Jaroslav Vajda

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Jaroslav Vajda (April 28, 1919 – May 10, 2008) was an American hymnist.

Vajda was born to a Lutheran pastor of Slovak descent. His father, Rev. John Vajda, was a pastor in East Chicago, Indiana at Holy Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church. This is where Jaroslav had his beginning learning from his father and his mother, Maria. Jaroslav had two brothers, Ludovit and Edward, both pastors, now deceased.

Vajda received musical training in childhood and began translating classical Slovak poetry at age eighteen. Vajda did not write his first hymn until age 49. From that time until his death in 2008 at age 89, he wrote over 200 original and translated hymns that appear worldwide in more than 65 hymnals. He also published two collections of hymn texts, numerous books, translations, and articles. Vajda served on hymnal commissions for Hymnal Supplement (1969) and Lutheran Book of Worship (1978).

Vajda was a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and was the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates recognizing hymnal contributions. After 18 years in a mostly bilingual ministry, he became the editor of This Day Magazine and then became a book editor and developer at Concordia Publishing House. Jaroslav Vajda retired in 1986.


List of hymns written by Jaroslav Vajda (not exhaustive):

  • "God of the Sparrow"
  • "Before the Marvel of This Night"
  • "Ever Since the Savior Came"
  • "A Dove Flew Down From Heaven"
  • "Slumber, Lovely Baby"
  • "Someone Special"
  • "Where Shepherds Lately Knelt"
  • "Peace Came to Earth"
  • "Wake, Shepherds, Awake"
  • "The King the Wise Men Found"
  • "Go, My Children, with My Blessing"
  • "Then the Glory"
  • "Now the Silence"
  • "In Hopelessness and Near Despair"
  • "Jesus, Take Us to the Mountain"
  • "When You Woke That Thursday Morning"
  • Amid the World's Bleak Wilderness