The Beauty of Lutheran Hymns

Thank you for the especially fine March issue of The Lutheran Witness, with its emphasis on liturgical music and hymnody. I am personally well acquainted with the excellent Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival program for high-school students. I would also like to emphasize the fact that these young musicians have real fun and enjoyment during those weeks of spiritual growth.

In particular, I was impressed with the article in which Dr. Wismar drew attention to the importance of Lutheran hymns. It saddens me that many of our young people, having attended only “contemporary worship” services, have never been exposed to our beautiful Lutheran hymns. The expressions of faith in so many texts preach a whole sermon. While many contemporary “songs” may be an attraction, some, with their endless repetitive character, seem lacking in depth of meaning and expression of the Gospel message. I fear we can be losing little-by-little our fine heritage of sacred hymnody for coming generations. It concerns me greatly.

Joan Scheele Mueller
Webster Groves, Mo.


I enjoyed the March issue of The Lutheran Witness. It is great to see teens involved in making Christ-centered music. At our church, St. John’s Lutheran, La Grange, Ill., there is a seventh-grader, Peter Wykert, whose goal is to be a music director of a Lutheran church and school. He plays several instruments and has conducted at least one of our hand-bell choirs. He and my son (Justin, an eighth-grader) play in the blue ribbon, award-winning Jubilee hand-bell choir. My son even featured them on his radio show. God bless our youth!

Dave Minckley
Berwyn, Ill.


I am a church organist and enjoyed the March issue featuring our Lutheran music and musicians.

The problem in our small community is that most of the organists are in their 60s or 70s, myself included.

I would encourage parents to have their children take up music, as it provides a lifelong enjoyment, as well as an opportunity to serve their Lord.

Luella A. Zillinger
Phillipsburg, Kan.


Thank you for the articles in the March issue on our fellow Lutherans Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn. The sacred music of these two composers may or may not be appreciated by all of their fellow Christian church-goers; but it is continuing year after year to reach around the world in a meaningful way to thousands of non-Christians who would never set foot inside a church but who do hear and appreciate it in concert halls as it clearly and movingly proclaims the Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost Gospel. It is with good reason that Bach is often called the Fifth Evangelist!

Thank you also for the delightful story on the Lutheran Summer Music program, which is doing so much to help ensure that our congregations will benefit from, and enjoy, the service of competent and committed parish musicians in the years ahead!

Rev. Louis G Nuechterlein, emeritus
Cheshire, Conn.


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