|Short Name:||Calvin Weiss Laufer|
|Full Name:||Laufer, Calvin Weiss, 1874-1938|
Presbyterian minister and hymnographer Calvin Weiss Laufer was born today in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania in 1874. Following his graduation from Union Seminary in 1900 he was ordained into the Presbyterian ministry and led congregations in New York and New Jersey for several years.
Laufer had a generally cheerful outlook on his Christian life, and his first two books, Key-Notes of Optimism (1911) and The Incomparable Christ (1914) expressed that viewpoint. A review of the first book spoke of the "crisp and stirring note in these sermonettes which is well calculated to rouse the mind of readers and banish dejection." His books were popular in their time but today are seen as somewhat superficial.
He later began to work with the Presbyterian Board of Christian Education and became its editor of musical publications, producing books such as The Junior Church School Hymnal (1927), The Church School Hymnal for Youth (1928) and When the Little Child Wants to Sing (1935). He was also the associate editor of the Presbyterian Hymnal of 1933, a very popular book which was used in many churches for more than fifty years.
In 1932, his book Hymn Lore was published, which contained the stories of fifty hymns from The Church School Hymnal for Youth, with information about their writers and composers (much like this blog). He chose a broad range of hymns, some quite modern and others well-known and loved for centuries. Several of them were by his mentor and friend Louis F. Benson, who had edited the Presbyterian Hymnal of 1895 and its 1911 revision (and also wrote The Best Church Hymns). In the preface to Hymn Lore, Laufer wrote:
To live with hymns and to make them one's own is the only sure way of appreciating their literary beauty and spiritual power. (...) That the reading and singing of hymns may become less mechanical, more thoughtful and intelligent, and emotionally more effective, this volume is released to the public.
Laufer wrote both hymn texts and tunes himself, most of which first appeared in the books he edited but also had some life outside Presbyterian circles. This tune was written while Laufer was attending a conference in Kansas, though with no particular text in mind. Not long after, he hummed it to a friend, William H. Foulkes, who then wrote the text "Take thou our minds, dear Lord."
Laufer's tune was originally called STONY BROOK, but he changed it to honor a friend, William Ralph Hall. Little is known about the writer May Pierpont Hoyt. Her text is generally sung to the tune BREAD OF LIFE by William F. Sherwin, but since that tune is more known with "Break thou the Bread of life," this text could use a different one.
|Texts by Calvin Weiss Laufer (39)||As||Instances|
|Brighter than the sunset||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Dear God, we thank thee for the star||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Dear Lord, we give our youth to thee||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||9|
|Draw near, O Christ, and like a vision bright||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|God, help us love our city||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||3|
|God passed along our countryside||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||3|
|Holy Father, bless us||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||3|
|Holy Father, God of might||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||3|
|I love my friends and they love me||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||4|
|I never saw God's love||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Jesus, our Savior, we welcome this day||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||3|
|Like thee, dear maser, help us feel||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||3|
|Lord, thy blessed service leads me oft afield||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Lord, thy Love, thy woundrous love||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|My Life, dear Lord, I give to thee||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||6|
|My way, O God, I've lost||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|O magnify the Lord with me, All ye that bear his name||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||3|
|O Master of the loving heart||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||14|
|O thou eternal Christ of God||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||6|
|Once upon a hillside||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||5|
|Our gifts, dear Lord, we bring to thee||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||3|
|Our hearts, dear Lord, are in the hills||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Our land, so great and wonderful||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Sleep, my dear little baby||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Teach us, dear Lord, to pray||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||5|
|The Christ of God, arrayed with light||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|The Lord is ever near||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||9|
|The Word of God shall be my guide||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||4|
|The world, dear Lord, is very large||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||5|
|The world is very beautiful||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Thee, holy Father, we adore||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|There is a way in which||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Thy works of love and friendship||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||4|
|We thank thee, Lord thy paths of service lead||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||31|
|When comes the golden sunset||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||4|
|When mother puts me in my bed||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|When twilight falls the birds fly home||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||4|
|You, holy Father, we adore||Calvin W. Laufer (Author)||2|
|Thy work, O God needs many hands||Calvin Weiss Laufer, 1874 - 1938 (Author (altered))||17|