29 November 2008

Advent Arrives

today with the setting of the sun. As the darkest days of the year creep up on us, the Church celebrates the Sun of the Righteousness who rises with healing in His wings. The Divine Service for the first week in Advent always features one of my all-time favorite hymns: "Savior of the Nations." It was a hymn that St. Ambrose (whose commemoration is fast approaching) originally wrote, and which Luther loved so much he put into German. We have it, thus, from Ambrose through Luther and finally Englished. Here are some of its beautiful stanzas:

Then stepped forth the Lord of all
From His pure and kingly hall,
God of God, yet fully man,
His heroic course began.

God the Father was His source,
Back to God He ran His course.
Into hell His road went down,
Back then to His throne and crown.

For You are the Father's Son
Who in flesh the victory won.
By Your mighty power make whole
All our ills of flesh and soul.

From the manger newborn light
Shines in glory through the night.
Darkness there no more resides,
In this light faith now abides. (LSB 332:4-7)

You can hear a stunning organ rendition of the hymn here:


Chris H. said...

That "stunning organ rendition" is by Paul Manz. I suspect a number of organists (myself included) will be playing that setting on Sunday morning.

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

I first met Paul Manz in 1962. He was and is a most remarkable organist. His improvisations are works of art.

What surprises me about the video in this post is the fact that the organ console is placed directly in front of the altar. I hope that this is not its the normal.

If this is the case, the beauty of the music is diminished by the placement of the instrument.

William Weedon said...


I wondered about that too - surely a very odd setup that Manz would not approve at all!

Dixie said...

Oh...you mean the "arrangement" was by Paul Manz. That had me scratching my head for a minute when the young girl turned around and bowed. (Could that possibly be Maria?)

I think the organ must have been moved in front of the altar just for the performance. Is that possible?

And speaking of performance...the arrangement wonderfully showcases the skills of the musician but doesn't it seem a bit too "performance" like for the divine service? For a concert and this venue...no question that it is appropriate...but it seems a bit too much for me if this style were used in liturgy. (We had a performance driven choir director once at a former congregation which has sensitized me.)