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About Sunday’s Music – Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity

Preserve to us ‘til life is spent, Thy Holy Word and Sacrament   The HYMN OF THE DAY, “O Faithful God, Thanks Be to Thee” (The Lutheran Hymnal 321; insert) is by Nikolaus Selnecker (1532-1592) and was printed in the Drey Predigten in Heinrichstadt in 1572.  It was one of six hymns in this collection on the catechism.  The hymn was first described: “How one may find comfort in the blessed absolution.”

   Selnecker studied at Wittenberg with Philip Melanchthon.  A staunch defender of the newly-rediscovered Gospel during the Reformation era, Selnecker was often involved in doctrinal controversy as he sought to defend true teaching against the Roman Church on the one hand and the Calvinists on the other.  Numerous times, he was forced to leave a position because of his Lutheran confession.  Selnecker, together with Martin Chemnitz and Jacob Andreae, prepared the Formula of Concord in 1577.

   In addition to his important theological contributions to the history of Christian doctrine, Selnecker at times served as an organist and choir director.  He wrote 150 hymns, including “Lord Jesus Christ, With Us Abide” and “Let Me Be Thine Forever.”

   Our Lord has forgiven all our debt.  When overwhelmed by sin, we flee to His gift of absolution: “Thy servant now declares to me: ‘Thy sins are all forgiven thee. Depart in peace, but sin no more, And e’er my pardoning grace adore.’”

The lessons are Micah 6.6–8; Philippians 1.3–11; and St. Matthew 18.21–35.
The hymns are 647 Lord Jesus Christ, the Church’s Head
TLH 321 O Faithful God, Thanks Be to Thee
582 God’s Word is Our Great Heritage
569 In Adam We Have All Been One
645 Built on the Rock
559 Oh, How Great Is Your Compassion
656 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Prelude: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God -D. Buxtehude
Choral Voluntary: We All Believe in One True God -M. Vulpius

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