Category Archives: Articles

All Chorales from TLH Now Accounted For

As of now, all public-domain translations of historic Lutheran chorales from The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, are now available at the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book.

Unfortunately, there are many translations in The Lutheran Hymnal that remain under copyright and therefore cannot be used at the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book. Some of these have been retranslated, or alternative older translations have been used. Others will simply remain unavailable until a new translation can be made or the copyright expires. Even if the text cannot be included, a page with the tune and the original-language text has been provided. A complete current list of hymns from The Lutheran Hymnal that remain under copyright is available here.

Of course, there are also many texts from The Lutheran Hymnal that are not historic Lutheran chorales and are therefore ineligible for inclusion at the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book.

A complete list of the hymn texts found in The Lutheran Hymnal follows below, with historic chorales linked to their pages at the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book. Texts that are not Lutheran chorales have been marked with an asterisk (*), while those whose status as authentic chorales is debatable have been marked with a double asterisk (**). Texts of Lutheran chorales that remain under copyright have been marked with an obelisk (†); some of these have been provided with new or alternate translations. If any readers disagree with the designation of a given text as a chorale, doubtful or authentic, or if you are aware of a public domain translation that could be used, please bring this to our attention in the comments.

  1. Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty
  2. To Thy Temple I Repair*
  3. Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now
  4. God Himself Is Present
  5. Lord, Open Thou My Heart to Hear
  6. Kyrie, God Father in Heaven Above
  7. As We Begin Another Week
  8. Father, Who the Light This Day*
  9. O Day of Rest and Gladness*
  10. This Is the Day the Lord hath Made*
  11. Safely through Another Week*
  12. This Day at Thy Creating Word*
  13. Before Jehovah’s Awe-full Throne*
  14. All People that on Earth do Dwell*
  15. From All that Dwell below the Skies*
  16. Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word
  17. Oh, Worship the King*
  18. Lord, We Come Before Thee Now*
  19. All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above
  20. God of Mercy, God of Grace*
  21. Jehovah, Let Me Now Adore Thee
  22. Lord, When We Bend Before Thy Throne*
  23. Hallelujah! Let Praises Ring
  24. Lord of My Life, Whose Tender Care*
  25. I Will Sing My Maker’s Praises
  26. Praise the Almighty, My Soul, Adore Him
  27. Oh, Bless the Lord, My Soul*
  28. Now Let All Loudly Sing Praise
  29. Through All the Changing Scenes of Life*
  30. Oh, that I Had a Thousand Voices
  31. When All Thy Mercies, O My God*
  32. Redeemed, Restored, Forgiven*
  33. The Lord hath Helped Me Hitherto
  34. My Soul Now, Bless Thy Maker
  35. Songs of Praise the Angels Sang*
  36. Now Thank We All Our God
  37. Lord, ’Tis Not that I did Choose Thee*
  38. The Lord, My God, be Praised
  39. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
  40. The God of Abraham Praise*
  41. Wondrous King, All-Glorious
  42. O Thou Love Unbounded
  43. We Sing the Almighty Power of God*
  44. Ye Lands, to the Lord Make a Jubilant Noise**
  45. Now, the Hour of Worship O’er
  46. On What has Now been Sown*
  47. Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise*
  48. How Blest Are They Who Hear God’s Word
  49. Almighty God, Thy Word is Cast*
  50. Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing*
  51. Now May He Who from the Dead*
  52. Almighty Father, Bless the Word**
  53. Abide, O Dearest Jesus
  54. Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah*
  55. Come, Thou Precious Ransom, Come
  56. Jesus Came, The Heavens Adoring*
  57. O Bride of Christ, Rejoice
  58. O Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee?
  59. Hail to the Lord’s Anointed*
  60. Hark, a Thrilling Voice is Sounding*
  61. Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People
  62. Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel*
  63. On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry*
  64. Jesus, Thy Church with Longing Eyes*
  65. When Sinners See Their Lost Condition**
  66. Hark the Glad Sound! The Savior Comes*
  67. The Bridegroom Soon Will Call Us
  68. The Advent of Our King*
  69. Arise, Sons of the Kingdom
  70. Hosanna to the Living Lord*
  71. Watchman, Tell Us of the Night*
  72. Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers
  73. Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
  74. Once He Came in Blessing
  75. Ye Sons of Men, Oh, Hearken
  76. A Great and Mighty Wonder*
  77. All My Heart This Night Rejoices
  78. Hail the Day So Rich in Cheer
  79. Rejoice, Rejoice, This Happy Morn
  80. All Praise to Thee, Eternal God
  81. O Jesus Christ, Thy Manger Is
  82. Come Rejoicing, Praises Voicing**
  83. Hark! What Mean Those Holy Voices*
  84. Christians, Awake, Salute the Happy Morn*
  85. From Heaven Above to Earth I Come
  86. Christ the Lord To Us is Born**†
  87. Joy to the World, the Lord is Come*
  88. This Night a Wondrous Revelation
  89. To Thee My Heart I Offer**†
  90. Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising
  91. Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord
  92. Now Sing We, Now Rejoice
  93. O Lord, We Welcome Thee
  94. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing*
  95. Savior of the Nations, Come
  96. Oh, Rejoice, Ye Christians, Loudly
  97. Let Us All with Gladsome Voice
  98. Of the Father’s Love Begotten*
