As I reflect on this past week's conference I admit I am deeply frustrated with many in the Lutheran church today who see little to no value in the venerable old hymns. Still, in all honesty, one can not forget the many who also value and treasure them and use them as part of the church's ongoing catechesis. Which reminded me of an article published in Concordia Theological Quarterly nearly 18 years ago. For those interested in the hymns as "teachers of the faith," I commend to you an article by Kantor Richard Resch of Concordia Theological Seminary - Ft. Wayne. It is entitled "Hymnody as Teacher of the Faith."
Resch's biography from the seminary website is as follows:
Richard C. Resch is a native of Rochester, New York. Kantor Resch graduated from Valparaiso University (B.Mus.), the Eastman School of Music (M.M.), and Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne (M.Div.). His organ study began in the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department and then continued with the following organ professors: Paul Bunjes, Charles Ore, Philip Gehring, Russell Saunders, and David Craighead. He studied hymnology with Theodore Hoelty-Nickel and M. Alfred Bichsel and composition with Richard Wienhorst. He is Kantor and Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary. In 1978, he founded the Seminary Kantorei and has since traveled and recorded six CDs with this choir. In 1999, he became director of the Seminary's Schola Cantorum. In 2000, he became the Co-Director of the Good Shepherd Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary. Reverend Resch is also the Kantor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne. He served on Synod's Commission on Worship from 1992–2001 and as Chairman from 1998–2001. He served on the LCMS Hymnody Committee for Lutheran Service Book. He was the Executive Producer and Narrator of The Good Shepherd Institute’s DVD “Singing the Faith: Living the Lutheran Musical Heritage” (2008). Kantor Resch is a frequent speaker and writer on topics concerning the relationship between theology and practice, as well as matters of church music.