Thursday, October 29, 2009

In memory of Paul Manz (1919-2009)

Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell therein . . .

Without question, the most beautiful piece of music I ever performed during my time in the Festival Choir and Tour Choir at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York was "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" by Paul Manz. I've posted about this piece before, so I won't tell the story of the piece again. Suffice it to say, this music touches me profoundly. It is a rich melding of text and music. Despite the fact that the prayer will have already been answered, I fully expect to be singing this in heaven with choirs of angels, with all the heavenly host.

It was with sadness that I heard today that Paul Manz had been called to his heavenly rest. Though I never met the man and knew him only through his music, that music had such a profound impact on my life that his death makes me sorrowful in the knowledge that his days of earthly composition are complete.

In honor of the glory he ascribed to God through his life and music, and in his memory, I have written a hymn which deals with the same general text. This hymn would be appropriate for the Sunday of the Fulfillment (or whatever it's called these days). Though my work pales (at best) in comparison to his, I hope in some small way to honor him here.

Rest in peace, my brother in Christ. Thank you.

Lord Jesus, Quickly Come

1. Lord Jesus, quickly come--
The Christ by all adored,
Who is, who was, who is to come,
Who lives forevermore.

2. He is the First, the Last,
Beginning and the End,
The One whom all tongues shall confess,
Before whom all knees bend.

3. His eyes, a flame of fire;
His name: the Word of God.
He strikes the nations with His sword
And rules with iron rod.

4. He holds within His hand
The keys of hell and death.
Yet Christ will dwell with all who live
And overcome by faith.

5. And He shall dwell with them
In Zion, city fair.
No pain or sorrow, no more tears,
And death has no place there.

6. "Lo, I am coming soon!"
Thus says th'Almighty Son.
We with the Bride and Spirit pray,
"Amen! Lord Jesus, come!"

(c) Alan Kornacki, Jr.
Suggested Tune: St. Thomas (LSB 331)


Elephantschild said...

That's very, very beautiful, Al- err... umm... Pastor Kornacki.

revalkorn said...

Thank you.