  99. Now are the Days Fulfilled
  100. Christians, Sing Out with Exultation**
  101. O Gladsome Light, O Grace*
  102. Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful*
  103. To Shepherds as They Watched by Night
  104. Now Praise We Christ, the Holy One
  105. Praise God the Lord, Ye Sons of Men
  106. The People That in Darkness Sat*
  107. We Christians May Rejoice Today
  108. We Sing,Immanuel, Thy Praise
  109. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night*
  110. Across the Sky the Shades of Night*
  111. Thou Who Roll’st the Year Around*
  112. To God the Anthem Raising
  113. While with Ceaseless Course the Sun*
  114. Jesus! Name of Wondrous Love*
  115. O Blessed Day When First was Poured*
  116. To the Name of Our Salvation*
  117. The Ancient Law Departs*
  118. Father, Let Me Dedicate*
  119. Great God, We Sing That Mighty Hand*
  120. Help Us, O Lord! Behold, We Enter
  121. For Thy Mercy and Thy Grace*
  122. Now Let Us Come Before Him
  123. Our God, Our Help in Ages Past*
  124. O Lord, Our Father, Thanks to Thee
  125. The Old Year Now hath Passed Away
  126. Arise and Shine in Splendor
  127. As with Gladness Men of Old*
  128. Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning*
  129. Hail, Thou Source of Every Blessing*
  130. O Jesus, King of Glory
  131. The Star Proclaims the King Is Here
  132. O God of God, O Light of Light*
  133. Within the Father’s House*
  134. Songs of Thankfulness and Praise*
  135. ’Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here*
  136. Angels from the Realms of Glory*
  137. In Peace and Joy I Now Depart
  138. Thou Light of Gentile Nations
  139. In His Temple Now Behold Him*
  140. Jesus, I Will Ponder Now
  141. Enslaved by Sin and Bound in Chains*
  142. A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth
  143. O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken
  144. Jesus, Grant that Balm and Healing
  145. Jesus, Refuge of the Weary*
  146. Lamb of God, Pure and Holy
  147. O Christ, Thou Lamb of God
  148. Lord Jesus Christ, My Life, My Light
  149. Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain*
  150. Lord Jesus, Thou art Going Forth
  151. Christ, the Life of All the Living
  152. When o’er My Sins I Sorrow
  153. Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted*
  154. Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed*
  155. Sweet the Moments, Rich in Blessing*
  156. Not All the Blood of Beasts*
  157. There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood*
  158. Glory be to Jesus*
  159. Go to Dark Gethsemane*
  160. All Glory, Laud, and Honor*
  161. Hosanna, Loud Hosanna*
  162. Ride On, Ride On, in Majesty*
  163. The Death of Jesus Christ, Our Lord
  164. ’Twas on That Dark, That Doleful Night*
  165. Behold the Lamb of God!*
  166. Savior, When in Dust to Thee*
  167. O Darkest Woe
  168. The Royal Banners Forward Go*
  169. Jesus Christ, Our Lord Most Holy**†
  170. O Perfect Life of Love*
  171. Upon the Cross Extended
  172. O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
  173. Lord Jesus, We Give Thanks to Thee
  174. Throned upon the Awe-full Tree*
  175. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross*
  176. Behold the Savior of Mankind*
  177. Our Blessed Savior Seven Times Spoke
  178. We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died*
  179. On My Heart Imprint Thine Image
  180. Jesus, in Thy Dying Woes*
  181. Jesus, Pitying the Sighs*
  182. Jesus, Loving to the End*
  183. Jesus, Whelmed in Fears Unknown*
  184. Jesus, in Thy Thirst and Pain*
  185. Jesus, All Our Ransom Paid*
  186. Jesus, All Thy Labor Vast*
  187. Christ is Arisen
  188. Halleluia! Jesus Lives!**
  189. He is Arisen! Glorious Word!
  190. Christ the Lord is Risen Again
  191. Christ the Lord is Risen Today; Alleluia!*
  192. Awake, My Heart, With Gladness
  193. Christ the Lord is Risen Today*
  194. Abide with Us, the Day is Waning**
  195. Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands
  196. I Am Content! My Jesus Liveth Still
  197. Where Wilt Thou Go Since Night Draws Near
  198. He’s Risen, He’s Risen, Christ Jesus the Lord**†
  199. Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Alleluia!*
  200. I Know that My Redeemer Lives*
  201. Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won
  202. Welcome, Happy Morning!*
  203. Morning Breaks upon the Tomb*
  204. Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain*
  205. The Day of Resurrection*
  206. Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense
  207. Like the Golden Sun Ascending
  208. Ye Sons and Daughters of the King*
  209. Who Is This that Comes from Edom*
  210. The Strife is O’er, the Battle Done*
  211. Lo, Judah’s Lion Wins the Strife**†
  212. A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing*
  213. Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise*
  214. Lo, God to Heaven Ascendeth
  215. Draw Us to Thee
  216. On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build
  217. Oh, Sing with Exultation
  218. See, the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph*
  219. The Head That Once was Crowned with Thorns*
  220. Jesus, My Great High Priest*
  221. Hark! Ten Thousand Harps and Voices*
  222. Look, Ye Saints, the Sight Is Glorious*
  223. We Thank Thee, Jesus, Dearest Friend
  224. Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord
  225. Come, Holy Spirit, Come*
  226. Come, Oh, Come, Thou Quickening Spirit
  227. Come, Holy Ghost, in Love*
  228. Oh, Enter, Lord, Thy Temple
  229. Holy Spirit, Hear Us*
  230. Holy Spirit, God of Love
  231. We Now Implore God the Holy Ghost
  232. Let Songs of Praises Fill the Sky*
  233. Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest
  234. Holy Ghost, with Light Divine*
  235. O Holy Spirit, Enter In
  236. Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid*
  237. All Glory Be to God on High
