Friday, February 26, 2010

What is Starkbierzeit and what does it have to do with Lent?

Lent might be a period of abstinence, but Bavarian monks decided centuries ago that drinking highly alcoholic beer helped their fasting. Thomas Barkley explains Munich's Starkbierzeit tradition.

The end of Fasching, what Bavarian Catholics call Carnival, heralds the beginning of Lent, the Christian season of fasting. Normally considered a period of abstinence, in beer-crazy Bavaria it's time to crack open extra strong Starkbier brews.

Starkbierzeit has become such a fixture of Munich's annual event calendar that locals refer to it as the year's 'fifth season.' The supermarkets are stocked with the strong Doppelbock lager beer brewed only during this time.

The festival hearkens back to the fasting Paulaner monks who brewed the extra strong beer to sustain themselves between Shrove Tuesday and Easter. Today the beer is served only during Lent - but is now quaffed for less pious reasons.

The festivities start on the third Thursday after Ash Wednesday. The first barrel of Triumphator was tapped this year at the Löwenbräukeller on February 25, followed by the other breweries a day later. Beer halls hold special events with traditional dances and music during the following three weeks. Most of the Starkbier revellers head to the Nockerberg to sample a couple of Maß (a one litre mug) of Paulaner’s Salvator. But if you want to dodge the crowds it is worthwhile to check out some of the other beer halls in town.

Since Munich’s Oktoberfest has become mobbed with tourists from around the world, many Munich residents have started retreating to the Starkbier festival. Just as at the Wiesn, plenty of visitors dress up in traditional Bavarian dirndl dress and lederhosen. A slightly less conventional type of leather trousers will be on display at the gay event sponsored the Munich Leather Club (MLC) at the Augustinerkeller.

Several stouts are brewed in Bavaria, but the strong beer is only served during Lent. Since the 14th century monks coming mostly from Italy found it difficult to fast in the harsh Bavarian climate and so they took to the bock beer brewed at the Hofbräuhaus, which didn’t fall under the strict fasting regulations.

In 1629, Bavarian King Maximillian permitted the Paulaner monks to brew their own beer. By raising the brewing wort from 16 percent to 18 percent, the monks made the beer stronger and more filling. This beer was piously named Salvator in honour of Saint Francis of Paola.

In 1773, Friar Barnabas came up with the new recipe for the Salvator. Other breweries started brewing so-called Doppelbock beer in the 19th century and were forced to rename their beer by decree. Since then we have been blessed with creative names for the Starkbier all ending with the same suffix: Triumphator, Maximator, Aviator, Unimator.

[source: The Local Germany's News in English]

Book of Common Prayer (BCP) - The Second Sunday in Lent

Christ and the Canaanite Woman, c. 1500, Juan De Flandes, Palazzo Reale Madrid

The Collect

Almighty God, which dost see that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep thou us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts, which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, etc.

The Epistle [1 Thess. 4

We beseech you brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that ye increase more and more, even as ye have received of us, how ye ought to walk, and to please God. For ye know what commandments we gave you by our Lord Jesus Christ. For this is the will of God, even your holiness, that ye should abstain from fornication, and that every one of you should know how to keep his vessel in holiness and honor, and not in the lust of concupiscence, as do the heathen which know not God: that no man oppress and defraud his brother in bargaining, because that the Lord is the avenger of all such things, as we told you before, and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, which hath sent his Holy Spirit among you.

The Gospel [Matt. 15

Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan (which came out of the same coasts) cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David. My daughter is piteously vexed with a devil. But he answered her nothing at all. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away, for she crieth after us. But he answered, and said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord help me. He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to dogs. She answered and said, Truth Lord, for the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole, even the same time.

Modern-Day Christian Martyrs

Follow the link to a well-written story in the German publication DER SPIEGEL about Christians who are victims of murder, violence, and discrimination.,1518,680349,00.html

Monday, February 22, 2010

What roles do secular reasoning and religious belief play in public decision-making?

A good question indeed. Follow the link to a discussion of the topic by Stanley Fish in The New York Times.

'viro pio et eruditio' - Nikolaus Herman, writer of 'Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ'

Born: c1480 - Altdorf (near Nürnberg), Bavaria, Germany
Died: May 15, 1561 - Joachimsthal [now Jáchymov], West Bohemia

Nikolaus [Nicolas, Nicolaus, Niklas] Herman [Hermann] was a German writer of hymn texts and melodies.

