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About Sunday’s Music – Tenth Sunday after Trinity

Reconciled and set me free   The HYMN OF THE DAY, “Lord, to You I Make Confession,” (608) tells of how Confession and Absolution changes our status before Our Lord.

I have “chosen for myself my way” – the way that leads to transgression, error, and terror before God.  “Though Your child I dare not call me,” yet when we turn from our will and our way, we confess our sins and receive Our Father’s forgiveness for the sake of His Son, who suffered and died to restore and reconcile us to Our Father.

Christians confess sins to turn from our will to God’s will, and thus are washed clean from sin, receive His pardon. “Make me only Yours forever.”

This hymn is by Johann Franck (1618-1677) and was published in the hymnal Geistliche Kirchenmelodien in 1649.  This hymnal was produced by Johann Crüger (1598-1662), kantor of St. Nicholas Church in Berlin, also the composer of the tune for this hymn.

Franck ranks along with Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) among the great Lutheran hymn writers of his time.  A lawyer by trade, he also developed a love of writing hymns at the University of Königsberg.  At the university, he studied with noted Lutheran hymn writer Simon Dach (1605-1659).  Four of his 110 hymns are included in our hymnal, the most well-known being “Jesus Priceless Treasure” (743).

Our Father, Who From Heaven Above   The ENTRANCE HYMN and CLOSING HYMN (766) is Luther’s catechism hymn on the third chief part, The Our Father.  Written in 1539, it was Luther’s last catechism hymn.  In addition to writing the text, Luther also adapted the tune for use with his words.

Countless settings of Luther’s Our Father hymn have been written for organ, choir, and instruments.  Today’s Prelude, Voluntary, and introductions to the chorale are examples by a variety of composers through the centuries.

The VOLUNTARY is from the collection by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), known as the Orgelbüchlein (“Little Organ Book”), written to demonstrate and teach organ technique and provide organ literature for the liturgical year.  As you listen, notice the pattern in the accompaniment that is followed by a mirror form of the same pattern. You can hear the pattern repeat throughout the piece as the melody is played in the longer notes in the soprano voice.

The lessons are Jeremiah 8.4–12; 1 Corinthians 12.1–11; and St. Luke 19.41–48.

The hymns are: 766 Our Father, Who From Heaven Above – 608 Lord, to You I Make Confession – 607 From Depths of Woe  I Cry to Thee  – 909 Christ is Made the Sure Foundation – 639 Wide Open Stand the Gates

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