Rev. Dr. Jaroslav J. Vajda, composer, musician, and friend was blessed by God with a holy death on May 10, 2008, and taken home to rest in the arms of Jesus Christ to await the resurrection of the dead.
“Concordia Publishing House gives thanks to God for the faithful work of His servant, Rev. Vajda,” shares Bruce G. Kintz, President and CEO. “We rejoice in resurrection joy with his wife, Louise and children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His devoted service to CPH and his greater contribution to music will remain an enduring legacy.”
Rev. Vajda was named editor of Concordia Publishing House’s This Day magazine in 1963. From 1971 until his retirement in 1986, he served as book developer and editor at Concordia Publishing House.
Rev. Vajda came to prominence as a hymn writer with his hymn “Now the Silence,” which first appeared in Worship Supplement (CPH, 1969). His hymns and translations biblically rooted and rich in imagery number more than 200 and can be found in nearly 50 hymnals of various Christian denominations worldwide. In recognition of his significant contributions to the world of Christian hymnody, Pastor Vajda was named a Fellow of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. He also received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, Concordia Seminary – Saint Louis, in 2007.
In the spring of 2000, Concordia Publishing House purchased the rights to Rev. Vajda’s hymns and translations in order to preserve this important body of work for many generations to come. The complete collection of his hymns, Sing Peace, Sing Gift of Peace, was published by Concordia Publishing House in 2003. His hymns and translations can also be found in Lutheran Worship (CPH, 1982), Hymnal Supplement 98 (CPH, 1998), and Lutheran Service Book (CPH, 2006).
“The love that we have always known,
Our constant joy and endless light,
Now to the loveless world be shown,
Now break upon it deathly night.
Into one song compress the love
that rules our universe above:
Sing love, sing love, sing God is love!”