When Martin Luther set the Apostles' Creed to a medieval chant melody, the result was a chorale, a profession of faith that has been sung by Protestant congregations for centuries. Luther's hymn, "We All Believe in One True God," is the theme of a public hymn festival 7 p.m. Sunday, June 23, 2019, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Ore., featuring the cathedral's grand Rosales pipe organ.
The hymn festival corresponds with the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians' annual conference this year in Portland. The hymn festival is sponsored by the Church Music Institute (CMI). CMI Programs Director Benjamin Kolodziej selected hymns reflecting Lutheran reverence of the Trinity. "'We All Believe in One True God' is a credal statement of faith," he said, "with one stanza dedicated to the Father, the other to the Son, the other to the Holy Spirit. Luther took the original medieval hymn and adapted it for congregational singing. The three stanzas of this hymn form the framework for the hymn festival, as it does for the beliefs of any Christian."
Leading the hymn festival is renowned church organist Bruce Neswick, Ph.D., Trinity Cathedral's Canon for Cathedral Music. Dr. Neswick will perform his original anthem "Jesus Came from Nazareth." Other hymns are by modern Lutheran sacred music composer Carl Schalk and hymnist Jaroslav Vajda as well as the Victorian-era "The Church's One Foundation."
The choral music and congregational hymns chosen by Mr. Kolodziej are centered on the Apostles' Creed, dating back to the 9th century. "It was formulated as a brief statement of faith," Kolodziej said. "The three parts are dedicated to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--the framework for the hymn festival."
Will you consider singing with us?
The choir is limited to the first 48 registrants. Register here.
Schedule for Sunday, 23 June:
*Pizza/salad dinner brought in: 6pm
*Call time: 6.40pm
*Hymn festival begins at 7pm.
Registration to sing costs $10 to cover a packet of music and dinner. Please register here.
The choir will be involved in creative arrangements of the following hymns. Choir directors will certainly be able to pick up ideas to apply with their own choirs:
This ancient chant, adapted and set to the vernacular by Martin Luther, has been a staple in the hymn singing of many German congregations. This congregational/choir setting comes straight from a German church service!
This Reginald Heber hymn text has become a classic in many denominations, singing praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but also looking toward the eschaton.
This chorale was adapted by Bach, with an English text by the great Czech Lutheran hymn writer, Jaroslav Vajda.
This setting of the Gloria in Excelsis, composed by Praetorius, is here sung by the National Lutheran Choir, David Cherwien conducting.
This hymn, known as the "Queen of Chorales," with its sprightly rhythms and musical energy, has been treated by many composers through the centuries.
Jesus Came from Nazareth
Bruce Neswick, Canon for Music at the cathedral and co-director of this hymn festival, has provided a lovely anthem focusing on the nature of Christ Jesus.
This Latin chant, here sung in a setting by John Scott, is traditionally sung during the Advent season.
This Pentecost chant, adapted during the Reformation and set countless times for choir and organ, emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit in breathing life to the Church.
The Church is built on the Holy Spirit, this great nineteenth-century hymn demonstrating in music and poetry the solidity of that foundation.
Paired with a lovely Welsh tune, this hymn text by Vajda offers a blessing before we depart.