  238. All Glory Be to God Alone
  239. Come, Thou Almighty King*
  240. Father Most Holy, Merciful, and Tender*
  241. Father, in Whom We Live*
  242. Father of Heaven, Whose Love Profound*
  243. Oh, that I Had a Thousand Voices
  244. Glory Be to God the Father*
  245. God Loved the World So that He Gave
  246. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty*
  247. God the Father, Be Our Stay
  248. Father of Glory, to Thy Name*
  249. Isaiah, Mighty Seer, in Days of Old
  250. Holy God, We Praise Thy Name**
  251. We All Believe in One True God
  252. We All Believe in One True God
  253. In One True God We All Believe**†
  254. Lord God, We All to Thee Give Praise
  255. Stars of the Morning, So Gloriously Bright*
  256. Around the Throne of God a Band*
  257. Jesus, Brightness of the Father*
  258. Lord of Our Life and God of Our Salvation
  259. Flung to the Heedless Winds
  260. O Lord, Look Down From Heaven, Behold
  261. Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word
  262. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
  263. O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe
  264. Preserve Thy Word, O Savior
  265. Thine Honor Save, O Christ, Our Lord
  266. O God, Our Lord, Thy Holy Word
  267. If God Had Not Been On Our Side
  268. Zion Mourns in Fear and Anguish
  269. O Lord, Our Father, Shall We be Confounded
  270. Jesus Calls Us; o’er the Tumult*
  271. Word Supreme, Before Creation*
  272. When All the World Was Cursed
  273. Sweet Flowerets of the Martyr Band*
  274. Praise We the Lord This Day*
  275. My Soul doth Magnify the Lord
  276. Come unto Me, Ye Weary*
  277. I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say*
  278. Delay Not, Delay Not, O Sinner, Draw Near*
  279. Today Thy Mercy Calls Us*
  280. Return, O Wanderer, Return*
  281. The Savior Calls; Let Every Ear*
  282. Christians, Come, in Sweetest Measures*
  283. God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage**
  284. Father of Mercies, in Thy Word*
  285. How Precious is the Book Divine*
  286. How Shall the Young Secure Their Hearts*
  287. That Man a Godly Life Might Live
  288. Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain
  289. The Law Commands and Makes Us Know*
  290. We Have a Sure Prophetic Word*
  291. Lamp of Our Feet Whereby We Trace*
  292. Lord Jesus Christ, With Us Abide
  293. O Holy Spirit, Grant Us Grace
  294. O Word of God Incarnate*
  295. The Law of God Is Good and Wise*
  296. Speak, O Lord, Thy Servant Heareth
  297. The Gospel Shows the Father’s Grace*
  298. Baptized Into Thy Name Most Holy
  299. Dear Father, Who hast Made Us All**†
  300. Dearest Jesus, We Are Here
  301. He that Believes and is Baptized
  302. The Savior Kindly Calls*
  303. This Child We Dedicate To Thee**
  304. An Awe-Full Mystery Is Here*
  305. Soul, Adorn Thyself with Gladness
  306. Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast Prepared
  307. Draw Nigh and Take the Body of the Lord*
  308. Invited, Lord, by Boundless Grace*
  309. O Jesus, Blessed Lord, to Thee
  310. Thy Table I Approach
  311. Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior
  312. Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Living Bread
  313. O Lord, We Praise Thee
  314. Lord Jesus Christ, We Humbly Pray*
  315. I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table
  316. O Living Bread From Heaven
  317. Alas, My God, My Sins Are Great
  318. Before Thee, God, Who Knowest All†
  319. In Thee Alone, O Christ, My Lord
  320. Lord Jesus, Think on Me*
  321. O Faithful God, Thanks Be To Thee
  322. And Wilt Thou Pardon, Lord*
  323. With Broken Heart and Contrite Sigh*
  324. Jesus Sinners Doth Receive
  325. O Thou that Hear’st when Sinners Cry*
  326. Lord, to Thee I Make Confession
  327. Out of the Deep I Call*
  328. O Jesus, Lamb of God, Thou Art
  329. From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee
  330. I Come to Thee, O Blessed Lord*
  331. Yea, as I Live, Jehovah Saith
  332. Arm These Thy Soldiers, Mighty Lord*
  333. Blessed Savior, Who hast Taught Me*
  334. Let Me Be Thine Forever
  335. My maker, Be Thou Nigh
  336. My God, Accept My Heart This Day*
  337. Our Lord and God, Oh, Bless This Day
  338. Thine Forever, God of Love*
  339. All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name*
  340. Awake, My Soul, to Joyful Lays*
  341. Crown Him with Many Crowns*
  342. Chief of Sinners Though I Be*
  343. How Lovely Shines the Morning Star
  344. Come, Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs*
  345. Jesus, Lover of My Soul*
  346. Jesus! and Shall It Ever Be*
  347. Jesus, Priceless Treasure
  348. Jesus, Jesus, Only Jesus
  349. Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me
  350. Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee*
  351. Love Divine, All Love Excelling*
  352. O Savior, Precious Savior*
  353. Lord Jesus Christ, My Savior Blest
  354. In the Cross of Christ I Glory*
  355. Thou Art the Way; to Thee Alone*
  356. Jesus, Savior, Come to Me
  357. Jesus, Thou Art Mine Forever*
  358. Lamb of God, We Fall before Thee*
  359. Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies*
  360. Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing*
  361. O Jesus, King Most Wonderful*
  362. My Soul’s Best Friend, What Joy and Blessing
  363. To Our Redeemer’s Glorious Name*
  364. How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds*
  365. Jesus I Will Never Leave
  366. One Thing’s Needful; Lord, This Treasure
  367. Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus*
  368. The Lord My Pasture Shall Prepare*
  369. All Mankind Fell in Adam’s Fall
  370. My Hope is Built on Nothing Less*
  371. Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness**
  372. Through Jesus’ Blood and Merit
  373. By Grace I’m Saved, Grace Free and Boundless
  374. Grace! ’Tis a Charming Sound*
  375. If Thy Beloved Son, O God
