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Volume 5 - Number 1

March 2010


VOICE From Co-Director

Arthur A. Just Jr.

fter last year’s well-received and well-attended conference on Johann Sebastian Bach, we wondered aloud how we could sustain the momentum. In a meeting with Kantors Resch and Hildebrand and Dean Grime about how we can top Bach, someone blurted out: “Let’s do death. We’ve never done death. Let’s do death.” I looked over at the Kantors, and I could see the musical wheels spinning with requiems, hymns, and all sorts of other possibilities. What is more vital for pastors, musicians, and deaconesses than how we proclaim to the saints what we believe about death? We all agreed that there was no more perfect topic to follow Bach than how we celebrate life in the midst of death, especially at a Good Shepherd Institute conference held during All Saints weekend. Yes, we all agreed, it is time for us to “do death.”


Kantor Resch always comes up with the greatest titles, taking our theme from the great William Irons hymn: “Sing with All the Saints in Glory: The Theology of the Christian’s Death in Rite and Song.” One of the highest moments of ritual activity in the church’s life is when one of the saints crosses the boundary from life to death. Crossing that boundary is tenuous, anxious, even frightening. When people face death they feel “in betwixt and in between,” something every pastor and deaconess understands when they call on the sick and the dying. These are heightened moments of great tension, for they are filled with suffering, grief, and loss.

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Pastoral Theology and Sacred Music for the Church


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When the news is bad and we are taxed beyond our means, Lutheran liturgy and hymnody, learned and held in the memory by a lifetime of worship, often is the only way we are able to survive the crippling emotions felt during these liminal moments. Here our life of worship becomes our great friend and support. The sign of the cross upon the forehead, the smell of anointing oil, familiar psalms and readings, familiar hymns and chants and music, the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Prayer, the Aaronic Benediction—these rituals provide enormous comfort for those who are entering the significant moments when life meets death. This is why, at these moments of great change, where emotions are charged and people are on edge, our natural tendency is to reach for rites and songs that help us negotiate these significant boundaries. The liturgical and musical traditions at death proclaim to the community again and again its confession about how Christ has changed the way we look at life and death. They proclaim the faith of the church at this critical moment so “that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13b). Since many come to the Good Shepherd conferences for the music, let’s start there. Sunday evening, Bálint Karosi, Minister of Music at First Lutheran Church, Boston, Massachusetts, will be our organ recitalist, and the Seminary Schola Cantorum will sing Johannes Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem (mvmts I, IV, and VII) at the All Saints Choral Vespers. The children’s choir of Hope Lutheran Church of St. Louis, Missouri, under the direction of Rev. Kantor Stephen Rosebrock, will assist us in Evening Prayer on Monday, and we will once again follow our banquet with a hymn festival by the Seminary Kantorei, Kevin Hildebrand serving as organist and providing new arrangements and compositions.

On Monday of the conference, Rev. William Cwirla, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights, California, and president of Higher Things, will begin our conference by speaking about what we believe and what we proclaim as Christians about life and death. Pastor Cwirla always brings fresh perspectives, and his reflections as a theologian and pastor will show how our theology of life and death is always done through the pastoral acts.

Rev. Dr. Paul Grime, Dean of our Chapel and Project Director of Lutheran Service Book, will show how this is true in his plenary on the theology of the rites associated with dying and death. Our most pastoral moments are in the rites that assist the saints to depart in peace. Who better to show us the way than the man who knows more about LSB than anyone else in Synod.

