12 May 2008

From CPH's Website - + Jaroslav Vajda

1919—2008

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!”

9 comments:

-C said...

Of all of the Vajda hymn texts I know (many from memory), this is the one that came to my mind first.

May his memory be eternal!

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

We sang his words "See This Wonder in the Making" to "Children of the Heavenly Father" for the baptism of my twins.

R.I.P.

elephantschild said...

Our choir will be singing "Go, My Children With My Blessing" for our Pastor's final service before he moves on to his next call.

Chris said...

We used his hymn service as our order of worship for the Summertime.

J.G. Fleischmann said...

I will miss Jerry. He graciously allowed me to use his hymn, "The Rescue We Were Waiting For" (a paraphrase of "Salvation Unto Us Has Come") for my ordination in 1986, before the hymn had been published or released.

I was blessed several times to sit at his feet as a student of hymnody. He had a strong influence on my hymn writing.

Requiem aeternum, dona eis Domine...

Helen said...

I remember exchanging letters when This Day was no more, to our mutual regret.

I am glad for the music.

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine the midnight Christ Mass not including "Before the Marvel of this Night" as the hymn of the day. Rest eternal grant, Jerry, O Lord, and let Light perpetual shine upon him.

Samuel Zumwalt

Cindy said...

My kids and I are fond of "Go, My Children, with My Blessing." It's a lovely summary of the church service and reminds us of what God does for us every Sunday and throughout our lives.

Sue said...

I just now found this post (newer reader to your blog). Today I attended a service at a church in a nearby town because my former pastor, Rev. Walter G. Boss, was preaching. The occasion was his 90th birthday! A fine sermon. We closed with his favorite hymn, "Go my children with my blessing", and learned that Rev. Vajda was his college roommate. It's nice to know this connection to a wonderful hymnist.