Though many hymns have been attributed to Ambrose, “Savior of the Nations, Come” is one of a few hymns that is evidentially attributed to Ambrose. Martin Luther, also writing during a period of great adversity, provided a literal translation of this text into German from which many English translations have since been produced. Fred Precht rightly says of the hymn: “In the history of hymnody this hymn is the Advent hymn par excellence.”
As Christians today,we don’t think or talk about the return of Christ as much. Thankfully, the church year helps us to remember Jesus’ words about His Second Coming, and the need to be prepared for His return. In this masterful hymn, Nicolai reminds us that Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom, will return as He has promised, but He also comes to be with us each week in the Divine Service, where we rejoice in His presence.
The Litany was in use during Luther’s early years of reform, though he desired it to be sung in the Mass and the daily offices of the congregations.
Word and pray for the one being baptized. He mentions that some of the other “external things” were less important. In our day, some of these practices have come back. Other new ones have been added. “Each generation trims a little, adds a little (extolling is never finished); but always the actual Baptism itself remains the same: ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph 4:5).”
When the attacks of the evil one assail us and in times of thanksgiving, we can trust in the One who is faithful and has promised to be with us always and rejoice with Luther that “Our victory has been won; the Kingdom ours remaineth.”
Hymnody has always been a great teaching tool, and this was certainly the case during the time of the Reformation. Luther and the Reformers wrote dozens of hymns for use in the church and home as a way to teach the faith. Over the course of his life, Luther wrote hymns on all six chief parts of the catechism.
The contributions of Nicolaus Decius to Lutheran hymnody, although few, actually predate the first published hymns of Martin Luther by one year. Two of these settings have survived in Lutheran hymnals of recent decades, “All Glory Be to God on High” and “Lamb of God, Pure and Holy.”
by Mr. Jonathan Swett Numerous treasures of the current body of Lutheran hymnody arose in the Reformation period, the chief contributor of which was Martin Luther. Several of these hymns have been explored over the course of this blog in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation! Although “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”… Read More >
by Mrs. Katie Schuermann The Reformation was birthed by adults, but it is preserved by children. For centuries, pastors and parents have been preaching a holy heritage into the ears of the young, clearly confessing a salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This happy proclamation, like a precious family heirloom, has… Read More >
by Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz If you want to start an argument among Lutherans, just bring up the topic of worship and the liturgy. Strong opinions exist along the spectrum, from those who would advocate a more casual, informal style of worship with very few traditional elements, to those who insist on following a very… Read More >