  376. Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me*
  377. Salvation unto Us has Come
  378. All that I Was, My Sin, My Guilt*
  379. I do Not Come Because My Soul*
  380. Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ*
  381. I Know My Faith is Founded
  382. Lord, We Confess Our Numerous Faults*
  383. Seek Where Ye May to Find a Way
  384. Oh, How Great is Thy Compassion
  385. Now I have Found the Firm Foundation
  386. My Savior Sinners Doth Receive
  387. Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice
  388. Just as I Am, without One Plea*
  389. Not What These Hands have Done*
  390. Drawn to the Cross, which Thou hast Blest*
  391. Blessed Are the Sons of God*
  392. Blest Is the Man, Forever Blest*
  393. From God Shall Naught Divide Me
  394. My Faith Looks Up to Thee*
  395. O God, Thou Faithful God
  396. Oh, for a Faith That Will Not Shrink*
  397. O Love, Who Madest Me to Wear
  398. Renew Me, O Eternal Light
  399. Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower
  400. Take My Life and Let It Be*
  401. Praise to Thee and Adoration
  402. O God, Forsake Me Not!
  403. Savior, Thy Dying Love*
  404. Soul, What Return Has God, Thy Savior
  405. I Gave My Life for Thee*
  406. Lord, as Thou Wilt, Deal Thou with Me
  407. Farewell I Gladly Bid Thee
  408. Jesus Christ, My Pride and Glory
  409. Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus
  410. Jesus, Lead Thou On**
  411. From Eternity, O God
  412. May We Thy Precepts, Lord, Fulfil*
  413. I Walk in Danger All the Way
  414. The Man Is Ever Blest*
  415. Lo, Many Shall Come From the East and the West**
  416. Oh, that the Lord Would Guide My Ways*
  417. How Can I Thank Thee, Lord
  418. My God, My Father, While I Stray*
  419. O’er Jerusalem Thou Weepest*
  420. My Jesus, As Thou Wilt
  421. Come, Follow Me, the Savior Spake
  422. Savior, I Follow On*
  423. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken*
  424. My God, My Father, Make Me Strong*
  425. All Depends on Our Possessing
  426. The Lord My Shepherd Is*
  427. How Firm a Foundation, Ye Saints of the Lord*
  428. I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus*
  429. Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart
  430. What Is the World to Me
  431. The King of Love My Shepherd Is*
  432. In Hope My Soul, Redeemed to Bliss Unending
  433. Jesus, My Truth, My Way*
  434. O God of Jacob, by Whose Hand*
  435. My Spirit on Thy Care*
  436. The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want*
  437. Who Trusts in God, a Strong Abode
  438. Almighty Father, Heaven and Earth*
  439. O God of Mercy, God of Might*
  440. Lord, Lead the Way the Savior Went*
  441. We Give Thee But Thine Own*
  442. Lord of Glory, Who hast Bought Us*
  443. O Lord of Heaven and Earth and Sea*
  444. Rise! To Arms! With Prayer Employ You
  445. Am I a Soldier of the Cross*
  446. Rise, My Soul, to Watch and Pray
  447. Fight the Good Fight with All Thy Might*
  448. Brief Life Is Here Our Portion*
  449. My Soul, Be on Thy Guard*
  450. Soldiers of Christ, Arise*
  451. Stand Up!–Stand Up for Jesus*
  452. The Son of God Goes Forth to War*
  453. We Are the Lord’s; His All-Sufficient Merit**
  454. Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire*
  455. Our Heavenly Father, Hear*
  456. Approach, Ny Soul, the Mercy Seat*
  457. What a Friend We Have in Jesus*
  458. Our Father, Thou in Heaven Above
  459. Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare*
  460. Behold the Sure Foundation-Stone*
  461. Hark! the Church Proclaims Her Honor**
  462. I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord*
  463. For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest*
  464. Blest Be the Tie That Binds*
  465. Christ Is Our Corner-Stone*
  466. Christ, Thou Art the Sure Foundation*
  467. Built on the Rock the Church doth Stand**
  468. For All Thy Saints, O Lord*
  469. Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken*
  470. Rise Again, Ye Lion-Hearted
  471. Hark! the Sound of Holy Voices*
  472. Rise, Ye Children of Salvation
  473. The Church’s One Foundation*
  474. Zion Stands by Hills Surrounded*
  475. Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones*
  476. Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand*
  477. Lord Jesus, Thou the Church’s Head
  478. The Saints on Earth and Those Above*
  479. Zion, Rise, Zion, Rise
  480. Lord of the Worlds Above*
  481. Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow**
  482. Dear Lord, to Thy True Servants Give*†
  483. God of the Prophets, Bless the Prophets’ Sons*
  484. We Bid Thee Welcome in the Name*
  485. Lord Jesus, Who art Come
  486. O Thou Whose Feet have Climbed Life’s Hill*
  487. How Beauteous are Their Feet*
  488. Lord of the Harvest, Hear*
  489. Lord of the Church, We Humbly Pray*
  490. Pour Out Thy Spirit from on High*
  491. Send, O Lord, Thy Holy Spirit**
  492. Lord of the Living Harvest*
  493. Thou Who the Night in Prayer Didst Spend*
  494. Awake, Thou Spirit, Who Didst Fire
  495. From Greenland’s Icy Mountains*
  496. Hark! the Voice of Jesus Crying*
  497. The Morning Light is Breaking*
  498. Rise, Thou Light of Gentile Nations
  499. Look from Thy Sphere of Endless Day*
  500. May God Bestow on Us His Grace
  501. Soldiers of the Cross, Arise*
  502. Saints of God, the Dawn is Brightening*
  503. Rise, Crowned with Light, Imperial Salem, Rise*
  504. O Spirit of the Living God*
  505. O’er the Gloomy Hills of Darkness*
  506. Send Thou, O Lord, to Every Place*
  507. Spread, Oh, Spread, Thou Mighty Word**
  508. Thou Whose Almighty Word*
  509. There Still Is Room
  510. Savior, Sprinkle Many Nations*†
  511. Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun*
  512. O Christ, Our True and Only Light
  513. Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Troubled*
  514. God Moves in a Mysterious Way*
  515. O Thou from Whom All Goodness Flows*
