O Darkest Woe

Author (st. 1): Friedrich von Spee

Spee, Friedrich von, son of Peter Spee (of the family of Spee, of Langenfeld), judge at Kaisers worth, was born at Kaisersworth, Feb. 25, 1591. He was educated in the Jesuit gymnasium at Cologne, entered the order of the Jesuits there on Sept. 22, 1610, and was ordained priest about 1621. From 1613 to 1624 he was one of the tutors in the Jesuit college at Cologne, and was then sent to Paderborn to assist in the Counter Reformation. In 1627 he was summoned by the Bishop of Würzburg to act as confessor to persons accused of witchcraft, and, within two years, had to accompany to the stake some 200 persons, of all ranks and ages, in whose innocence he himself firmly believed (His Cautio criminalis, sen de processibus contra sagas lib, Rinteln,… Go to person page >

Author (sts. 2-7): Johann Rist

Rist, Johann, son of Kaspar Rist, pastor at Ottensen, near Hamburg, was born at Ottensen, March 8, 1607, and from his birth was dedicated to the ministry. After passing through the Johanneum at Hamburg and the Gymnasium Illustre at Bremen, he matriculated, in his 21st year, at the University of Rinteln, and there, under Josua Stegmann (q. v.), he received an impulse to hymn-writing. On leaving Rinteln he acted as tutor to the sons of a Hamburg merchant, accompanying them to the University of Rostock, where he himself studied Hebrew, Mathematics and also Medicine. During his residence at Rostock the terrors, of the Thirty Years War almost emptied the University, and Rist himself also lay there for weeks ill of the pestilence. After his r… Go to person page >

Translator (sts. 1-6): F. Samuel Janzow

F. Samuel Janzow was Professor of English at Concordia University Chicago from 1954 to 1980. NNM Go to person page >

Translator (st. 7) : Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O darkest woe! Tears overflow
Title: O Darkest Woe
Author (st. 1): Friedrich von Spee
Author (sts. 2-7): Johann Rist
Translator (sts. 1-6): F. Samuel Janzow
Translator (st. 7) : Catherine Winkworth (alt.)
Meter: 4.4.7.7.6
Language: English
Publication Date: 1982
Copyright: Sts. 1-6 © 1982 Concordia Publishing House

Instances

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Lutheran Worship #122



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