The Story of Our Hymns

Ernest Edwin Ryden

 (Rock Island, Illinois: Augustana Book Concern, 1930)


The following are select chapters from E.E. Ryden, The Story of Our Hymns (Rock Island, Illinois: Augustana Book Concern, 1930). 

This book is in the public domain.


For each chapter below, a short list is given of hymn writers discussed in the chapter whose hymns appear in the hymnal Lutheran Worship (St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1982), along with corresponding hymn numbers.  These lists are not comprehensive, but are intended to give an indication of some of the more prominent hymn writers treated in the book.



Early Christian Hymnody


  The Early Christian Chants

  Greek and Syriac Hymns

    [Clement of Alexandria (471), John of Damascus (133,141), Joseph the Hymnographer (190)]

  The Rise of Latin Hymnody

    [Ambrose (13,481,487), Prudentius (36,76,188)]

  An Ancient Singer Who Glorified the Cross

    [Forunatus (103,104,117,125,135,148,159)]

  The Golden Age of Latin Hymnody

    [Rhabanus Maurus (156,157,158,167), Bernard of Clairvaux (113,274), Bernard of Cluny (309,463)]


German Hymnody


  Martin Luther, Father of Evangelical Hymnody          


  The Hymn-Writers of the Reformation

    [Paul Speratus (355), Paul Eber (189,428), Nikolaus Decius (208,215)]

  Hymnody of the Controversial Period

    [Nikolaus Selnecker (257,344), Bartholomaus Ringwaldt (336,462), Martin Behm (79,479)]

  The King and Queen of Chorales

    [Philipp Nicolai (73,177)]

  Hymns of the Thirty Years' War

    [Johann Heermann (95,119,314,371,468), et al.]

  A Hymn Made Famous on a Battle Field

    [Jacob Fabricius (?) (300)]

  The Lutheran Te Deum

    [Martin Rinckart (443)]

  Paul Gerhardt, Prince of Lutheran Hymnists



Scandinavian Hymnody


  Kingo, the Poet of Eastertide

    [Thomas Kingo (100,225,245,387,476)]

  Brorson, the Poet of Christmas

    [Hans Brorson (192,391)]

  Grundtvig, the Poet of Whitsuntide

    [Nikolai Grundtvig (291,333)]



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