  516. In the Hour of Trial*
  517. The Will of God Is Always Best
  518. If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee
  519. Beloved, ‘It Is Well!'”*
  520. Commit Whatever Grieves Thee
  521. What God Ordains Is Always Good
  522. When in the Hour of Utmost Need
  523. Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me
  524. In Thee, Lord, have I Put My Trust
  525. As Pants the Hart for Cooling Streams*
  526. In God, My Faithful God
  527. Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care*
  528. If God Himself Be For Me
  529. I Leave All Things to God’s Direction
  530. Thy Ways, O Lord, with Wise Design*
  531. Come, Ye Disconsolate*
  532. Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord*
  533. Nearer, My God, to Thee*
  534. God of My Life, to Thee I Call*
  535. Rejoice, My Heart, Be Glad and Sing
  536. Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun*
  537. Every Morning Mercies New*
  538. Now the Shades of Night are Gone*
  539. Come, Thou Bright and Morning Star
  540. With the Lord Begin Thy Task
  541. O Blessed Holy Trinity
  542. The Sun Arises Now
  543. When, Streaming from the Eastern Skies*
  544. While Yet the Morn is Breaking
  545. The Morning Sun is Brightly Beaming*†
  546. How Lovely Shines the Morning Star
  547. The Radiant Sun Shines in the Skies
  548. My Inmost Heart Now Raises
  549. God, Who Madest Earth and Heaven
  550. O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright*
  551. Sun of My Soul, Thou Savior Dear*
  552. Abide with Me! Fast Falls the Eventide*
  553. Through the Day Thy Love hath Spared Us*
  554. Now Rest Beneath Night’s Shadow
  555. The Day Is Past and Over*
  556. O God, Be with Us
  557. At Even, When the Sun Did Set*
  558. All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night*
  559. O Christ, Who Art the Light and Day
  560. Gracious God, Again is Ended
  561. Now that the Day hath Reached Its Close
  562. Round Me Falls the Night*
  563. The Sun’s Last Beam of Light is Gone
  564. O Trinity, Most Blessed Light*
  565. Savior, Breathe an Evening Blessing*
  566. Christ, by Heavenly Hosts Adored*
  567. O Lord, Whose Bounteous Hand Again*
  568. We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer, Creator**
  569. O Lord, I Sing With Lips and Heart
  570. Praise, Oh, Praise, Our God and King*
  571. What Our Father Does Is Well
  572. Praise to God, Immortal Praise*
  573. To Thee, O Lord, Our Hearts We Raise*
  574. Come, Ye Thankful People, Come*
  575. Before the Lord We Bow*
  576. Judge Eternal, Throned in Splendor*
  577. God Bless Our Native Land*
  578. Lord, While for All Mankind We Pray*
  579. Almighty Lord, before Thy Throne*
  580. To Thee, Our God, We Fly*
  581. All Ye Who on This Earth Do Dwell
  582. God, Lord of Sabaoth, Thou Who Ordainest*
  583. Great King of Nations, Hear Our Prayer*
  584. Swell the Anthem, Raise the Song*
  585. I Fall Asleep in Jesus’ Wounds
  586. A Pilgrim and a Stranger
  587. Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep*
  588. I Would Not Live Alway; I Ask Not to Stay*
  589. Oh, How Blest Are Ye Whose Toils are Ended
  590. In the Midst of Earthly Life
  591. Jesus, I Live to Thee*
  592. I Know of a Sleep in Jesus’ Name**
  593. Why do We Mourn Departing Friends*
  594. When My Last Hour Is Close at Hand
  595. Tender Shepherd, Thou hast Stilled**
  596. This Body in the Grave We Lay
  597. For Me to Live Is Jesus
  598. Who Knows when Death May Overtake Me
  599. My Course is Run, Praise God, My Course is Run
  600. O Lord, My God, I Cry to Thee
  601. All Men Living Are But Mortal
  602. It Is Not Death to Die*
  603. In the Resurrection**†
  604. Great God, What do I See and Hear?*
  605. The World Is Very Evil*
  606. O’er the Distant Mountains Breaking*
  607. Day of Wrath, O Day of Mourning*
  608. Let Thoughtless Thousands Choose the Road*
  609. Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying
  610. And will the Judge Descend*
  611. The Day is Surely Drawing Near
  612. That Day of Wrath, That Dreadful Day*
  613. Jerusalem the Golden*
  614. For Thee, O Dear, Dear Country*
  615. A Rest Remaineth for the Weary
  616. Forever with the Lord*
  617. There Is an Hour of Peaceful Rest*
  618. Jerusalem, My Happy Home*
  619. Jerusalem, Thou City Fair and High
  620. Lord, Who at Cana’s Wedding-Feast*
  621. O Father, All Creating*
  622. The Voice that Breathed o’er Eden*
  623. O Perfect Love*
  624. O Blessed Home Where Man and Wife**
  625. Oh, Blest the House, Whate’er Befall
  626. O Happy Home Where Thou art Loved Most Dearly**
  627. Gracious Savior, Gentle Shepherd*
  628. Shepherd of Tender Youth*
  629. Let Children Hear the Mighty Deeds*†
  630. Ye Parents, Hear What Jesus Taught
  631. Savior, Who Thy Flock art Feeding*
  632. In the Name which Earth and Heaven*
  633. O Lord of Hosts, Whose Glory Fills*
  634. Come, Jesus, from the Sapphire Throne*
  635. Here in Thy Name, Eternal God*
  636. Great Is the Lord, Our God*
  637. Founded on Thee, Our Only Lord*
  638. In Loud, Exalted Strains*
  639. For Many Years, O God of Grace*†
  640. God the Father, Son, and Spirit*†
  641. One Thy Light, the Temple Filling*
  642. Arise, O God, and Shine*
  643. Holy Father, in Thy Mercy*
  644. Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow*
  645. Behold, a Branch is Growing
  646. Silent Night! Holy Night!*
  647. O Little Town of Bethlehem*
  648. I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb**
  649. Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me*
  650. Behold a Stranger at the Door*
  651. Be Still, My Soul**
  652. I Lay My Sins on Jesus*
  653. Now the Light has Gone Away*
  654. Now the Day Is Over*
  655. I Pray Thee, Dear Lord Jesus
  656. Behold a Host, Arrayed in White
  657. Beautiful Savior**
  658. Onward, Christian Soldiers*
  659. Feed Thy Children, God Most Holy
  660. I’m But a Stranger Here*

