Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rochester, Pennsylvania
Henry Doktorski, III

August 23, 2015—13th Sunday after Pentecost

Johann von Rist

Our scripture readings today once again remind us of eating and drinking. Proverbs invites us, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.” The Psalmist confirms, “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Ephesians, on the other hand, warns us, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit.” And John relates Jesus’ prophecy to the Jews, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.”

Our Hymn of the Day, “O Living Bread from Heaven,” with text by Johann von Rist and tune by Samuel S. Wesley is a classic from the hymn repertoire.

O living Bread from heaven, how well you feed your guest!
The gifts that you have given have filled my heart with rest.
Oh, wondrous food of blessing, oh, cup that heals our woes!
My heart, this gift possessing, with praises overflows!

Johann von Rist (1607-1667) was the son of a Lutheran Pastor in what is today Hamburg, Germany. He received his early training at the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums in Hamburg and the Gymnasium Illustre in Bremen; he then studied theology at the University of Rinteln. In 1635 he was appointed pastor of the village of Wedel on the Elbe River. He wrote poetry and dramatic works, but today is best known for his hymns. Rist’s German text for “O Living Bread from Heaven” was translated into English poetry by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878).

Samuel Sebastian Wesley
Samuel Sebastian Wesley

The music used for today’s hymn (known by the name “Aurelia”) was composed by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876), an English organist who was born into a family of poets, theologians and church musicians. He was the son of the English organist Samuel Wesley (1766-1837) and the great nephew of John Wesley (1703-1791), the founder of the Methodist Church.

Samuel S. Wesley was famous during his lifetime as an organist and choir director. He composed organ works, choir anthems, service music and hymn tunes. Aurelia has been published in at least 306 hymnals and is best-known as the tune for “The Church’s One Foundation,” a hymn text written by yet another Samuel (apparently a popular name in Great Britain during the day): Samuel J. Stone (1839-1900).

You can hear the Choir of Clifton College, Bristol, United Kingdom, sing Samuel S. Wesley’s Aurelia (with the more common text “The Church’s One Foundation”) on YouTube:



Joshua 24:1-2a, 14.18
Psalm 34: 15-22
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6:56-59

Music & Hymns

Prelude Ave Maria (Franz Schubert)
Gathering LBW 503 O Jesus, I Have Promised (use Aurelia LBW 197)
Hymn of the Day LBW 197 O Living Bread from Heaven
Offertory Gigue from Partita No. 1 in Bb (J. S. Bach)
Communion Prelude No. 15 in Db (Fryderyk Chopin)
Sending LBW 495 Lead On, O King Eternal
Postlude Prelude & Fugue in C (J. S. Bach)


Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version (Zonderfan: 1989)
LBW: Lutheran Book of Worship (Augsburg Publishing House: 1978)
WOV: With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress: 1995)
W&P: Worship & Praise Songbook (Augsburg Fortress: 1999)
ELW: Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Augsburg Fortress: 2006)
GIA Publications:

Notes from the Music Director (No. 6)