Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin

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"Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin"
Hymn by Martin Luther
Mit Fried und Freud Babstsches Gesangbuch 1545.jpg
Text and melody with biblical illustration, Bapstsches Gesangbuch, 1545
Textby Martin Luther
LanguageGerman
Based onNunc dimittis
Published1524 (1524)
About this soundAudio 

"Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin" ([mɪt ˈfʁiːd ʊnt ˈfʀɔʏ̯d ɪç ˈfaːʁ daˈhɪn]; In peace and joy I now depart) is a hymn by Martin Luther, a paraphrase in German of the Nunc dimittis, the canticle of Simeon. Luther wrote the text and melody in 1524 and it was first published in the same year. Originally a song for Purification, it has been used for funerals. Luther included it in 1542 in Christliche Geseng ... zum Begrebniss (Christian chants ... for funeral).

The hymn appears in several translations, for example Catherine Winkworth's "In peace and joy I now depart", in nine hymnals. It has been used as the base for music, especially for vocal music such as Dieterich Buxtehude's funeral music Mit Fried und Freud and Johann Sebastian Bach's chorale cantata Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 125.

History[edit]

The text and melody were composed by Luther in the spring of 1524. Later in the same year, it was published in Wittenberg in Johann Walter's Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn (Wittenberg hymnal),[1][2] but was not included in the Erfurt Enchiridion. Originally a song for Purification, it has been used for funerals.[3] Luther included it in 1542 in Christliche Geseng ... zum Begrebniss (Christian chants ... for funeral) as one of six hymns.[1]

The hymn appears in several translations, for example Catherine Winkworth's "In peace and joy I now depart", in 9 hymnals, for example as No. 48 in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary.[4]

Theme[edit]

The hymn is based on the Nunc dimittis, the canticle of Simeon. Luther expanded the thoughts of each of the four verses to a stanza of six lines. The first stanza expresses accepting death in peace (Luke 2:29), the second gives as a reason the meeting with the Saviour (Luke 2:30), the third accents his coming for all people (Luke 2:31), the fourth the coming as a light for the heathen and glory for Israel.(Luke 2:31) The lines are of different length, meter 8.4.8.4.7.7, stressing single statements.[4]

Luther, a former monk, was familiar with the Latin Nunc dimittis from the daily night prayer (compline). The hymn was dedicated to the celebration of the Purification on 2 February, which was kept by the Lutherans as a feast day. It became also one of the most important songs for the dying (Sterbelied) and for funerals.[1] It is listed among those in the Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch as No. 519. [5]

Text[edit]

Today's text

Corresponding verse in the canticle

English translation

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
in Gotts Wille;
getrost ist mir mein Herz und Sinn,
sanft und stille,
wie Gott mir verheißen hat:
der Tod ist mein Schlaf worden.

Herr, nun lässt du deinen Diener in Frieden fahren,
wie du gesagt hast; (Luke 2:29)

With peace and joy I go on my way
in God’s will.
My heart and mind are comforted,
peaceful and calm.
As God promised me
death has become my sleep.

Das macht Christus, wahr’ Gottes Sohn,
der treu Heiland,
den du mich, Herr, hast sehen lan
und g’macht bekannt,
dass er sei das Leben mein
und Heil in Not und Sterben.

denn meine Augen haben deinen Heiland gesehen, (Luke 2:30)

This is the work of Christ, God’s true son,
the faithful saviour,
whom you, Lord, have allowed me to see
and made known
that He is our life
and salvation in trouble and in dying.

Den hast du allen vorgestellt
mit groß Gnaden,
zu seinem Reich die ganze Welt
heißen laden
durch dein teuer heilsam Wort,
an allem Ort erschollen.

den du bereitet hast vor allen Völkern, (Luke 2:22–31)

You have set him before everybody
with great mercy,
that to his kingdom the whole world
may be called and invited
through your precious healing Word
that has resounded everywhere.

Er ist das Heil und selig Licht
für die Heiden,
zu ’rleuchten, die dich kennen nicht,
und zu weiden.
Er ist deins Volks Israel
Preis, Ehre, Freud und Wonne.

ein Licht, zu erleuchten die Heiden
und zum Preis deines Volkes Israel. (Luke 2:32)

He is salvation and a blessed light
for the gentiles,
to enlighten those who do not know you,
and to give them pasture.
For your people Israel He is
their reward, honour, joy and delight. [6]

Music[edit]

Wittenberg hymnal, 1524 (reprint, WA 35)

The tune in dorian mode (About this soundlisten ) follows the text of the first stanza. "Joy" is expressed by upward fifths, dotted rhythm and melismas. In the last line, the melody turns below the key note on the text "sanft und stille" (gentle and calm).

The hymn is the base of several compositions. Organ music has been written though the centuries, such as Dieterich Buxtehude's chorale prelude of 1674, Max Reger's No. 5 and 10 of his Choral Preludes for Organ, Op. 79b (1901–03), and Ernst Pepping's Partita No. 3 (1953).[7]

Several composers wrote vocal settings, some intended for funerals. Four-part choral settings have been composed by Johann Walter (1524), Lupus Hellinck, published in 1544, Bartholomäus Gesius (1601), Michael Praetorius, Johann Hermann Schein, Samuel Scheidt and others.[7] Heinrich Schütz used it in movement 21 of his Musikalische Exequien, composed for the funeral of Henry II, Count of Reuss-Gera. Buxtehude wrote four different versions for the four stanzas in complex counterpoint as a funeral music for Menno Hanneken, Mit Fried und Freud, which he later expanded by a Klag-Lied (lament) into a funeral music for his father. Johann Sebastian Bach used the hymn as the base for his chorale cantata Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 125. Bach used single stanzas in his cantatas, the funeral cantata Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106 (c. 1708), Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95, for the 16th Sunday after Trinity (1723), and Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde, BWV 83, for Purification 1724).[7] Georg Philipp Telemann composed around 1729 a first sacred cantata for voices, strings and basso continuo, and a second cantata for voice, violin and continuo which is lost. Johannes Brahms used the first stanza to conclude his motet Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen? [de].


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Mit Fried' und Freud' ich fahr' dahin". hymnary.org. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Mit Fried und Freud / Text and Translation of Chorale". Bach Cantatas Website. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  3. ^ Leaver, Robin A. (2007). Luther's Liturgical Music: Principles and Implications. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-80-283221-0.
  4. ^ a b "In Peace and Joy I Now Depart". hymnary.org. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  5. ^ Herbst, Wolfgang, ed. (2001). Wer ist wer im Gesangbuch? (in German). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 3-52-550323-7.
  6. ^ Browne, Francis. "Mit Fried und Freud". Bach cantata's website. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works / Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin". Bach Cantatas Website. Retrieved 12 November 2014.

Literature[edit]

External links[edit]