From 1518 to 1560 Nikolaus Herman was schoolmaster, organist and Kantor in Joachimsthal, Bohemia, just over the mountains from Saxony. Johann Matthesius, Luther’s first biographer and headmaster of the Latin school there from 1532, was also, until 1565, minister of the church; Herman was associated with him both as a close friend and as a colleague, and thus came into contact with the Reformation from an early date. As early as 6 November 1524 Luther wrote to him as ‘viro pio et erudito’. Toward the end of his life he suffered greatly from gout, and had to resign even his post as Cantor a number of years before his death.

Nikolaus Herman’s importance lies in his hymns, which were published in several volumes. He wrote both text and music, but most melodies are used for several texts. His poems are rhymed syllabic verses with no fixed metre. His Sunday Gospels, which retell Bible stories in rhymed stanzas, remained models for a succession of works of the same type well into the 17th century. In his endeavours to express Christian beliefs in the form of hymns Herman’s texts are close to those of Luther. Though never attaining the poetic force of the latter’s work, many have retained their place in the standard German Lutheran hymn repertory: above all Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich, Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag, ‘Die helle Sonn leucht jetzt herfür’, ‘Hinunter ist der Sonnen Schein’ and Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist. Many of his melodies show clear affinities with folk music: in particular the traditions of Bergreihen (songs in folk style from the region of the Erzgebirge between Saxony and Bohemia) and Abendreihen (evening dances sung in a circle). In a number of melodies he employed elements of plainchant, sometimes alongside folk elements. Thus his well-known tune for Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich is probably connected with the Christmas antiphon Hodie Christus natus est nobis, while that for Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag is at least indirectly related to the Easter antiphon Ad monumentum venimus gementes.

(source: Aryeh Oron and Thomas Braatz)

'We Bless Thee, Jesus Christ Our Lord'

1. Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ,
dass du für uns gestorben bist
und hast uns durch dein teures Blut
gemacht vor Gott gerecht und gut,

2. Und bitten dich, wahr'r Mensch und Gott,
durch dein' heilig' fünf Wunden rot,
erlös' uns von dem ew'gen Tod
und tröst uns in der letzten Not!

3. Behüt uns auch vor Sünd' und Schand',
reich uns dein' allmächtige Hand,
dass wir im Kreuz geduldig sei'n
uns trösten deiner schweren Pein

4. Und draus schöpfen die Zuversicht,
dass du uns werd'st verlaßen nicht,
sondern ganz treulich bei uns stehn,
bis wir durchs Kreuz ins Leben gehn.

[source: Choral Berlin, Evangelisches Gesangbuch 462]

1. We bless Thee, Jesus Christ our Lord;
Forever be Thy name adored:
For Thou, the sinless One, hast died,
That sinners might be justified.

2. O very Man and very God,
Who hast redeemed us with Thy blood;
From death eternal set us free,
And make us one with God in Thee.

3.From sin and shame defend us still,
And work to us Thy steadfast will,
The cross with patience to sustain,
And bravely bear its utmost pain.

4. In Thee we trust, in Thee alone;
For Thou forsakest not Thine own;
To all the meek Thy strength is giv'n,
Who by Thy cross ascendeth to heav'n.

{English text: Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary, #275}

Friday, February 19, 2010

BCP-The First Sunday in Lent

Duccio, Temptation on the Mount, 1308-11; Frick Collection, New York

The Collect

O Lord, which for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights: Give us grace to use such abstinence, that our flesh being subdued to the spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions, in righteousness and true holiness, to thy honor and glory, which livest and reignest, etc.

The Epistle [2 Cor. 6

We as helpers exhort you, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee. Behold, now is that accepted time; behold, now is that day of salvation. Let us give none occasion of evil, that in our office be found no fault; but in all things let us behave ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in anguishes, in stripes, in prisonments, in strifes, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, in pureness, in knowledge, in long-suffering, in kindness, in the Holy Ghost, in love unfained, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armor of righteousness of the right hand and of the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers and yet true, as unknown, and yet known, as dying, and behold we live, as chastened, and not killed, as sorrowing, and yet always merry, as poor, and yet make many rich, as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

The Gospel [Matt. 4

Then was Jesus led away of the spirit into wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was at the last anhungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down headlong. For it is written, he shall give his angels charge over thee, and with their hands they shall hold thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus said unto him: It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and saith unto him: All these will I give thee, if you wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Avoid, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

'O Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht'

O Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht
O Jesus Christ, light of my life,
Mein Hort, mein Trost, mein' Zuversicht,
my refuge, my comfort, my reassurance,
Auf Erden bin ich nur ein Gast
on earth I am only a guest
Und drückt mich sehr der Sünden Last.
And the burden of sin presses down heavily upon me.

