March 13, 2016 — Fifth Sunday in Lent

HYMN #489 Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty. Its author Benjamin Schmolck (1672-1737); was a prolific poet writing more than 900 hymns and son of a Lutheran pastor. Returning from boarding school, He preached a sermon for his father which so inspired a local patron to provide him a three year stipend to study theology. Undaunted by numerous physical ailments and the severe restrictions of the Counter-Reformation, Schmolck served the last part of his life with two other pastors in a parish of one church encompassing 36 villages.