Fest soll mein Taufbund immer stehn
  • I just found this while I was researching something else. It is a common confirmation or baptism service hymn in Germany.
    I don't remember ever hearing a similar hymn in the US. I mean, there are similar vows, etc. spoken but not sung.

    (Very) Roughly translated:
    I will stand firm to my baptism. You will see me hear and obey the true Church's teachings.

    I reject Satan, all his works and empty promises, they lead to hell.

    I will walk in the right path. God protect me and make me like your Son so I will be in heaven forever!

    The only similar hymn in English I found on a brief search, though some people would not call it brief, and I'd never heard it before was: "A Charge to Keep I Have" (Wesley). There may be more.
    It just struck me that this hymn makes sense, the message makes sense and it is apropos for today.

    Maybe there's other hymns with a similar message out there, I just haven't been exposed to them.

    I even looked here briefly and nothing stood out as similar:
    OCP Songs Listed by Keyword Confirmation

    Here's the melody on YouTube. GL 837 Fest soll mein Taufbund immer stehn - Neuer Fuldaer Eigenteil zum Gotteslob (Most of the YouTube videos I found with the lyrics were recorded during services and have pretty poor sound quality). There's a pretty good MIDI version here: Fest soll mein Taufbund immer stehen The tune's kind of catchy, too.

    Here's the full original lyrics:
    Fest soll mein Taufbund immer stehn,
    Ich will die Kirche hören!
    Sie soll mich allzeit gläubig sehn
    Und folgsam ihren Lehren!
    Dank sei dem Herrn, der mich aus Gnad'
    Zur wahren Kirch' berufen hat,
    Nie will ich von ihr weichen!

    Dem bösen Feind und seiner Pracht
    Gelob' ich zu entsagen;
    Verachte seine ganze Macht,
    Will lieber Leid ertragen.
    Ich fliehe alle Werke sein,
    Sie endigen mit Höllenpein,
    Bereiten ew'ge Qualen.

    Die rechten Wege wandle ich,
    Solang ich leb' auf Erden.
    Getreuer Gott, beschütze mich
    Und laß mich selig werden!
    O mach mich ähnlich Deinem Sohn,
    Daß ich erhalte meinen Lohn
    Im Himmel einst auf ewig!

    I guess I don't really know if I'm asking the question: "Is this common out there in the US, and I just haven't seen in my small world?" or asking: "Why don't we see more songs like this out there in the US?"

    Maybe something like this hymn might seem offensive? Though I don't think it should seem offensive.
  • After I wrote this I found the words had been changed in Germany, with some controversy.

    From Neuer Text für alte Lieder?
    Statt das Lied "Fest soll mein Taufbund" umzuschreiben, wäre es vielleicht ratsam gewesen, erstmal zu schauen, daß das ursprüngliche Lied mehr als nur eine Strophe hatte. Zudem hätte man bedenken müssen, für welchen Anlass es geschrieben wurde - also wo es ursprünglich seinen Platz hatte: es ist ein Lied, das ursprünglich, nach der Erneuerung des Taufversprechens gesungen wurde.

    Und dort gibt es nun auch die Frage: "Glaubst du...an die hl. kath. Kirche...?"

    If the thread in the above forum was in English it would probably be right here on MusicaSacra. It reminded me of you guys ;-)

    You can see the modified verse 1 and original lyrics on Wikipedia here:
    Fest soll mein Taufbund immer stehn

    People are people, and there is nothing new under the sun.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,103
    The tune is more widely known in the English speaking world as that for "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All" - Tune: for the chorale, (87.87.887) a.k.a. for the hymn, SWEET SACRAMENT (88.88.888 or L.M. with 888 refrain). The 7 syllable lines are obtained by combining the penultimate and antepenultimate syllables of the corresponding 8 syllable line.

  • Some of us aren't fluent in German. Could you help?

  • @CHGiffen ... Yes that's it. And I never heard it before. And it's more in keeping with the original text, which is not what I originally posted, because I didn't know about it.

    @Everyone... That's the thing about posting on MusicaSacra. I always have to do my homework FIRST! If I posted on Twitter or Facebook a few people would "like" or "favorite," or whatever and it would all go away.

    It looks like:

    The song was orinally written as a testament to the sacrifice of Christ, and the indwelling of the Eucharist.

    It looks like there were several versions later where the first verse was kept intact, but different second and following verses were written and added.

    Here is another example.

    It seems the version I posted in my original post was the most common in use, primarily in services for baptism, confirmation, or rites of affirmation, etc.

    Then the modern Church in Germany played with the first verse, such as: "ich will zum Herrn gehören" ("I will listen to God") instead of "Ich will die Kirche hören" ("I will hear the Church"), etc. I'm guessing to make the Church more inclusive, as a reaction (right or wrong) to modernism. You can hear the first verse in its new revised version on gloria.tv here.

