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Music for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity

To God all praise and glory!  The HYMN OF THE DAY, “Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good” (819), is Johann Jakob Schütz’s (1640-1690) hymn of our merciful Creator is set to the exuberant tune by famed Lutheran composer Michael Vulpius (c.1560/70-1615). He Who made man also knew that man would need a Savior from his sin. God had placed the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil within Eden (Genesis 2). Though His desire was that man should live, He knew that man would pursue the fruit of the forbidden tree unto death. Thus the Father sent His Son as Savior, Shepherd, Refuge, Rock, Peace, and Salvation for His chosen band. We, who confess Christ’s holy name, continue to sing: “To God all praise and glory!”

–Rev. Thomas E. Lock, Kantor of Trinity—Denver for Logia Online

Kyrie! God Father… O Lord Jesus… O God the Holy Ghost   Today’s PRELUDE is three settings of the chorale (hymn) on the Kyrie, “Kyrie! God Father in Heaven Above” (942).

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) wrote three larger (with pedal) settings of the Kyrie chorale, and three smaller settings (without pedal) in his collection Clavier Übung III (“keyboard exercise”).

The larger and smaller settings of chorales in this collection, which also includes the six catechism chorales, are thought to signify the Large and Small Catechisms of Luther, as Bach confessed the Christian faith as expressed in the Book of Concord, the Confessions of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church.

There are naturally three settings of the Kyrie chorale reflecting the three verses of the hymn, one for each person of the Holy Trinity.

The Kyrie Eleison (“Lord, have mercy”) is always appropriate throughout our lives as Christians as we face challenges of life under the cross.  For this reason, the Kyrie is part of our prayer in the Divine Service, the Daily Office, daily prayer at home, and any time we face tribulation and temptation.

The first setting (beginning around 10:14) of the Kyrie by Bach has the melody in the right hand; the second setting in the left hand (beginning around 10:18); and the third setting in the pedal (beginning around 10:24).

Lord, Help Us Ever To Retain   In recent weeks, we have sung Luther’s catechism hymns in Divine Service.  Today’s DISTRIBUTION HYMN “Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain” (865) is a succinct summary of the six chief parts by Ludwig Helmbold (1532-1598).  Stanza two: God’s holy Law (Commandments) and faith in the Triune God (Creed).  Stanza three: prayer (Our Father) and entrance into the faith (Baptism).  Stanza four sings of Absolution and the Sacrament of the Altar.

The lessons are Genesis 2.7–17; Romans 6.19–23; and St. Mark 8.1–9.
The hymns are: 572 In the Shattered Bliss of Eden
819 Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good
865 Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain
642 O Living Bread from Heaven
646 Church of God, Elect and Glorious
746 Through Jesus’ Blood and Merit
Prelude: Kyrie! God Father in Heaven Above (BWV 669-671) – J.S. Bach
Voluntary: Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain -J.G. Walther
Choral settings of “Sing Praise to God” by Hans Chemin-Petit and Kevin Hildebrand
Catechism: Eighth Commandment

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