Episode 23 – Martin Luther’s Reformation of Hymnody and Liturgy

When Martin Luther first posted the 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, he was driven by a deep concern for his congregation. This continued to be the primary driver of everything he did for his entire career as a reformer.

Luther’s concern for his congregation was expressed in many ways. He wrote sermons for his own congregation; he wrote guidelines for sermons for other pastors; he wrote devotionals.  Even when he wrote a theological treatise, his mind wasn’t ever very far from the regular-folk and what this would mean for them.

In this episode we look at how Luther used music.  In churchy terms, we call this Luther’s hymnody, the body of music that was written by Luther to communicate proper theology to the congregation.

This episode is released on Oct 31, 2017, the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 theses. Happy Reformation Day, everyone!

Tower of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

We’re taking a break from Luther’s story at the Diet of Worms. Instead, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 theses, we’re going to focus this episode on the single subject that animated everything that Luther did in his struggles with the medieval Catholic Church – the congregation.

To tackle the entire issue of Luther’s concern for the congregation is too much for one episode, so we’re going to limit ourselves to Luther’s hymns, which were one of his favorite ways to communicate his theology to the common folk.

Neither of us really know much about music, so we’ve invited Chris Mowers, one of our congregation’s music experts at St. Paul Lutheran Church, to help us out.

Beer break!

Stan Bucrek, a member of St. Paul, provided the beer for our break. We asked Chris Mowers and Stan to help with this episode as a demonstration that Luther’s reforms of hymnody and liturgy were done with the congregation in mind.

The Pale Ale is
(Modified)  Cornerstone India Pale Ale:
ABV: 6.56%
Magnum, Amarillo,  Centennial and Cascade hops-
Was supposed to be an IPA, but the secondary hop addition was reduced to let malt not be overwhelmed by hops [I dislike it when the beer tastes like prairie grass]. Well balanced flavor and bite, with a well sustained head when poured.
Original Recipe from: AIH (Adventures in Home-Brewing) Ann Arbor, MI.

Fire Island Scotch Ale:
ABV: 5.51%
(Not related to New York’s Fire Island Brewing Co.)
Crystal and Chocolate malts, brown sugar &  Kent Golding hops –
Smooth, sweet and drinkable – A fall/winterish Ale with pleasant hints/notes resembling Scotch Whiskey sans actually barrel aging the beer.

Recipe from: James C. Whitely, Arbor Beer-making Supplies, East Islip, New York.

Both beers are brewed in 5 gallon batches and bottle aged.
The Pale Ale is from June of this year and the Scotch Ale was brewed in March.

Episode 22 – The Diet of Worms Part 2

Martin Luther, the professor of Biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg, had finally received the invitation with the promise of safe conduct from the emperor. Now Luther had decide if he would attend the Diet of Worms.

The invitation that Luther received said nothing about the structure of the meeting. Would it be the open debate he had wanted since the beginning? Would the Bible or canon law be used to evaluate the positions of the debaters? Luther had no way of knowing.

Ultimately, Luther decided he wouldn’t be called a coward. He loaded up a wagon and began the 300 mile journey to Worms to defend his teachings to the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire.

Martin Luther at the imperial Diet or Reichstag of Worms, Edict of Worms, 1521

Frederick the Wise requested a hearing for Luther. The emperor extended an invite, then rescinded it after hearing arguments from Aleander. But it didn’t matter, since Frederick the Wise declined the invitation since he was suspicious of the clergy over-riding the emperor’s promise of safe conduct, just like they did to Jan Hus. Eventually, everything got worked out and Luther was extended an invitation with a promise of safe conduct.

Luther at the Diet of Worms, by Anton von Werner, 1877

Beer Break

Wolverine State Brewing Company’s Barista Coffee Lager / 6.6% abv / 13 IBUs

A collaboration brew with Ann Arbor’s RoosRoast featuring locally roasted Colombian coffee. This brew took gold at the 2015 World Expo of Beer! Wolverine Brewer Karl Hinbern, once in the coffee roasting business himself, spearheaded the coffee side of this beer, finally selecting a Colombian Excelso bean roasted at Roos. Part beer, part coffee, what’s not to love?