DreamHost and Improved Performance

I have been using DreamHost for the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book almost from the site’s inception. Early on I had to upgrade from the cheapest shared hosting option to a VPS (Virtual Private Server). I had thought that with that upgrade I might see some performance gains, but the site kept moving at a tedious crawl, and no matter what optimizations I made, I could not get a significant boost in speed. I even began to consider other hosting options.

Today that changed.

In the course of attempting further optimizations, I narrowed my remaining speed issues down to the host itself. A diligent search revealed the culprit: my database was stored at a different data center from my domain, as explained here. I contacted support, and within an hour the site became blazingly fast. The database and website had been consolidated in the same data center, and I received a very courteous message from DreamHost support explaining what they had done. I could not be more pleased. Everything about administering this site is infinitely more pleasant than it ever has been before. I hope the improved speed may positively impact the user experience as well.

I post this chiefly in the hope that if anyone else is having issues with speed at a DreamHost site, this post may show up in search results and lead to others finding that the same solution works for them.

Thank you, DreamHost!

PSA: This Woman Is Not Elisabeth Cruciger!

As the first Lutheran woman hymn writer, and that with an illustrious entry within the very earliest of the Lutheran hymnals, Elisabeth Cruciger is a source of fascination for any who love the Lutheran chorales. Her hymn, “Lord Christ, God’s Only Dear Son” (“Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn”), found in LSB, No. 402, as “The Only Son from Heaven,” is among the brightest lights of the Lutheran chorale tradition. This lovely composition melds the modified tune of a secular love song with a text of supreme devotion to God, reflecting the mystical tradition that contributed to and in many ways enlivened Luther’s Reformation.

