Lutherans in Minnesota

Palm Sunday again date of Metro Lutheran hymn festival

In what is becoming a Palm Sunday tradition, Metro Lutheran will sponsor a hymn festival at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 3045 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, on March 24 at 4 p.m. As in recent years, Cantor David Cherwien will develop the program, and Susan Palo Cherwien will offer reflections between hymns.

“There was a long tradition of a Palm Sunday Hymn Festival in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Minnesota while Paul Manz was cantor at Mount Olive, and continued when he was at House of Prayer in Richfield,” said the Rev. Michael Edwins, Metro Lutheran board member. He said that current Mount Olive cantor David Cherwien has been very willing to continue the tradition for the benefit of Metro Lutheran.

“Participants experience hymn introductions in the style of J.S. Bach, and creative ways of singing hymns — harmony, canon, men alone, women alone, a cappella,” Edwins explained. “Other instrumentalists and a vocal ensemble augment what the congregation does. It is truly a festival of song.”

“The diversity of the Lutheran community in the Twin Cities is a creative challenge” in developing the program, according to Edwins, since different Lutheran church bodies (and ethnic communities) have a variety of styles. “But we can all sing together,” Edwins adds.

The overall theme of the festival helps shape the choices. In developing the program, Cherwien balances familiar and new hymns, hymns from different eras of the church, countries of origin, and musical styles. Edwins believes this experience allows everyone to learn something new about the music of the Lutheran church, including other branches of “the family tree.”

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