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HIS Voice • March 2010


continued from previous page The theological and pastoral issues at the end of life will be addressed in the final plenary of the day by our own Rev. Prof. John Pless, author of A Small Catechism on Human Life, and a member of the LCMS Committee on the Sanctity of Human Life. Many have heard him speak on this topic at gatherings of “Lutherans for Life.” He will be joined by Pamela Boehle-Silva, a Registered Nurse for the past twenty-four years with a wide range of nursing experience, including home health and caring for hospice patients. She brings fifteen years of experience in preparing people for death as a parish nurse for Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California. Sectionals will give pastors an opportunity to reflect on preaching at funerals, with Rev. Dr. James Bushur, our new patristics scholar who recently received his doctorate from the University of Durham (UK), and Rev. Peter Cage, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, who has presided over many funerals, both as a pastor and as a military chaplain. For musicians, Kantors Resch and Hildebrand will discuss music for the Christian funeral with the theme “Crying and Sighs Give Way to Singing.” Perhaps nothing means more for people at a funeral than the music that allows them to “sing with all the saints in glory.” On Tuesday the conference turns to the church’s care of the dying and those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. The first plenary will explore how pastors and deaconesses work together in preparing the saints to be with Christ. For many years in my teaching I have used the concept of “rite of passage” to describe the process of death and dying. Pamela Boehle-Silva’s experience as parish nurse and deaconess student will help show how deaconesses are a vital part of this process.

Rev. Christopher Esget, pastor of Immanuel Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia, will bring our conference to a close with the topic “My Friend When I Am Dying: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs at Life’s End.” Many people know Christopher’s blog (, and he will help us all rejoice in the rich gifts God has given His church to help at the time of death.

Please mark your calendars for November 7–9, 2010, and plan to attend another memorable Good Shepherd Institute conference.

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trans. Bror Erickson (Wipf and Stock, 2010), 244 pp. ISBN 978-1-60899-333-8; 1-60899-333-7. [$27.00]

Lowell C. Green, The Erlangen School of Theology: Its History, Its Teaching, and Its Practice

Bo Giertz, The Knights of Rhodes,

This book fills a vacuum in English-speaking scholarship as it narrates the story of the confessional Lutheran renaissance associated with the University of Erlangen, beginning in the midnineteenth century and reaching well into the twentieth century. Here one can read the fascinating stories of von Hoffmann, Harless, Loehe, Delitzsch, Seeberg, Zahn, and others at the headwaters of the Erlangen School in the nineteenth century. Even more interesting are the accounts of twentiethcentury theologians Elert, Althaus, Procksch, Sasse, Preuss, Mauer, von Loewenich, and Kuenneth, as Green studied with many of these scholars from 1952 to 1955. Green’s telling of their stories is delightfully punctuated with personal remembrances of his own as well as pointed and provocative applications to contemporary Lutheran theology, liturgy, and church life. It is a welcome introduction to an important part of recent Lutheran history and a wonderful supplement to his earlier book, Lutherans Against Hitler: The Untold Story. _______________________________________

Bishop Bo Giertz knew that faith itself is adventure into unknown territories on paths uncharted. This novel, set in the turbulence of an emerging new world in the sixteenth century, is a saga about the resilience of faith, a faith that “overcomes destiny.” It is a potent story unadorned by shallow sentimentalities that invites readers to ponder the goodness of a God who engages human beings with all of their frailties and foibles as instruments of His service. _______________________________________

(Lutheran Legacy Press, 2010).

HIS Voice • March 2010

Matthew Harrison, A Little Book on Joy: The Secret of Living a Good News Life in a Bad News World

(Lutheran Legacy Press, 2010), 212 pp. [$9.99]

“Where Christ is there is joy,” says Luther. Christ Jesus is with us all the way—even in the sewer, Luther was bold to assert. Joy flows from the heart of a Father who rejoices in the repentance of a solitary sinner and permeates every aspect of the Christian’s life in this world. With self-effacing humor and keen attentiveness to the Holy Scriptures, Pastor Matthew Harrison is a wonderful tour guide to the places where the Good Lord shows up, bringing with Him joy in the midst of sadness. Harrison demonstrates that Lutheran theology is a theology of joy—unbridled and free on account of Christ. _______________________________________



PASTORAL RESOURCES John C. Jeske, Treasures Old and New: Daily Readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions

(Northwestern Publishing House, 2009), 390 pp. ISBN 978-0-8100-2259-1; 0-8100-2259-1. [$24.99]

Prepared by a veteran Old Testament professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, this book lends itself well for daily meditation by seminarians and pastors. There is a brief (1–3 verses) excerpt from an Old Testament text in Hebrew and a New Testament text in Greek, with grammatical notes, and a short reading from the Lutheran Confessions. _______________________________________ Lutheran Quarterly 23 (Autumn 2009): 249–69.

