Hey all! I'm totally new to Lutheranism. Have been attending an LCMS for about the last 3 months. I've made a really great friend there and between her and listening to "fighting for the faith" and "Issues Etc." I've learned quite a lot about Luther, Lutheranism and especially and most importantly about Jesus/faith/grace/bible.
I know I could easily google this but wondered if anyone wanted to share what the whole Lutherans being into Bach is all about.
Hi Sketcher, welcome to the boards and to Lutheranism. I' not single but stray over here once in a while. I don't know much about Bach, but understand he was Lutheran and many of his works were based on his beliefs.
I was an adult convert to the Lutheran church and read a lot about Martin Luther. I firmly believe that i have always been a Lutheran, it just took me a while to figure it out.
First, one of the important contributions of Martin Luther occurred in the participation of the congregation in the worship service. Before the Reformation, congregations watched as the clergy performed all aspects of the service, offering only spoken responses. Among other things, Luther developed the chorale, which is essentially a multi-verse hymn for the congregation to sing. He tended to use popular melodies that the worshipers would already know (hence the accusation that some of Luther's melodies were actually German beer-drinking songs).
About 200 years later, Bach came along. He was born in 1685 and died in 1750. He was a gifted composer, as we now recognize, but at the time he was best known for his performance at the organ keyboard. One of Bach's greatest outputs is in the form of "Lutheran chorales," as they came to be known. In other words, he took the melodies and wrote various and fantastic four-part harmonizations for them. He used these over and over in his cantatas and passions and they are true sacred standards, still in use today.
Also, Bach incorporated theology into his work whenever possible. He saw himself only as a good Christian and Lutheran, serving God through serving those around him and living all aspects of his life to the glory of God. He designed a family crest that incorporated several chiastic (cross-like) structures. But overall, he did his best to live out Lutheran theology.
Interestingly, at his death, he owned two sets of Calov's commentary on the Guttenberg Bible. One had been owned by Martin Luther (if memory serves me correct). The other, with margin notations in his handwriting, actually resides at the seminary in St. Louis.
In short - Bach continues to be one of the more famous Lutheran historical figures and his music is drenched with liturgical and theological goodies! That's why Lutherans are so entranced with Bach!
P.S. - I'm writing most of these details from memory. If I screwed up somewhere along the line, please feel free to correct me!