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 Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621). Sweelinck served as organist of Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, Netherlands for 44 years, where his father, Pieter Swybbertszoon had also served as organist, and where his eldest son, Dirck, would succeed him. Sweelinck is known for his psalm settings published in four volumes. He influenced the north German organ school through his pupils like Jacob Praetorius, Heinrich Scheidemann, Paul Siefert, Samuel Scheidt, and Gottfried Scheidt. He was a consultant on organ building throughout the Netherlands.