WORSHIP AND MUSIC
Worship and Music
We will celebrate Pentecost on May 20, using setting 4. We will switch to setting 8 on May 27. Also, on May 27 we will celebrate the confirmation of Sophie Folwell.
Please join us on this joyous occasion!
Becky Nolt, Member
Music and Worship
Hymn of the Month
On Pentecost we will sing hymn number 401, “Gracious Spirit, Heed our Pleading.” Wilson Niwagila, born in 1940, wrote this song in 1965 after the Evangelical
Lutheran Churches in Tanzania united to form one Lutheran Church. His intention was “to ask the Holy Spirit to make this young church grow as one family of God…ready to preach the gospel to the world.” Howard S. Olson translated it from the original text
in Kiswahili. Niwagila set it to a melody from Uganda’s Ganda ethnic community, and it was published in Olson’s Tumshangilie Mungu (1968) in a unison setting
with no syncopation. The current version with Hovland’s harmony and the rhythm appeared in With One Voice (1995).
Though this hymn was first written for one particular event, it is a set of petitions for the whole church all the time, asking the Holy Spirit to “fashion us anew; lead,
teach, nourish, bless, guide, motivate, free, and quiet us; and keep us
fervent and zealous. The refrain punctuates these petitions with the traditional cry of the church for the Holy Spirit to come.”
Wilson Niwagila was born in Bukoba, Tanzania, and studied at Marangu Teachers College and the Lutheran Theological College, now Makumira University College in
Arusha, Tanzania. He has served as a pastor, studied at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and the University of Hamburg (Germany), and led various church related
NJOO KWETU, ROHO MWEMA
This Ganda folk melody is given with a harmonization by Egil Hovland. In typical East African call and response fashion, the structure suggests a small group or solo
on the stanzas and the whole assembly on the refrain. Hovland is a Norwegian organist and composer. Born in 1924 in Oslo, he studied church music at the Oslo Conservatory,
and since 1949 has been organist and choirmaster at the Glemmen Church in Frederikstad.
The source of this Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship by Paul
Westermeyer, c2010, Augsburg Fortress.