Oswald Bayer, “Preaching the Word,” Bayer discusses the place of the sermon as part of the Divine Service. Drawing on a lifetime of extensive Luther research, he demonstrates how the Christian sermon is a “speech act” narrating the promise of Jesus Christ to bestow the unconditional gift of the Gospel on hearers: “Only if the word is promise and gift, is faith really faith” (254). _______________________________________

Mary Jane Haemig, “Prayer as Talking Back to God in Luther’s Genesis Lectures,”


John T. Pless, “Helmut Thielicke (1908–1986),”

Lutheran Quarterly 23 (Winter 2009): 439–64.

Prolific author of numerous books in ethics, historical theology, and systematic theology, Helmut Thielicke is perhaps best known for his preaching, his sermons being frequently translated from German into English in the 1960s and ʼ70s. This article sets Thielicke in his historical context and elucidates key themes in theological and pastoral work. _______________________________________

V. F. Thompson, “Preaching the Justification of Zacchaeus,”

Lutheran Quarterly 23 (Winter 2009): 465–79.

Drawing on the work of Gerhard Forde and Oswald Bayer, Thompson explores the art of preaching justification using the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10) as a case study. Noting that “conditional theologians,” ever theologians of glory, compromise the Gospel by latching on to what Zacchaeus did, preachers of the Gospel will proclaim the unconditional gift of Jesus, who comes as friend of sinners. No doctrine of justification in Luke’s Gospel? Read this article! _______________________________________

Lutheran Quarterly 23 (Autumn 2009): 270–95.

Examining Luther’s treatment of Genesis 15:2–6, 17:17–22, and 19:17–22, Haemig shows how Luther “deepened and expanded his catechetical teaching on prayer by using the concrete examples of Abraham and Lot” (287). Prayer for Luther was not a mere repetition of fixed formulas but an “honest inquiry, trust in the benevolent God” marked by “bold conversation, forthright presentation of need, and a willingness to argue with God when that seemed appropriate” (290–91). There is much in this article that would be useful for an adult Bible class on prayer. _______________________________________

HIS Voice • March 2010



PASTORAL RESOURCES ed. Dietrich Blaufuß (Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2009), 384 pp. ISBN 978-3-579-05781-1. [EUR 59.95]

Wilhelm Löhe: Erbe und Vision,

This volume contains papers presented at the meeting of the International Löhe Society in Neuendettelsau in July, 2008 on the 200th anniversary of the Bavarian pastor’s birth. The essays range from treatments of Löhe’s pastoral theology, missiological and liturgical work, to the historical context of his work and his influence in the twentieth century. Authors include Manfred Seitz, Thomas Schattauer, Christian Weber, Klaus Raschzok, John T. Pless, Wolfhart Schlichting, Dietrich Blaufuß, Jobst Reller, Lothar Vogel, Hans Schwarz, Jürgen Albert, Theodor Strohm, Craig Nessan, Dean Zweck, and Martin Lohrmann. _______________________________________


Fortress Press

Gütersloher Verlagshaus Lutheran Legacy Press

Northwestern Publishing House Wipf and Stock

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Berlin: 1932–1933, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 12,

trans. Isabel Best and David Higgins, ed. Larry Rasmussen (Fortress Press, 2009), 704 pp. ISBN 978-0-8006-8312-2. [$55.00]

The latest addition to Bonhoeffer’s Works spans letters, essays, and sermons from late autumn 1932 to October 1933. Pastors will find especially interesting a number of Bonhoeffer’s sermons from this period as well as a liturgical order for a Christmas service utilizing classic Lutheran hymns. The sermon on Exodus 32 contrasting the “church of Moses” with the “church of Aaron” is one of Bonhoeffer’s most potent and profound examples of preaching. Seminarians will appreciate a devotional reflection entitled “What Should a Student of Theology Do Today?” (432ff). _______________________________________