This is a chorus (motet or 1st movement of a cantata, see below), which was performed at the grave-side ceremony for Count Friedrich von Flemming, October 11, 1740. Bach probably composed it about three years before this burial. Like BWV 50, it is a chorus in motet style but with only one four-part choir. It was performed a second time about ten years later using a different scoring.

In the opening bars Bach takes a decorated motif derived from the slow stepwise rise and fall of the chorale tune (heard, when the voices enter, in long notes in the sopranos) and extends it as a six-part counterpoint. This passage returns unaltered after the last line of the chorale, while 3 shorter sections treating the same material serve to separate the individual lines of the text. A repeat sign, at the point where the opening bars return, allows for further stanzas (not otherwise indicated in the score) to be included and activates a large-scale architectural symmetry.

The unusual instrumentation and the serious declamation of the choir produce a motif of deep solemnity, reminiscent of some of the choral writings of Heinrich Schütz in the 17th century. The movement has a straightforward simplicity befitting the ceremony for which it was intended. The upper voices begin to sing the melody of each line, which is then repeated by the lower voice. The instrumental accompaniment is so laid out that in spite of a great degree of independence it is able to support the choir whenever it enters. This is one of the most moving chorale settings that Bach ever composed. It has a melancholy beauty all its own.

[source: Arych Oron}

Religion is absent in historiography

For a good read on the subject of religion and historiography go to

This link takes the reader to History News Network which originates from George Mason University.

"Even to this day, religion is everywhere around us, and religious historians have written about it in compelling and exciting ways, but within mainstream historiography it has been basically left behind. In a sense, religion is everywhere in modern American history, but nowhere in modern American historiography...."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

'A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth'

'How Christian Were The Founders?'


This is a link to a New York Times Magazine article by Russell Shorto. If this link doesn't work for you go to your local public library and find the New York Times Magazine for February 14, 2010.

For Lutherans the idea is that there are two kingdoms. Jesus said to render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to render to God what is God's. At this time, the relationship between the state and religion is very much in play. The confusion on this issue includes some pious and well-intentioned Lutherans.

Of course, people can believe anything they want to believe. The trouble comes when people want to wrap their ideas of what is right and proper in the civil arena with what they think God has ordained. They confuse in their own minds what they think and what God has said. I have known such persons who want the church to inform the membership of what is right in certain areas of social consideration. The stated intention is to inform but the actual agenda is to direct. Behind it all is the binding of consciences.

My link this morning is to a very well-written article on the subject. The ideas in play involve how far ideas of a certain religious expression can and should go in the preparation of school textbooks. It is the ideas and not the locale that has interest, I think, to the readers of this blog.

This could be grist for my blogging mill. I think that most Lutherans have the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms pretty well in hand but there is expression in certain blogs which raise the question as to whether that is so or not.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

'Go to Dark Gethsemane'-[Dix]

'Go to Dark Gethsemane'- [Gethsemane]

1. Go to dark Gethsemane,
Ye that feel the tempter's pow'r,
Your Redeemer's conflict see.
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

2. Follow to the judgment hall;
View the Lord of Life arraigned.
O the wormwood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suff'ring , shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.

3. Calvary's mournful mountain climb;
There, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete.
"It is finished!" hear Him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.

4. Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid His breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom.
Who hath taken Him away?
Christ is ris'n! He meets our eyes.
Savior, teach us so to rise.

[text: Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary]

Monday, February 15, 2010

BCP for The First Day of Lent

The Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, which hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that be penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins, and knowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ.