But if you’ve ever done a Google search for Elisabeth Cruciger, you have certainly come across this portrait:

Olympia Fulvia Morata

Many assume, reasonably enough, that this is a portrait of Elisabeth Cruciger herself. The style, though, betrays it as a later piece. As it turns out, this is in fact a portrait of Italian humanist and Reformation supporter Olympia Fulvia Morata (see her entry on Wikipedia), who flourished some 20 years after Elisabeth Cruciger.

How did this portrait come to be associated with Elisabeth Cruciger? As best I can tell, there was a German-language publication on the women of the Reformation that included both Elisabeth Cruciger and Olympia Fulvia Morata. The latter’s portrait, attractive as it is, was used as cover art, and through the association of the two figures, the portrait began popping up on Google searches for Elisabeth Cruciger.

Does anyone have any more information on the provenance of this portrait? Is there any possibility of tracking down a genuine portrait of Elisabeth Cruciger herself?

A Hymn for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving-BrownscombeAs we in the United States of America join in our National Day of Thanksgiving, my thoughts turn to those early European settlers in the New World, who gave humble and hearty thanks after the extreme sufferings of a harsh winter and a devastating famine. In the midst of our plenty, we tend to be less thankful to our God in Christ than were those poor souls who had lost so much.

I am also put in mind of the hymn with which my congregation concluded this year’s Thanksgiving Eve celebration: Martin Rinckart’s “Now Thank We All Our God” (“Nun danket alle Gott“). Rinckart himself may seem not to have had much for which to be thankful. Like those Plymouth Pilgrims, he had suffered profoundly. Serving as pastor (archdeacon) of Eilenburg during the worst of the Thirty Years’ War, which brought with it not only wanton destruction but also the horrors of plague, Rinckart buried literally thousands of his parishioners, including, in 1637, his own wife. And yet this embattled clergyman produced one of the most jubilant hymns of thanksgiving ever penned.

Martin Rinckart

Martin Rinckart (1586–1649)

Rinckart patterned his thanksgiving hymn, originally intended as a table prayer, after a selection of verses from the Apocrypha, which, while not received as inspired Scripture among the Lutherans, continued to be read and held in esteem among them for centuries. The verses in question are Sirach 50:22–24, “Now therefore bless ye the God of all, which only doeth wondrous things every where, which exalteth our days from the womb, and dealeth with us according to his mercy. He grant us joyfulness of heart, and that peace may be in our days in Israel for ever: That he would confirm his mercy with us, and deliver us at his time!” In fact, this passage served as the text from which the chaplains preached in thanksgiving at the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. It may be in connection with this joyous occasion that Rinckart wrote his hymn.

May Rinckart’s words, and Johann Crüger’s glorious melody, truly embody our spirit of thankfulness toward our gracious God in Christ.

Tempo Revisited

Since my last post on the tempos of the Reformation-era chorales, my thinking on tempo has developed yet further. In my previous post, I wrote that a tempo of about 120 BPM seemed about right for most of the early chorales. I then overhauled many of the audio files accordingly. The response from users was that the audio files were now too fast, and upon further reflection, I have to agree. This has driven me to further research and experimentation, which has led to the following conclusions: 1. I was correct in thinking earlier that the tactus in the early chorales corresponds to the breve. 2. I was wrong to think that the tactus as employed for the early chorales was as fast as 60 BPM. 3. The true tempo is best found by considering the speed at which the polyphonic arrangements are best sung. 4. A tactus of about 50 BPM yields a workable tempo for melodies in both 4/4 and 3/4, and allows Walter’s polyphonic arrangements to be sung with the semiminim (the shortest note value he uses in his 1524/5 collection) at a satisfying speed for the frequent mordents.

The music of the sixteenth century was driven by the tactus, a motion of the hand consisting of a downward stroke for the downbeat, followed by an upward stroke for the upbeat. Continue reading

Introducing the Free Lutheran Chorale-Blog

Since starting this site at over a year ago, and since transitioning to a self-hosted site earlier this year, my thinking about the structure of the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book has developed dramatically. The goal has remained constant: To provide unlimited free access to high-quality resources devoted to the singing of the great Lutheran chorales in English. How to achieve that goal is another question altogether.

Due largely to the nature of, the site started out pretty much as a blog. Each post was really supposed to function as a permanent page, serving as a gateway to all of the resources associated with a particular hymn, including English and German texts, audio files, and printable PDFs. Post categories served to organize hymns according to the church year and various topics. This design, or lack thereof, proved hopelessly confusing. A casual visit to the site left visitors with no clear idea of what the site was for or how to access materials.

This necessitated a major redesign. A new homepage now served as a launchpad for access to hymn text pages with looped audio to promote singing of all the stanzas. In this way the site began to function more as an online hymnal, particularly when accessed from a mobile device. Other elements were then changed in keeping with the new philosophy. The older blog posts were reimagined as “Hymn Info” pages, with links provided at the bottom of the text pages. Eventually, it became clear that there would have to be distinct pages for tunes. These can now be accessed both through a link under the audio player on the hymn text pages and via the tune indexes in the main menu.

Unfortunately, conceiving of the site as chiefly an online hymnal left the printable resources difficult to find: They were hidden away at the bottom of their hymn text pages. This has been addressed by moving the links to printable materials above the audio player. It had been feared that this would be too obtrusive, particularly when using a mobile device to sing the hymns from their text pages. In practice, however, the printable resources at the top of the page take up very little space. The site still functions nicely as a mobile online hymnal.

