Welcome to the Concordance to the Moravian
Book of Worship.
The hymnals of the Moravian Church are among the best indexed that I have
ever seen. I know of no other denomination’s hymnal that index the opening
line of each verse. Still, at times I have found myself thinking of a
certain phrase buried within a verse, only to hum the tune over and over
again until I can remember the opening words of that particular verse.
It is hoped that this concordance will be useful to pastors and other
persons involved in worship planning, for aiding in the selection of hymns
for worship, or for the occasional quoting of a hymn verse in sermons or
other writings. It will be useful to people who are assembling lovefeast
odes, who may not want to sing an entire hymn, but would extract a selected
verse or verses for the ode. It will be useful for those who have been asked
to assist with the Daily Texts and who are looking for specific hymn
verses which reflect on Bible verses.
This concordance indexes every hymn in the Moravian Book of Worship,
the official hymnal of the Moravian Church in America, published in 1995 by
the Interprovincial Board of Publications and Communications.
While this concordance covers every hymn in the liturgies, communion
services and the main hymns section, it does not cover many of the
canticles. Since most of the canticles are biblical texts, it was decided
that canticles are currently covered within Bible concordances; therefore,
the Psalms, the Nunc Dimittis, the Hosanna are not indexed
here. The canticles which have been indexed are non-biblical texts such as
“Christ Our Passover,” “Te Deum,” “St. Patrick’s Hymn,” “This is the Feast,”
and “Festal Doxology.”
This concordance is not exhaustive. It does not index every word in every
hymn. In fact, some words may be indexed for some hymns but not for others.
Such decisions may seem arbitrary, but were based on the compiler’s judgment
of how important the word was to the hymn text, the word’s usage, or whether
it indicated an important biblical word or image. If you’re looking for a
certain hymn, and it doesn’t appear under the word for which you’re
searching, select another important or unique word, and you will likely find
the hymn you’re seeking. For words with many entries, use the find
command in the drop-down menu under edit to enter a phrase.
Some words appear twice: once in lower case, and then in upper case. This is
usually meant to separate words which are used as proper names for God as
opposed to the more common meaning. An example of this is the word “lamb.”
The hymn “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb” will appear in the entries of the lower
case lamb, while entries for hymns referring to Jesus’ appellation as “Lamb”
will appear in the upper case entry.
In many cases, possessive nouns are given in phrase form. The possessive
noun begins the phrase that ends with the noun it modifies. For example:
“life’s alarms” and “life’s dark maze.”
Page numbers can be a tricky thing when you’re dealing with hymns in the
liturgies, communion services, and canticles. In these sections pages are
numbered, and hymns may start on one page and conclude on another. Effort
has been made to give the correct page number, but the page number may be
given for the page on which the hymn begins.
Common names for persons of the Trinity have been excluded because the
quantity of those entries would be too large to be useful. Names such as
“God,” “Jesus,” “Christ,” “Holy Spirit,” and “Holy Ghost,” were excluded.
The word “lord” appears, but not as a name or title for God or Jesus. Other
less common names, such as “Savior,” are included in the concordance.
I would like to thank those who assisted in
various ways and at various stages of this project. Such an undertaking
would be impossible without the help and encouragement of many. I realize
there are mistakes and shortcomings in this concordance; but I take the
responsibility for the errors and inconsistencies.
Thanks to Rev. Robert Sawyer and Nola Knouse who, as members of the
Inter-Provincial Hymnal Committee, supplied or guided me to electronic
versions of the hymns and liturgies.
Thanks also to Rt. Rev. Warren and Alice Sautebin of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
and to my friend and coworker Carol Staudenheimer who proofread and edited
the work, generously giving many hours, much good advice, and plenty of
Finally, thanks to Tim Schenz of The Promise Moravian Church in Lewis
Center, Ohio who graciously took my bookmarked documents and turned them
into a working HTML website (http://www.thepromisechurch.net/mbw/concordance.htm)
and subsequently to a CD-ROM format.
At this time it has not yet been decided whether the concordance will be
maintained on the The Promise church’s website, or whether some other
congregational or denominational entity will maintain it. CD-ROM copies can
be created on-demand. Some may want to have a hardbound paper copy. It is
estimated that a paper copy would require 650-700 pages!
To order a copy of the Concordance to the Moravian Book of Worship,
please contact me. I would appreciate your comments, corrections, and
5855 Lafayette-Plain City Road
London, Ohio 43140