The Epistle [Joel 2

Turn you unto me with all your hearts, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Rent [rend, tear] your hearts and not your clothes. Turn you unto the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, long suffering, and of great compassion, and ready to pardon wickedness. Then, no doubt, he also shall turn and forgive: and after his chastening, he shall let your increase remain for meat and drink offerings unto the Lord your God. Blow out with the trumpet in Sion, proclaim a fasting, call the congregation, and gather the people together; warn the congregation, gather the elders, bring the children and sucklings together. Let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests serve the Lord between the porch and the altar, weeping and saying, Be favorable, O Lord, be favorable unto thy people: let not thine heritage be brought to such confusion, less the heathen be lords thereof. Wherefore should they say among the heather, where is now their God?

The Gospel [Matt. 6

When ye fast, be not sad as they hypocrites are, for they disfigure their faces that it may appear unto men how that they fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face, that it appear not unto men how thou fastest, but unto thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where the rust and moth doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for you treasures in heaven, where neither rust nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your hearts be also.

Dunmow bacon flitch

A piece of bacon awarded at Lent in Dunmow is first mentioned by Chaucer in The Wife of Bath's Prologue: The bacon was nat fet for hem, I trowe [trans: not fetched for them]/That som men han in Essex at Dunmowe.

The story is that if a married couple came to the prior of Dunmow and could honestly swear the following oath, the prior would give them a gammon of flitch of bacon.

You shall swear by the Custom of our Confession,
That you never made any Nuptial Transgression
Since you were marri'd Man & Wife
By Household Brawls or Contentious Strife
Or otherwise in Bed or at Board
Offended each other in Deed or in Word
Or since the Parish Clerk said Amen
Wish'd yourselves unmarri'd agen
Or in a Twelve Moneth & a day
Repented not in thought any way
But Continued true & in desire
As when you join'd hands in Holy Quire
If to these Conditions without all fear
Of your own Accord you will freely Swear
A Gammon of Bacon you shall receive
And bear it hence with Love & good Leave
For this is our Custom at Dunmow well known
Though the Sport be ours, the Bacon's your own.

An American visitor made this report in 1776: "The words of this place mention no less than three Matrimonial Heroes who in the Space of a hundred Years laid Claim and carried off the Prize. Tradition says several hundreds did intend to get possession of it, but disqualified themselves by some acdt in the preparation. One good Man whose wife was coning with him took it into head that She knew the way better than her husband, which brought on such a Contention, as did permit their [i.e. Dunmow]] saving their bacon."

[source: The Oxford Book of the Year]

Jakke a' Lent

The Jack of Lent was a puppet with fish emblems and was used as a target during Lent and destroyed on Palm Sunday.

When Jakke a' Lent comes justlynge in,
With the hedpeece of a herynge,
And saythe, repent yowe of yower syn,
For shame, syrs, leve yowre swerynge:
And to Palme Sonday doethe he ryde,
With sprots and herryngs by his syde,
And makes an end of Lenten tyde!

What was the Commination service?

After the Reformation the English introduced a service into the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) called the Commination Service. This service "consists of an exhortation, clearly intended for use by a non-preaching clerygy (during which the Curses are solemnly recited), Psalm 51, suffages, and prayers. It is now seldom used." [source: Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church]

What about the ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Apparently the ashes on the forehead custom was in use by the 10th century. The custom is a token of mourning and repentance. Memento homo quia pulvis es, et in pulverem revertis ('Remember man, for dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return'. Gen.3:19).

A letter in 1654 describes how strange Christians looked when they walked around with smudged faces. "The Christian Church hath a longer and more solemn Way of fasting than any other Religion, take Lent and Ember-weeks together. In some Church the Christian useth the old Way of Mortification, by Sackcloth and Ashes, to this Day; which makes me think of a facetious tale of a Turkish ambassador in Venice, who being returned to Constantinople, and asked what he had observed most remarkable in that so rare a City? He answered, that among other Things, the Christian hat a Kind of Ashes, which thrown upon the Head doth presently cure Madness; for in Venice I saw the People go up and down the Streets (said he) in ugly antic strange Disguises, as being in the Eye of human Reason stark mad; but the next Day (meaning Ash-Wednesday) they are suddenly cured of that Madness by a Sort of Ashes which they cast upon their Heads."

[sources: The Oxford Companion to the Year; The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church]

Quinquagesima canatata of Bach-conclusion

Quinquagesima cantata of Bach

Friday, February 12, 2010

Buxtehude-Jesu Meine Freude -concluded

Mvt III:

Unter deinem Schirmen
Bin ich vor den Stürmen
Aller Feinde frei.
Laß den Satan wittern,
Laß den Feind erbittern,
Mir steht Jesus bei.
Ob es jetzt gleich kracht und blitzt,
Ob gleich Sünd und Hölle schrecken:
Jesus will mich decken.

