Musical Musings~ Reflections on Sunday’s Music

February 15, 2015
  1. Finlandia- The background of a musical tune that connects us to the concept of relying on God
Today's hymn of response shares a heritage between three nations: Germany, Scotland, and Finland. The librettist was likely a Lutheran nun who was connected with a small court in Köthen, Halle in Germany. Over a hundred years later, the text was  translated to English by the Jane Borthwick, a member of the Free Church of Scotland. 
 
The text was later paired with Sibelius's tune "Finlandia," which was originally composed for the Peace Celebrations of 1899 as Finland was being threatened by Russia. The work begins with tumultuous and gripping chords which symbolizes the struggles of the Finnish people but then closes with the theme that we will be singing today that provides resolution, hope and peace.
 
The editors of the 1933 hymnal for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) included this hymn as it remains powerful and profound; despite all that vies for our attention the peace of God will override all of it. Psalm 119:165 states: "Great peace have they that love your law and nothing can make them stumble."
 

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