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Kurt von Kampen SATB, Congregation, Organ CPH 98-3990, $1.75

Matthew Machemer Two-part Treble or Mixed, Piano, Flute CPH 98-3987, $1.75

Christ, Mighty Savior

Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old

There are few settings of this relatively new hymn, and Kurt von Kampen’s setting fills a need. The choral writing includes one stanza for SA and one stanza for SATB, each with gentle writing, mild dissonance, and a good fit for the voices. After the final stanza, with its tender descant, a broad organ coda concludes the hymn. _______________________________________

A talented young composer provides the church with a useful setting of this hymn. An impressionistic piano part with rich arpeggios accompanies the choral writing. There is some twopart writing for voices, both in harmony and in canon. Delicate flute writing completes the setting. _______________________________________

Stephen Rosebrock Two-part, Keyboard, Flute CPH 98-3988, $1.75

Evening and Morning

Stephen Rosebrock provides a well-written setting for children’s choir of an excellent Paul Gerhardt hymn. If the choir knows the hymn melody already, a simple descant is all that remains to be learned. In stanza two the flute “sings” the melody while the choir embellishes it with a descant. The setting concludes with two-part choir singing both melody and descant. _______________________________________ Michael Burkhardt SATB, Treble Choir, Congregation, Organ, Brass Quartet, opt. Flute and Oboe, opt. Timpani CPH 98-3985, $2.10

Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart

In All Our Grief and Fear We Turn to You

Thomas Keesecker Two-part Mixed, Piano Augsburg Fortress 9780806697352, $1.60

This text and tune (FREDERICKTOWN) appeared in Hymnal Supplement 98 (no. 847). This hymn is given a very accessible setting for two-part mixed voices and piano. Some creative ideas are incorporated: stanza two is written in (mostly) canon, and stanza three, with its references to Christ’s death on the cross, is partnered with “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.” Its recurring refrain of “Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy…” and easy writing make this ideal for any choir to learn quickly, perhaps for use at funerals as well. _______________________________________

This new setting of a classic Lutheran hymn was performed at the 2009 GSI conference. An extended introduction sets the tone for the hymn. Warm, enjoyable writing predominates, especially in stanza two, set for oboe, flute, children’s choir, and SATB (a solo treble could substitute for children if necessary). The final stanza comes to life with the addition of a brass quartet and timpani. _______________________________________

HIS Voice • March 2010



CHORAL MUSIC William Braun SATB, Congregation, Organ, Brass, Percussion Northwestern Publishing House 28N6101, $1.90


Johann Pachelbel, arr. Dale Grotenhuis SATB, Congregation, Trumpet, Organ Northwestern Publishing House 28N6062, $1.50

For Builders Bold Whose Vision Pure

What God Ordains Is Always Good

Herman Stuempfle’s text is coupled with the traditional Irish tune (vividly named FLIGHT OF THE EARLS), which is found in the recent Christian Worship Supplement (no. 775). Use of this hymn for church dedications and anniversaries is obvious, but the writing is not so specific to limit its use only to those events. As the hymn unfolds, it sings of Word and Sacrament and their timeless power. One hopes that this interesting and soaring tune finds its way to other texts as well. _______________________________________

Four stanzas of this hymn are given differing treatment. Stanza one states the melody in unison, alternating with men’s and women’s voices, with an imitative organ accompaniment. Stanza two is an original four-part setting by Dale Grotenhuis, and stanza three incorporates the familiar setting of Johann Pachelbel’s motet “On God and Not on Human Trust.” Here the organ plays the accompaniment, and the treble voices sing the long notes of the chorale. A soprano and trumpet descant rounds out stanza four. Even seasoned choirs would find this setting useful, perhaps as a summer choir selection, or as a quickly learned piece for funerals. _______________________________________

Scott Hyslop SAB, Congregation, E-flat Alto Saxophone, Organ Northwestern Publishing House 28N6063, $1.50