Beneath your protection
I am free from the attacks
of all my enemies.
Let Satan track me down,
let my enemy be exasperated --
Jesus stands by me.
Even if there is thunder and lightning,
even if sin and hell spread terror
Jesus will protect me .

Mvt IV:

Trotz dem alten Drachen,
Trotz des Todes Rachen,
Trotz der Furcht darzu!
Tobe, Welt, und springe,
Ich steh hier und singe
In gar sichrer Ruh.
Gottes Macht hält mich in acht;
Erd und Abgrund muss verstummen,
Ob sie noch so brummen.

I defy the old dragon,
I defy the jaws of death,
I defy fear as well!
Rage, World, and spring to attack:
I stand here and sing
in secure peace.
God's might takes care of me;
earth and abyss must fall silent,
however much they rumble on.

Mvt. V:

Weg mit allen Schätzen!
Du bist mein Ergötzen,
Jesu, meine Lust !
Weg ihr eitlen Ehren,
Ich mag euch nicht hören,
Bleibt mir unbewusst!
Elend, Not, Kreuz, Schmach und Tod
Soll mich, ob ich viel muss leiden,
Nicht von Jesu scheiden.

Away with all treasures!
You are my delight,
Jesus, my joy!
Away with empty honours,
I'm not going to listen to you,
remain unknown to me!
Misery, distress, affliction, disgrace and death,
even if I must endure much suffering,
will not separate me from Jesus.

Mvt VI:

Gute Nacht, o Wesen,
Das die Welt erlesen,
Mir gefällst du nicht.
Gute Nacht, ihr Sünden,
Bleibet weit dahinten,
Kommt nicht mehr ans Licht!
Gute Nacht, du Stolz und Pracht!
Dir sei ganz, du Lasterleben,
Gute Nacht gegeben.

Good night, existence
chosen by the world,
you do not please me.
Good night , you sins,
stay far behind me.
Come no more to the light!
Good night , pride and splendour,
once and for all, sinful existence,
I bid you good night.

Mvt VII:

Weicht, ihr Trauergeister,
Denn mein Freudenmeister,
Jesus, tritt herein.
Denen, die Gott lieben,
Muß auch ihr Betrüben
Lauter Zucker sein.
Duld ich schon hier Spott und Hohn,
Dennoch bleibst du auch im Leide,
Jesu, meine Freude.

Go away, mournful spirits,
for my joyful master,
Jesus, now enters in.
For those who love God
even their afflictions
become pure sweetness.
Even if here I must endure shame and disgrace,
even in suffering you remain,
Jesus, my joy

Buxtehude-Jesu Meine Freude -First two movements

Jesu, meine Freude,
Meines Herzens Weide,
Jesu, meine Zier,
Ach wie lang, ach lange
Ist dem Herzen bange
Und verlangt nach dir!
Gottes Lamm, mein Bräutigam,
Außer dir soll mir auf Erden
Nichts sonst Liebers werden.

Jesus, my joy,
pasture of my heart,
Jesus, my adornment
ah how long, how long
is my heart filled with anxiety
and longing for you!
Lamb of God, my bridegroom,
apart from you on the earth
there is nothing dearer to me.

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)

Diligam te, Domine, fortitudo mea.
Dominus firmamentum meum,
et refugium meum,
et liberator meus.
Protector meus et cornu salutis meae,
Deus meus adjutor meus,
et sperabo in eum.
Netherlands Chamber Choir

[Would a diligent reader please submit an English translation of this text?]

Handel-one of the coronation anthems

Thursday, February 11, 2010

American Bach Society to meet in Madison May 7-9, 2010

Biennial Meeting of the American Bach Society
May 7-9, 2010
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Friday, May 7

12-2 PM Lowell Center, Upper Lounge
2-5:30 PM Lowell Center

Keynote Address by Wolfgang Hirschmann (Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg)

Coffee break

Paper Session I
Joyce Irwin (Syracuse NY): The Orthodox Lutheranism of Mattheson and Bach
Michael Maul (Bach-Archiv, Leipzig): New Light on the Controversy between Bach and Scheibe
Peter Wollny (Bach-Archiv, Leipzig): Bach’s Cantata Performances in the 1730s—New Findings, New Perspectives
5:30-7:30 PM University Club
8 PM
Concert by Baroque Band, Chicago’s period-instrument orchestra

Saturday, May 8

8-8:45 AM
ABS Editorial Board breakfast meeting

9 AM-12 PM Pyle Center
Paper Session II
Szymon Paczkowski (University of Warsaw): “In the Most Honorable Minister’s House:” The musical interests and patronage of Jakob Heinrich Flemming, and his possible contacts with J.S. Bach
Andrew Talle (Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University): A New Look at “Sperontes Singinde Muse an der Pleiße”
Anselm Hartinger (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis): Johann Gottlieb Goldberg and the Composition of Trios within the Context of Bach’s Later Works
Performance: Music of C.P.E. Bach
Steven Zohn (traverso) and David Yearsley (keyboard)
12-1:30 PM
Lunch on your own
ABS Board of Advisors Luncheon Meeting
1:30-5 PM Pyle Center
ABS business meeting (1:30-2:00)
Paper Session III
Mary Oleskiewicz (University of Massachusetts Boston): Bachs in Berlin: The Courts of Brandenburg-Prussia As Background to Instrumental Works of J.S., W.F., and C.P.E. Bach
Paul Corneilson (Packard Humanities Institute): C.P.E. Bach’s Evangelist, Johann Heinrich Michel
David Schulenberg (Wagner College, NY): An Uncertain Legacy: Two Instrumental Works Attributed to W.F. Bach (1710-1784)
Performance: Concertos of W.F. Bach and J. Quantz by Mary Oleskiewicz (traverso), David Schulenberg (keyboard), and Baroque Band
6-9 PM
Tafelmusik (dinner interspersed with music for flutes, strings, and keyboard)

Sunday, May 9

9 AM-12 PM Pyle Center
Paper Session IV
Steven Zohn (Temple University): Aesthetic and Stylistic Mediation in Telemann’s VI Ouvertures à 4 ou 6
Barbara Reul (Luther College, University of Regina, Canada): “Old Debts from Leipzig” – New Insights on Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758), Hofkapellmeister of Anhalt-Zerbst
Ursula Kramer (University of Mainz): Musical Networking in the Early 18th Century: Christoph Graupner and the Triangle Leipzig-Hamburg-Darmstadt
Jeanne Swack (University of Wisconsin–Madison): Formal Paradigms, Movement Types, and National Styles in Telemann’s Frankfurt Cantata Cycles

go to the link:

BWV 233 [Cum Sanctu Spiritu]

BWV 233 [Quoniam tu solus Sanctus]

more BWV 233 (Qui tollis peccata mundi]

BWV 233 cont'd [Domine Deus]

It's time for some Bach:BWV 233: [Kyrie, Gloria]

Lutheran Study Bible- a reading suggestion on the topic of American hermeneutics

A reader of Lutheran Colportage submits this: "A couple of suggestions about American hermeneutics: Mark A Noll, America's God from Edwards to Lincoln, chapter 18," The 'Bible Alone' and a Reformed, Literal Hermeneutic." Slow going for me but learned and insightful about Lutherans and Catholics as well as Calvinists. No accident that this chapter leads to the next one on slavery. Relevant also is Chapter 19, "Lutherans: Reason, Revival, and Confession," in E Brooks Holifield, Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War. Neither are Lutherans so they have no oxen to gore. On the other hand, both know more about Lutheran theology and hermeneutic than any pastor I've encountered."

Monday, February 8, 2010

What about that Silsby woman and the Haitian orphans?

A reader of this blog writes: "This lady is the classic example of what happens when people start doing the things that rightly belong to Caesar, in the name of religion, and her "love" of Christ. Very selfish lady who uses the poor people of Hati to further her own personal will."

The debate continues. There is more to be said in favor of obeying the laws of the land than there is in following one's perception of the will of God.

Lutheran Study Bible - a consideration of the history involved

I am looking at The Lutheran Study Bible (C) published by Concordia and the Lutheran Study Bible (A) published by Augsburg. I am learning that there are different approaches to the Scriptures in these two volumes and I need to do some work on the history involved.

The history is the history of exegesis. Exegesis is the "act of explaining a text." The rules governing this exegesis is the science of hermeneutics. This is heady stuff with some pretty big words and concepts that go far beyond the scope of the typical pew-occupier like myself.