That still leaves us with a number of blog posts which remain as nothing but leftovers from an obsolete vision of what the site should be. Eventually the research found in the posts will be transferred to distinct “Text Info” pages, parallel to the existing “Tune Info” pages. This opens up the possibility of using the posting functionality for an actual blog.

Hence the Free Lutheran Chorale-Blog. I plan to publish posts regularly, and I hope for them to function as posts, not as substitute pages. These posts will serve to publicize news related to the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book, draw attention to notable additions to the site, serve as a venue for discussion of problems and philosophies involved in development, and whatever else doesn’t seem to fit in the Chorale-Book proper. Hopefully regular posting will also be a visible testimony to the fact that development on the site is constant and ongoing.

Check back regularly for new posts, and if you’ve been using and benefiting from the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book, thank you!

A Question of Tempo

Last night I tried singing through all of Luther’s psalm settings that I’ve put up here so far, using the audio player that I’ve embedded in the hymn text pages, and I noticed something interesting: “May God Bestow on Us His Grace” was the only one with a singable tempo.

With most of the audio files I’ve put up here, I’ve followed the convention of representing sixteenth-century semibreves with modern half notes. Assuming that each semibreve/half note corresponds to one resting heartbeat, I have given each hymn in cut time, “alla breve,” which is the time signature actually used in the sixteenth-century hymnals (a “C” with a vertical line through it), and I have assigned each half note the value of 90 BPM—a decidedly unhealthy resting heart rate. When played with a healthier heart rate of more like 60 BPM, these hymns really drag. So I’ve already been pushing the tempo, probably well beyond what would have been used in the sixteenth century, if I’ve understood it correctly.

But what last night’s experiment showed me was that there must be a flaw in my understanding of sixteenth-century tempo. At these tempos, which are already pushing it, I struggled to rest long enough on each syllable. These hymns beg to be sung at a faster tempo, whether in German or English. The reason that “May God Bestow on Us His Grace” was so much more singable is that it just happened to be played at 120 BPM, with semibreves being represented by quarter notes rather than half notes. The reason for that is that in Babst’s 1545 hymnal, the time signature for this hymn includes the numeral 2, which from what I understand meant that the tempo should be somewhere in between the slower 4/4 (C) and the faster 2/2 (C with vertical line). So rather than slow down the hymn even farther, I threw up my hands and gave up, electing to use the 4/4 time with quarter notes for semibreves, as the music is printed in recent sources, and play it at Musescore’s default 120 BPM—totally unscientific, and resulting in a hymn that was faster rather than slower, but the hymn proved very singable at that tempo. That has led me to believe that I should really be playing all the other hymns at that tempo or faster. (By the way, my thinking that the 2 meant “slower” is based on seventeenth-century sources. I recently read that the 2 in the sixteenth century meant the same thing as the slash through the C. So slash-C plus 2 would mean quadruple tempo! That would make sense, since the hymnals add the 2 to hymns that are made up of lots of breves.)

The opening of "These Are the Holy Ten Commands." The hymn is in cut time. The two rests, semibreve and minim in value, when added to the minim pickup note, come to one breve, which I identify with one measure. The rests are not necessary for performance. I therefore take them as giving the singer a sense of where the pickup note falls in the metrical structure.

The opening of “These Are the Holy Ten Commands.” The hymn is in cut time. The two rests, semibreve and minim in value, when added to the minim pickup note, come to one breve, which I identify with one measure. The rests are not necessary for performance. I therefore take them as giving the singer a sense of where the pickup note falls in the metrical structure.

So now I’m reconsidering the whole question of tempo. Everything I’ve read has told me that the semibreve in the sixteenth century stands for one at-rest heartbeat, and this has just proved to be impossibly slow in practice. But what if the heartbeat is supposed to correspond, not to the semibreve, but to the breve (which we represent with a whole note)? After all, the breve was the standard measure at the time. Most hymns provide however many rests before the opening pickup note as may be necessary to bring the value up to one breve, even if those rests are not to be observed in practice when the A section is repeated. The hymns are also notated in cut time, “alla breve,” or “to the breve.” It makes sense, therefore, to view the breve as the basic unit of measurement, and for the basic unit of measurement in the notation to correspond to the basic motion of the human heart.

If the breve corresponds to the heartbeat, and if each breve is divided into two semibreves, representing the downbeat and the upbeat, then each semibreve would correspond to either the systolic or the diastolic division of the heartbeat. Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub: God’s free grace and favor. Makes perfect sense. The implication for tempo would be that each measure of two beats would be played at about 60 BPM. Each half note (semibreve) is then played at about 120 BPM, each quarter note at 240 BPM.

(Of course, I may be making this more complicated than it needs to be. It could be that everything that says semibreve = heartbeat is assuming 4/4 (C) time. If 2/2 is twice the tempo, then we’ve arrived at the same conclusion. But why, then, do so many texts dealing with Reformation hymns assign the value of one heartbeat to one semibreve in cut time?)

I propose, therefore, to overhaul most of my hymn audio files, playing each measure at a rate of 60 BPM, with each half note being played at 120 BPM. This goes against everything I’ve read about sixteenth-century tempos. Experts in the field of mensural notation will laugh at my amateurish attempts to deal with this deviously difficult system of notation. But the results will be singable, and that’s what matters.