theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1227-1274) wrote “Now My Tongue, the Mystery Telling” (Hymnal Supplement 852) expressing the joyous mystery of Christ’s incarnation (stanzas 1 and 2); and how the Incarnate Lord institutes His Holy Supper to continue His gracious presence with His people (stanzas 3 and 4).  In thanksgiving, we praise the Triune God for His sacred mystery (stanzas 5 and 6).

It takes the plainsong tune from an earlier and similar Latin text Pange, lingua, gloriosi (“Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle”) by Venantius Fortunatus (520-609).  This plainsong chant tune beautifully carries the sublime text with its message of the holy mystery of the Sacrament of the Altar, and connects us with Christians who sang this confession over a millennium ago.

Translator John Mason Neale (1818-1866) ranked this hymn with several other great medieval Latin hymns: “This hymn contests the second place among those of the Western Church with the Vexilla regis, the Stabat mater, the Jesu dulcis memoria, the Ad regias agni dapes, the Ad supernam, and one or two others, leaving the Dies irae in its unapproachable glory.”

The lessons are Proverbs 25.6–14; Ephesians 4.1–6; St. Luke 14.1–11.
The hymns are: 954 We All Believe in One True God
557 Seek Where Ye May to Find a Way
587 I Know My Faith is Founded
617 O Lord, We Praise Thee
HS 852 Now My Tongue, the Mystery Telling
644 The Church’s One Foundation
585 Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide
Prelude: We All Believe in One True God (BWV 680) -J.S. Bach
Voluntary: We All Believe in One True God -J.G. Walther

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