    As I understand it, in Germany you don't have OCP, or GIA, etc. You have THE Gotteslob. I lived there a couple years. I have an old one (1990s?) before a lot of the revisions. I might have to make a trip to Amazon.de and get a more modern Gotteslob.

    So, even in Germany, the straight-forward declaration this hymn I described in my original post has been buffered. I don't know if that's good or bad, but my gut reaction is it isn't good.

    @Chris Garton-Zavesky, the German I posted from the thread was saying: "They" only chose to modernize the first verse to be more palatable. (snarky) Did they forget there's more than one verse? And that begs the question: "Do you believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church?"
    The thread was specifically about the church in Germany changing old songs with new lyrics, and the people posting on the thread didn't like it.
    Which sounded to me very much like a MusicaSacra thread might be if a hymn like: "The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord," was changed by an archdiocese to read: "Our only true foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord," or something similar, and that's what would be in all hymnals in the archdiocese.
    And that wouldn't be the only hymn, it would be a bunch of them. MusicaSacra forum would light up like a protestant neighbor's Christmas tree in the Advent season.

    My "very loose" translation in my original post is pretty accurate, and that's what I was wondering about, if there's something similar in English. Though if Germany is moving away from that type of language in hymns, I'd think the US would be as well.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,103
    Here's my own shot at a poetic translation of the first stanza:

    Strong my baptismal vow shall be,
      My ears to Church are reaching.
    So shall she see me faithfully,
      Obedient to her teaching.
    Thanks be to God, called by his grace,
    To the true Church, the one true place,
      Ne'er from her shall I wander.

    Thanked by 1SeasonPsalt
  • Here's my own shot at a poetic translation of the first stanza:

    That's a pretty good translation. It looks like the controversy now over the first verse of this hymn is in the newer Gotteslob, maybe 2003 (just when I left Germany) it's changed to something like: "My ears to God are reaching."

    Though this is a hymn I wasn't familiar with. I don't think I attended any baptisms or confirmations while I was there. Often I would go home after service and look hymns that were sung up in the Gotteslob I purchased from Brennholz, and try to figure them out. But not always.

    But still I wonder why it's been changed. The message seems really appropriate for our modern, godless world. Though I DO want to be inclusive. "One baptism."
    But it seems too often today... Baptized, Confirmed (maybe), then gone from the Church.

    When I was nosing around Wesley's A Charge To Keep I Have seemed to be the only hymn I found in English with a similar message.
  • joerg
    Posts: 136
    In my edition of the New Gotteslob (from 2013) the first stanza reads:

    Fest soll mein Taufbund immer stehn
    Zum Herrn will ich gehören
    Er ruft mich, seinen Weg zu gehn
    und will sein Wort mich lehren.
    Dank sei dem Herrn, der mich aus Gnad
    in seine Kirch berufen hat;
    ihm will ich gläubig folgen.

    Here's my translation into unprofessional English:

    The bond of my baptism shall always be firm.
    I want to belong to the Lord.
    He calls me to walk his ways
    and wants to teach me his word.
    Thanks be to the Lord who by grace
    called me into His church;
    I will follow him faithfully.

    BTW: The Gotteslob (both Editions from 1975 and 2013) is divided into
    two parts. Part 1 is for all of Germany and Austria, part 2 differs according to
    one's diocese. My Gotteslob is for the dioceses of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and Freiburg.
    "Fest soll mein Taufbund" is not contained in the first part, but only in the part for my
    diocese. (I think some other dioceses have it, too.)
    Thanked by 2SeasonPsalt CHGiffen
  • Protasius
    Posts: 468
    In the archdiocese of Paderborn this hymn still has the old text "ich will die Kirche hören" (I will listen to the Church), but with additional stanzas (eg "O Seligkeit getauft zu sein", roughly Oh bliss to be baptised). There were slightly different texts in use before the introduction of the Gotteslob in 1974; before this common hymnal every diocese had its own hymnal, although a certain unification started after WW2, when a set of IIRC 49 hymns was chosen that had to be found in every diocesan hymnal with the same tune and text. For this reason every diocese (or in some cases a group of dioceses) has its own appendix with hymns from its own tradition, sometimes contemporary hymns, sometimes also additional chant pieces (Credo III is in the main part, Credo I is in several diocesan appendices).

    There are some other songbooks, eg the Schwerter Liederbuch which contains contemporary worship music (although much of it is older than me) and is primarily used for Masses with children etc., but for a normal Sunday Mass you are most likely to deal with the Gotteslob.
    Thanked by 2SeasonPsalt CHGiffen
  • There was a two stanza translation, unascribed, used in German North American Hymnals. It may be found in the Christ the King Hymnal, #87, page 93.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen