ILLA Blogs

Commentary and reviews by classical Lutheran education commentators.

The Healey Willan Te Deum

Te Deum Fort Wayne

Our Wednesday morning chapel services follow the order of Matins throughout the year -- though we do have some seasonal changes such as using the beautiful Healey Willan setting of the Te Deum during the weeks after Easter until the end of the school year. We had purchased enough bulletin-sized folded single-page versions of this from CPH which we hand out and collect each year.

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Lo, Judah's Lion Wins the Strife

church window slide show 7Our hymn of the week each year for Quasimodogeniti is John Bajus' translation of Lo, Judah's Lion Wins the Strife.

Besides having a wonderful melody, it relates Biblical stories which children have learned to the work of Christ with stanzas like "'Tis He whom David did portray when he did strong Goliath slay . . . " and "Like Samson, Christ great strength employed and conquered h ell, its gates destroyed." (TLH 211) The hymn is not found in LSB.

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The Catechetical Service

Catechetical ServiceSince the publication of The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH), no hymnal produced by The LCMS has contained "A Form for the Opening and Closing of Christian Schools." We, however, follow this delightful little order (found on pages 50-52) as a signifcant part of our worship life each week.

Besides containing two of the Six Chief Parts (The Apostles' Creed and The Lord's Prayer), the order explicitly has a place for "The Catechism" at which point the pastor turns to the gathered student body and faculty asking, "What is the Second Commandment? and "What does this mean?" hearing in reply what the students have been practicing in their Weekly Catechesis recitations.

Following that recitation, all join in singing the corresponding hymn or stanza from Luther's catechetical hymns -- but we don't always sing the entire hymn. So, for example, in the week for The Second Commandment, we sing stanzas 1, 3, and 12 of TLH 287, That Man A Godly Life Might Live, or again, in the week when The Fourth Petition is assigned, we sing only stanza 5 of TLH 458 Our Father, Who in Heav'n Above.

Then comes the sermonic instruction based on an appointed Bible memory verse which is included in our Weekly Catechesis booklet.

After the sermon, treated as a "proper" of the service, we sing TLH 288, Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain the Catechism's Doctrine Plain. In just three stanzas, this delightful little hymn includes a simple poetic reference to each of the Six Chief Parts.

One further interesting detail: for the psalmody, the portions of Psalm 119 are assigned. This psalm has much to say about godly instruction and the number of its sections match up with the number of the portions of the first three chief parts. It is only at the point of "What is meant by 'Amen'?" that we have to draw upon other psalms to finish the second half of the year. These psalms are selected from the recommendations in TLH, pages 166-168 based on the church year.

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