From Wolverine State Brewing Co.’s website

At Wolverine State Brewing Co., we love lagers. A lot. We love them so much, we make literally nothing else — no ales pass through these draft lines. And in fact, we’re Michigan’s first and only all-lager microbrewery. But what makes lagers special? Why are we so obsessed with them? Read on:

Ales and lagers, for all their perceived differences, are NOT all that different. The chief differences lie in their fermentation temperatures and durations (lagers = colder and longer) and yeast strains. That’s it! You can do anything with a lager that you can do with an ale. Put it in a bourbon barrel. Hop the living hell out of it. Add guava and lime and the kitchen sink. Drink it on a hot day. Warm yourself up in the winter. Leave it unfiltered. The list goes on. Bottom line: they are both beers.

What is different, however, is the way lagers pass through your palate. Lagers are generally characterized by tight, crisp, clean finishes — these finishes are difficult to achieve, which is one reason lots of breweries do not brew lagers. They are hard to make. There is nothing to hide behind. And that crisp finish works as a natural palate cleanser — you’re left wanting more and more and more and more.

Recognitions

Thanks to Josh Yagley our sound engineer.

Source materials

James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer

Scott Hendrix – Martin Luther – Visionary Reformer

Roland Bainton – Here I Stand, A Life of Martin Luther

Luther’s Works – volumes 32

Wikipedia

 

Episode 21 – The Diet of Worms Part 1

Charles V of Spain was on a very steep learning curve. Even though he was only 20 years old, he had just been voted as the new Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Including his governance of Spain, he now had the responsibilities for a vast domain that included modern day Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Northern Italy and South America.

Charles had prepared for these responsibilities for his entire life, so he felt in 1521 as ready as he could have been as he approached his first major meeting with the leaders of the Empire, set for the city of Worms, in the Rhineland of Germany. Still, he knew the princes, electors, dukes and other leaders of the would be watching him closely for any missteps as he sought to guide the empire through the treacherous terrain of medieval European politics.

Treacherous barely describes the complexity of the situation Charles had inherited from his grandfather. The pope was no friend, having done everything in his power to deny Charles the position of Emperor. The German princes were fractious and squabbling, even while the Turks were threatening the eastern edges of the empire. And in his own Spain, the commoners were rising up in revolt against the nobility.

Finally, there was this matter regarding the German monk, Dr. Martin Luther. Although Luther’s teachings were popular with the people, Charles was confident everybody would fall in line behind the pope declaring Luther a heretic. Still, to calm the leadership of the German states, and to get them to finally work together against the Turks, Charles on November 28, 1520 agreed that Luther would be given a hearing at the Diet scheduled to be held in the city of Worms in early 1521.

The Diet of Worms will be dealt with through three parts. The word diet describes an assembly of the Holy Roman Empire. The first part looks at the lead up to the hearing in Worms. We especially focus on why a monk that has already been declared a heretic by the pope is being given a hearing in Germany. The second part will look at the hearing itself and Luther’s famous speech before the emperor. The final part will examine what happens after the hearing is over and how Luther is “kidnapped” and taken to the Wartburg.

Luther at the Diet of Worms, by Anton von Werner, 1877

Beer Break

Our featured beer in this episode is from Perrin Brewing in Comstock Park, Michigan. The No Problems Session IPA bursts open with aromatics of fresh citrus fruits, ripened melon and a distinctive floral bouquet.

Diet of Worms by Swashbookler

Recognitions

Thanks to Josh Yagley for the sound engineering

James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer

Scott Hendrix – Martin Luther – Visionary Reformer

Roland Bainton – Here I Stand, A Life of Martin Luther

Luther’s Works – volumes 32

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