Still, as is commonly said, history matters. I do not have the time nor the resources to do a comprehensive study of these questions. I do need to know something about the subject and I rely on my copy of The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church which I bought for a few bucks at the Half-Price Book Store in St. Louis Park MN a few years ago. I would rather do my investigation with a source that is not associated with either the (C) or the (A).

I recognize that I run the risk of being superficial. I guess that I can't help that.

At the Reformation the Protestants "rejected the authority of the Church's as a criterion for exegesis, substituting the interior witness of the Holy Spirit." Protestants did keep the traditional passages pertaining to Christ's work (Christology) and the Trinity. Protestants regarded the Bible as "the supreme norm of doctrine." Accordingly, "Biblical study was accorded a position of high value."

From Protestantism came literary and biblical criticism which tended to undermine the traditional doctrine of inspiration. Eighteenth century Germans "were among the earliest biblical critics."

"From the beginning of the 19th century much attention was given to the origin, nature, and history of the individual biblical documents and to reconstructions of biblical history, including the life of Jesus. "

Here follows a nice German term: Religionsgeschichtliche Schule. This school "claimed freedom from the guidance of theology in presenting a descriptive explanation of the texts in their own historical context."

The essay in the ODCC continues. "The prestige of descriptive biblical exegesis created many problems for a doctrinal theology built upon the older theory of inspiration."

Well, so much for today. I am stopping short of a description of a famous German theologian Rudolf Bultmann who said that "demythologization precipitated a renewed interest in hermeneutics." I don't know what that means.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

'Abide With Me' - 'Sanctus' (Franz Schubert)

'When I Survey the Wondrous Cross' - Isaac Watts

The son of a Congregationalist minister, Watts was born in 1674 in Southampton, England. He followed his father into the ministry, accepting appointment to Mark Lane Chapel in London in 1702. His health broke soon after, forcing Watts to retire from public life. Until his death in 1748, he fulfilled ministerial duties as possible and devoted much time to study and writing. His books gained him wide repute, but Watts regarded his hymns as his most enduring contribution to the church. "When I Survey" is generally cited as the best these, though others remain in use as well.

In its first publication in 1707, "When I Survey" had five stanzas. Its second line originally read "Where the young Prince of Glory died." In an enlarged edition of the hymnal in 1709, Watts changed the second line to the familiar "On which the Prince of Glory died" and bracketed the fourth stanza for optional use:

His dying Crimson, like a Robe,
Spreads o'er his Body on the Tree;
Then am I dead to all the Globe
And all the Globe is dead to me.

In 1757, George Whitefield included "When I Survey" in the Supplement to his popular Collection of Hymns. The next year, "When I Survey" first appeared in a hymnal published in the United States--The Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs of the Old and New Testament (1758). Since then, it has been found in the hymnals of American denominations as varied as traditional Protestants, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Unitarians and the Assemblies of God. Widely acclaimed by hymnologists, "When I Survey" is seldom altered beyond omitting Watts' fourth stanza (considered too gory) or making a few minor changes such as stanza 2, line 2 "Save in the Cross"; stanza 3, line 2 "Love flow mingled"; stanza 4, line 2 "That were a tribute" or "That were an offering." [source: YouTube program notes]

Friday, February 5, 2010

Time Out

Readers of Lutheran Colportage are referred to Time Out, a Lutheran podcast. Go to the link

Two organ pieces by Praetorius

The two pieces are 'Christi qui lux es et dies' (4:01) and 'Vater unser im Himmelreich' (5:06)

BWV 572 performed by Gerhard Weinburger

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bach and other Lutheran composers- Part 6 of the BBC series

Buxtehude and Bach

Senator Hatch's cell phone interrupts his prayer

Please excuse a little parochial regionalism. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is seated to the President's left and to the right of Senator Hatch.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

'Gott, der du mit grosser Macht' -(God who with great power)- Johann Schop

Born: c1590 - Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Germany
Died: 1664 or 1665 or 1667 - Hamburg, Germany

