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124

A Sower's Seed Fell on a Path

Scripture References

Quoted or directly alluded to:

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

While the Parable of the Sower is the scripture reference for this song, the refrain highlights the key responsibility of having “ears to hear your Word and hearts where seed can grow.”

 

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 21, Question and Answer 54 proclaims that the Holy Spirit gathers the church “through his Spirit and Word.”

 

Belgic Confession, Article 7 testifies that “this Holy Scripture contains the will of God completely and…everything one must believe to be saved is sufficiently taught in it.”

124

A Sower's Seed Fell on a Path

Tune Information

Name
MORNING SONG
Key
f minor
Meter
8.6.8.6.8.6
124

A Sower's Seed Fell on a Path

Hymn Story/Background

The tune, MORNING SONG is a folk tune that has some resemblance to the traditional English tune for "Old King Cole." The tune appeared anonymously in Part II of John Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music (1813). In 1816 it was credited to "Mr. Dean," which some scholars believe was a misprinted reference to Elkanah K. Dare, a composer who contributed more than a dozen tunes to Wyeth's Repository. In the original harmoniza­tion the melody was in the tenor. The tune is also known as CONSOLATION (and KENTUCKY HARMONY); its title in Ananias Davisson's Kentucky Harmony (1816), where it was set to Isaac Watts' morning song, "Once More, My Soul, the Rising Day."
 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Herman G. Stuempfle Jr. (b. Clarion, Pennsylvania April 2, 1923; d. Gettysburg, Pensylvania, March 13, 2007) was educated at Susquehanna University (A.B., 1945), Lutheran Theological Seminary (B.D., 1946), Union Theological Seminary (S.T.M., 1967) and Southern California School of Theology at Claremont (Th. D., 1971). From 1947-1959, Rev. Stuempfle, served as pastor of parishes in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 1959, he joined the staff of the Board of Missions of the United Lutheran Church in America. Throughout his 27-year career as Professor of Preaching at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Rev. Stuempfle also served as the school’s Dean (1971-1976) and as President (1976-1989).

In 2004, Dr. Stuempfle was named a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. His work is found in an ever-growing number of hymnals. GIA has published five collections of his hymn texts: The Word Goes Forth (1993); Redeeming the Time (1997); Awake Our Hearts To Praise (2000); Wondrous Love Has Called Us (2006); and The Song of Faith Unsilenced (2013), published posthumously. Dr. Stuempfle died on March 13, 2007 after a long battle with ALS. 
 
— GIA Publications, Inc. (http://www.giamusic.com)

Composer Information

The harmony was composed by Charles Winfred Douglas (b. Oswego, NY, 1867; d. Santa Rosa, CA, 1944), an influential leader in Episcopalian liturgical and musical life. Educated at Syracuse University and St. Andrews Divinity School, Syracuse, New York, he moved to Colorado for his health. There he studied at St. Matthew's Hall, Denver, and founded the Mission of the Transfiguration in Evergreen (1897).  Ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1899, he also studied in France, Germany and England, where he spent time with the Benedictines of Solesmes on the Island of Wight from 1903 to 1906. For much of his life, Douglas served as director of music at the Community of St. Mary in Peekskill, New York, and had associations with cathedrals in Denver, Colorado, and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He promoted chanting and plainsong in the Episcopal Church through workshops and publications such as The American Psalter (1929), the Plainsong Psalter (1932), and the Monastic Diurnal (1932). His writings include program notes for the Denver Symphony Orchestra, various hymn preludes; organ, as well as the book, Church Music in History and Practice (1937). He was editor of both the Hymnal 1916 and its significant successor, Hymnal 1940, of the Episcopal Church. Douglas's other achievements include a thorough knowledge of the life and culture of Hopi and Navajo natives, among whom he lived for a number of years.
 
— Bert Polman
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