When in the Hour of Utmost Need

Yes, the saxophone can be used well with quality church music. Scott Hyslop (a saxophonist himself) gives us a good example in this setting of WENN WIR IN HÖCHSTEN NÖTEN SEIN. (It is worth mentioning that a discerning sax player, who can adjust to a more mellow tone, gives a more satisfactory result.) The SAB choral writing of stanza four is of high quality, and a pleasure to sing. The translation of the text in this setting differs from Lutheran Service Book and other hymnals, but it would be easy to make the text changes in the score in order to match your congregation’s worship book. _______________________________________

HIS Voice • March 2010

Charles Thatcher SSATB or SAATB, Two Trumpets, Organ, opt. Congregation MorningStar 60-6003, $1.85

Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones

Here is a festive and accessible arrangement that could be performed as a stand-alone choral response, or as a congregational hymn setting. Stanza three is set for choir, with men singing mostly unison melody and women singing a chorus of three-part alleluias. (Healthy soprano section alert—there are numerous high G’s and one high A.) Realistically, you could omit the choral setting for stanza three and simply use the glorious organ and trumpet writing to accompany the congregational singing. _______________________________________



CHORAL MUSIC Paul Bouman SATB, Keyboard MorningStar 50-7307, $1.70


Michael D. Costello SATB, opt. Unison, Piano, Flute Augsburg Fortress 9780806697093, $1.75

The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want

Children of the Heavenly Father

The familiar hymn paraphrase of Psalm 23 is given a polished, masterful treatment here by Paul Bouman (incidentally, now in his ninetieth year). The familiar tune BELMONT is in a lilting 6/8 pastorale, set in various ways. Stanza two is a comfortable SATB setting, which gives the basses the hymn tune for a portion of the stanza. Following a stanza for baritone solo (or all men in unison), stanza three is written in a mildly polyphonic motet style. Keep this in mind for Easter 4. _______________________________________

This simple setting of the familiar hymn is a useful tool for teaching developing or less-experienced choirs. Plus, it could provide a gentle way to recruit some extra men into the choir—most of the time they are singing the melody, with some minor adjustments. The melody is presented in unison in each stanza, with the exception of two measures when the men sing in parallel thirds; another stanza begins in unison and concludes with five measures of comfortable SATB writing. The final stanza has the men singing the melody, with the trebles singing a very basic descant (one dotted half note per measure, always moving stepwise, nothing above the staff). _______________________________________

Ralph Vaughan Williams, arr. John Eggert SAATB (opt. descant), Oboe, Organ, opt. Congregation MorningStar 50-5415, $1.85

Holy Spirit, Gift of God

This hymn, which appeared in Hymnal Supplement 98 (no. 835), utilizes a text by Jaroslav Vajda (stanzas 1, 7, 8, and 3 from HS 98 are used here), with music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. John Eggert provides a setting for oboe (or other treble instrument), SATB choir, and organ. One stanza is written for three-part treble voices (although it could also be sung by SA and solo), and one stanza is set for SATB. (Note for youth choir directors: the range and compass of this hymn tune, THE CALL, make it useful for developing boys’ voices.) _______________________________________

HIS Voice • March 2010

Augsburg Fortress

Concordia Publishing House

MorningStar Music Publishers

Northwestern Publishing House






Perspectives on Christian Worship: 5 Views,

Chorale Concertos and Chorale Variations: Music by Thomas Selle, Johann Schop, and Heinrich Scheidemann

ed. J. Matthew Pinson (Nashville: Broadman and Holman Academic, 2009), 368 pp. ISBN 978-08054-4099-7; 0-8054-4099-2. [$24.99]

One of the most recently published books on the subject of Christian worship, this volume has separate chapters on liturgical worship (written by Rev. Dr. Timothy C. J. Quill of the CTS faculty), traditional evangelical worship, contemporary worship, blended worship, and emerging worship. What makes the book particularly interesting is that each author responds at length to the work of each of the other authors. Thus, the reader obtains varied perspectives on, for example, “emerging” worship. Quill’s chapter (sixty-three pages in length) is very well done, providing a rich theological exploration of the historic liturgy from the perspective of the Lutheran tradition. His generous footnotes direct the reader to a vast network of related literature. The reader who really mines Quill’s chapter, including the related readings, will learn much. _______________________________________

“An Interview with Carl Schalk,”

Cross Accent: Journal of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians 17, no. 3 (2009): 4–12.