Johann Schop, the Elder, was a German composer and violinist. In 1614 Duke Friedrich Ulrich made him a probationary musician in the Hofkapelle at Wolfenbüttel. His performances as a lute, cornett and trombone player and in particular as an excellent violinist led to his being engaged permanently in 1615. Nevertheless, in the same year he responded to a summons to join the flourishing musical establishment of King Christian IV of Denmark in Copenhagen. Here he met the English viol player William Brade, who had earlier been in the service of the city of Hamburg and may have taught him there (at this time there were close connections between English and German musicians). In 1619 Schop and Brade left Copenhagen to escape the plague. Schop had acquired such a high reputation that he soon obtained a post as Kapellmeister, although it cannot be established where this was. In 1621 he became the leading municipal violinist in Hamburg. The city offered him a substantial income for his participation in the church music and the festivities of the council and citizens, yet allowed him the freedom to undertake journeys to German and foreign courts. In 1634 he travelled to Copenhagen with Heinrich Schütz and Heinrich Albert for the wedding of Crown Prince Christian: during the splendid festivities he won a contest with the French violinist Jacques Foucart. He had by now become famous, and the Danish king attempted several times to lure him back to his musical establishment, but he stayed in Hamburg until his death.

Schop was a solid and versatile musician in a notable German tradition and showed himself to be a forward-looking player and composer. Through his close contact with the highly accomplished English string players and his encounter with early Italian violin masters, he became the leading exponent of the earliest German violin music: as late as 1740 Johann Mattheson noted that one did not often find artists of his calibre in royal or princely establishments. He contributed greatly to the flourishing cultivation of music in Hamburg in the mid-17th century. With his well-loved dance pieces he furthered the composition of suites in Germany between the time of Valentin Haussmann and that of Johann Rosenmüller. His sacred concertos occupy a special place alongside those of Schütz, particularly in their treatment of liturgical melodies. As a composer of solo songs, he was, together with Thomas Selle, the founder of a Hamburg school of songwriting. His many hymn-tunes were written for the hymns of his fellow-townsman and friend Johann Rist - e.g. Lasset uns den Herren preisen, Werde munter, mein Gemüthe and Wach auf, mein Geist, erhebe dich (O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort) - for long remained in the Lutheran repertory, including their usage by J.S. Bach in his vocal works. [source: Arych Oron, Thomas Braatz]

On the adoration of the Sacrament

Lutherans often have trouble with the idea that there is to be any adoration connected with the Sacrament of the Altar. The general idea of adoration (adoratio) is the equivalent of a Greek theological term (latreia) designating an act of worship due to God alone. This worship is distinguished from dulia meaning a veneration of creatures.

These words sound a little bit foreign to modern English users because we do not ordinarily consider worship to be a part of modern life. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes that worship is due to God alone (Mt. 4:10, John 9:38) and that early Christian martyrs were killed because they did not worship the emperor.

The Oxford Dictionary notes that "God is to be worshipped 'in spirit and in truth' but this injunction is not normally understood to exclude bodily gestures of adoration, such as prostrations or the utterance of spoken prayers. In Roman Catholic theology the Eucharistic sacrifice is often regarded as the principal act of adoration. The adoration paid to the Blessed Sacrament depends on the doctrine of the Real Presence."

Today's devotional writing in Treasury of Daily Prayer contains words of Georg of Anhalt on the subject. Anhalt writes that it is necessary to teach the people that "the true worship and honor of Christ and of His Holy Sacrament does not consist in external gestures or services alone."

Anhalt writes that "the Word is most important, through the power of which, from the institution of the Lord, the true body and blood of Christ are there. The Word teaches us what kind of treasure we have there, what we should use it for, and why Christ is there, so that true invocation and spiritual worship is enkindled in us."

Anhalt advises his reader not to limit true worship and adoration to externals. "On the contrary, since these divine, almighty, true words are believed, all of this follows of itself, and not only in external gestures but also both externally and, first and foremost, in the heart,spirit, and truth. On account of this, such adoration of Christ is not thereby cancelled, but much rather, confirmed. For where the Word is rightly seen, considered, and believed, the adoration of the Sacrament will happen of itself."

For Lutherans the worship and adoration in the Sacrament comes from the teaching of the Real Presence. Anhalt again: "For whoever believes that Christ's body and blood are there (as there is plenty of evidence to so believe), he cannot, to be sure, deny his reverence to the body and blood of Christ without sin. For I must onfess that Christ is there when His body and blood are there. His words do not lie to me, and He is not separate from His body and blood."

[sources: F.L. Cross, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford, 3d ed. 1997; Scot A. Kinnaman, ed., Treasury of Daily Prayer, St. Louis, 2008]