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German Film on Paul Gerhardt Now on YouTube!

October 26th, 2011
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I just received this from Pastor Mark Wangerin of Milwaukee. Many thanks Mark!

It is a German film on the life of Paul Gerhardt, but it is in English!

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  1. organshoes
    October 3rd, 2007 at 23:03 | #1

    It would sure be nice to find a way to show this to our congregation.
    Does anyone know of a source for this film? Is there a DVD for sale somewhere?
    It is awesome! A lady in the film said it correctly; that the hymns are as deep and meaningful, as when they were written.

  2. October 3rd, 2007 at 23:28 | #2

    Ein interessantees Film, aber die jazzartige Gerhard macht meine Ohren bluten!

  3. Marc
    October 4th, 2007 at 14:23 | #3

    First, thanks for posting the link! At first I was quite excited, looking forward to seeing a 25 minute documentary on Paul Gerhardt.
    Unfortunately, this is the documentary that one would expect Deutsche Welle to make. In this film, they managed to almost entirely avoid the reason and source of Paul Gerhardt’s hymnody: Christ, and Him crucified.
    The people interviewed relate to Paul Gerhardt as a modern poet who speaks to their feelings. Granted, Gerhardt was one of the first subjective hymn writers, but still it’s rather grating to have his lyrics presented devoid of their Christian context as if they’re rock songs.
    And while Gerhardt was responsible for the words and not the music, why did the film makers feel it necessary to play so few of the melodies that we associate with Gerhardt’s hymns?
    Lastly, what’s the deal with pastors speaking to the camera in their churches in flannel and jeans?
    McCain response begins:
    Marc, you are being unfair, frankly. One of the longest portions of the video, in terms of singing Gerhardt hymns, was “O Sacred Head” with the camera focussed directly on Christ’s face. Further, they went out of their way to explain the source of controversy in Gerhardt’s life theologically, something done only very rarely. Given the fact that it was a general TV show it is a very remarkable 26 minutes! You would never see anything remotely like it on American TV. I think you are going more than a bit overboard here. This was not a show produced by a Lutheran or Christian TV network. Goodness!
    McCain response ends.

  4. Marc
    October 5th, 2007 at 02:57 | #4

    Yeah, maybe I was a bit unfair, although I agree with Josh that the jazzed-up Gerhardt makes my ears hurt! (The reason for my ungracious criticism is that whenever I watch a German Lutheran worship service on ZDF TV, they bend over so far to be “relevant” and hip that they completely neglect the point. I saw that also in this documentary.)
    I’m also completely spoiled when it comes to Gerhardt, because every morning for a month back in March, Evangeliums Rundfunk (ERF) a German/Swiss radio station I get on my satellite receiver here in Europe, devoted an hour or so to Paul Gerhardt to celebrate his 400th birthday. They would play his hymns, verse by verse, and then have a pastor read the words and explain their meaning. They also included lots of stories about Gerhardt’s difficult life and his devotion to the Lutheran confessions. Now that was good programming!

  5. November 9th, 2007 at 23:31 | #5

    The film is available as a DVD. It is called “Paul Gerhardt, Du meine Seele Singe, Sein Glaube, sein Leben, seine Lieder.” It is produced by Haenssler Verlag. The DVD is both in English and German, and has no region code (which is good because Germany is region 2). I paid 10 Euros for it. It can be found at http://www.haenssler.de or http://www.amazon.de. (Amazon does ship to the US.) You could also call or email DruckhausHarms from the SELK at 001-49-5838-990808 or druck@druckhausharms.de
    The film is excellent except when the narrator says, “The sun often appears in Paul Gerhardt’s hymns as a symbol of new beginnings, of life, of overcoming the darkness.” The sun in his hymns however is really the Son, Jesus Christ as he sings in “If God Himself Be for Me, “The Son that cheers my spirit is Jesus Christ my King.”
    By the way some other great Paul Gerhardt items that came out this year are:
    Paul Gerhardt “Saemtliche deutsche Lieder,” a new complete collection of his works (Eur 35)
    “Paul Gerhardt Weg-Werk-Wirkung” by Christian Bunners This is by far the best biography and has been updated (Eur 30)
    Jorg Erb has a simpler book entitled, “Paul Gerhardt und seine Lieder.” (I also have an English translation of this book called “In the Shadow of His Wings.”)(Eur 8)
    “Geistesgegenwart” a cd by the jazz singer Sarah Kaiser who is in the film. It is awesome! She also has a cd with only Paul Gerhardt’s hymns entitled, “Gast auf Erden.” (Eur 18)
    The best cd of his hymns is “Ich singe dir mit Herz und Mund,
    18 Choräle von Paul Gerhardt.” (Eur 13)
    You can listen to clips of the cds at http://www.gerth.de. Sadly you can’t order with a credit card from them, so amazon.de is better for ordering.
    Our radio program website also has some information at:

  6. Jonathan Trost
    October 28th, 2011 at 16:26 | #6

    Thanks for this, Pastor! It’s an excellent commorative. (However, I agree with Josh’s post above that Gerhardt’s lyrics jazzed-up do, indeed, “make my ears bleed”!) Nonetheless, I’m forwarding it on to my nephew who shares my surname. His baptismal name is “Paul Gerhardt”

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