HIS Voice • March 2010

In recognition of Carl Schalk’s eightieth year in 2009, Victor Gebauer interviewed Carl, and the result makes for enjoyable and informative reading. Gebauer poses important questions that elicit Carl’s typically thoughtful, theologically informed perspectives on the practice of Lutheran church music. When we think of Carl’s career as a Lutheran church musician, his work as a composer of hymn tunes and choral music comes immediately to mind. But equally important are his prose writings—his work as a historian of Lutheran church music, and his conceptual work that consistently grounds Lutheran musical practice in Lutheran theology. No one in our time has done this better than Carl, and this interview reminds us of how much he has done to shape a sound conceptual basis for the practice of Lutheran church music. _______________________________________

(Hamburger Ratsmusik, Simone Eckert) [2008, cpo 777 362-2]

The composers and music on this recording were part of the active Lutheran church music scene in seventeenth-century Hamburg. One composer in particular, Johann Schop (ca. 1590–1667), may draw the attention of the twenty-first-century Lutheran church musician, for Schop’s name is to be found in Lutheran Service Book: he is the composer of the tune WERDE MUNTER (used three times in LSB—548, 589, 681) and the tune ERMUNTRE DICH, which is coupled with Johann Rist’s Christmas text “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light” (LSB 378). On this recording we have the opportunity to hear another dimension of this seventeenth-century composer—selected chorale concertos by Schop, including his settings of the chorales “Ich ruf zu dir,” “Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ,” and Luther’s great Easter chorale “Christ lag in Todesbanden.” _______________________________________





Dieterich Buxtehude, Complete Organ Works, vol. 3

Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantatas, vol. 13

With the three CDs of volume three, Hans Davidsson (Eastman School of Music) completes his recorded traversal of the complete organ works of Dieterich Buxtehude. As with volumes one and two, Davidsson uses the Schnitger-style organ of the Örgryte New Church in Göteborg, Sweden, a scientific reconstruction (completed in 2000) of a late seventeenth-century North German organ. The façade of the Göteborg instrument is a reconstruction of the facade completed by Arp Schnitger in 1699 for the Lübeck Cathedral. Thus, it is a nearly ideal kind of instrument for Buxtehude’s music. As in the previous two volumes, Davidsson provides a mix of chorale preludes and free works, with an abundance of chorale settings included on these three CDs. _______________________________________

While I have resisted the urge to highlight in this column each new recording in John Eliot Gardiner’s ongoing series of the complete cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, I must direct the listener to volume 13, which includes a particularly wonderful group of cantatas for Advent. The first CD includes Bach’s cantatas (BWV 61 and 62) Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (“Savior of the Nations, Come,” LSB 332) for the First Sunday in Advent. Among the cantatas on the second CD is BWV 147, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, the source of the chorale setting popularly known in the Englishspeaking world as “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” (that chorale melody being none other than Johann Schop’s WERDE MUNTER). In its earliest form, Bach intended this cantata for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, 1716 in Weimar. The second CD also includes one of Bach’s most striking cantatas, Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! (“Watch! Pray! Pray! Watch!”), originally intended for the Second Sunday in Advent, also in 1716. This set of two CDs is truly a treasure trove of Bach’s music for Advent, expertly sung and played by Gardiner and his musicians. _______________________________________

(Hans Davidsson, organist) [2009, Loft Recordings LRCD 1094/1096, 3 CDs]

(John Eliot Gardiner, conductor) [2009, Soli Deo Gloria SDG 162, 2 CDs]

Broadman and Holman Academic cpo

Loft Recordings

Soli Deo Gloria

HIS Voice • March 2010


His Voice - Volume 5, Number 1  

His Voice - Volume 5, Number 1