I have a catechism which belonged to my great-great uncle, Fred Schindeldecker. He was confirmed in 1891. The catechism is an 1889 Dietrich Catechism. On the final pages of the catechism, there is a list of hymns and hymn verses which are important to learn. There is a list for lower grades, and one for middle and upper grades. The list for the lower grades lists a handful of hymns per season of the church year. The second list identifies a single hymn for each Sunday of the church year.
In the PDF file linked below, I have reproduced the list, noting the English title and the corresponding hymn numbers in various Lutheran hymnals. Some hymns are not found in any of these, while many are found in all of them.
Hymns to Learn (1889 Catechism)
Previously, I had created a similar list of hymns, also corresponding to the historic church year. A good number of the hymns were the same, and some even fell on the same Sunday. This list in the catechism includes more hymns that don’t necessarily tie to the Sunday, but includes more hymns for evening, trust, and death and dying. I would like to now go through both the lists and take the best of both.
The idea behind a list like this is having a hymn that can be sung and learned in the home. It may or may not specifically connect with the Sunday’s emphasis, but over the course of the year(s) tries to cover all the topics and themes of the Christian faith, much like the catechism itself.
3 thoughts on “Hymns to Learn”
This is a good list! Thank you; this is very practical, as well as connecting us to our true heritage of Lutheran hymns for Lutheran congregations!
I think the hymn for Trinity 4 is ELH 255 — a particular favorite of Bach’s, as you might already know. The hymn for Trinity 3 is a hymn by a Pietist, but it is a pretty good one in my opinion: “Fairest Bridegroom Mine” by Adame Drese (1695). The 1st and last line of each 6-line stanza is repeated. The last verse is “Sharon’s Rose so fair …” You might do a google search for it, but I have it in a Hymnal Supplement that the ELS Worship Committee published in a spiral-bound version prior to ELH. I can share it with you if you like. I was also wondering if the hymn for Easter 3 is a Gerhardt hymn. I *love* “Now Let Us Come Before Him.” Thanks again!
Yes, the Easter 3 hymn is a Gerhardt hymn. It appears that the last two stanzas were used in Bach’s cantata for Trinity Sunday (BWV 194).
Yes, I would be interested in the version of “Seelenbräutigam.” I noticed that Bach used it, but wondered how it would come out in English.
This has been quite interesting to look up these unfamiliar, but “important hymns.” I keep learning. For example, I always assumed that the tune “VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN” was the original tune for “All Glory, Laud, and Honor”. I guess I thought that when I realized that it wasn’t the tune for “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You.” I didn’t realize that “Valet Will Ich Dir Geben” was a hymn for death and dying. This fall, Lutheran Public Radio played BWV 95 (Christus, der ist mein Leben), where this hymn is used with a lovely soprano solo.
Adam Drese, 1695; translation, composite
Fairest Bridegroom mine,
Jesus, Lamb divine,
Fervent thanks to Thee I render
For Thy love so pure and tender,
Which hath made me Thine,
Jesus, Lamb divine.
Treasure of my heart,
God and man Thou art,
Born in deep humiliation
To effect the world’s salvation;
Ne’er from me depart,
Treasure of my heart.
Keep my inner sight
Ever clear and bright;
Pour on me the oil of gladness,
That through all the gloom of sadness
I may see the light
By that inner sight.
Here my treasures wane,
There a crown I gain;
Here but hoping and believing,
There reality perceiving,
I do not complain,
Tho’ my treasures wane.
Jesus, dearest Friend,
Help me to contend
With the ills that come assailing,
That, against them all prevailing,
Thou unto the end
Be my dearest Friend.
Sharon’s Rose so fair,
Sweet beyond compare,
Naught but Thy good will and pleasure,
Here on earth my soul shall treasure.
All Thy grace I share,
Sharon’s Rose so fair.