Menu Close

Kantor Resch on Confessional Lutheran Hymns – Part II


100 Hymns from LSB

Compiled by

Kantor Richard C. Resch – Pentecost 2020

This list of kernlieder (“core songs”) consists of one hundred hymns that enable confessional Lutherans to sing their faith throughout every single church year of their life. Such annual singing trains their hearts and minds as it also richly feeds their souls.  It brings a singer of any age into Biblical truths as expressed in the Lutheran Confessions. But what is different here from reciting the catechism is that the truths are crafted into the homiletic form of a congregational hymn, where the form and the content allow them to sing their faith.

It was not difficult to compose this list, for LSB is a wonderful treasury of very strong hymnody.  What was difficult was leaving out the host of very fine hymns that are not on this list of one hundred. 

Inclusion on this list depended on how the church itself has treated a particular chorale, a text, or a hymn (Latin, English, American), throughout its history.  Some hymns have been viewed as essential from early on in their lives, and composers have been led to write extensively on them, such as Nicolai’s “Wake, Awake for Night is Flying,” and “All Glory Be to God on High” by Decius.  Also, some hymns in our Lutheran history have been designated as the “chief hymn of the day” (Hauptlied) from very early on in church year history, such as “Savior of the Nations, Come” for Advent I.  These hymns automatically become Kernlieder, the normative core of Reformation hymnody.

However, when it comes to the hymns of our times, the 20th and 21st century, one has to observe how the more recent Lutheran texts and tunes have been embraced, and how they have come to fit into Lutheran practice today. Hymns such as Martin Franzmann’s “Thy Strong Word,” and Stephen Starke’s “The Tree of Life,” have not only been embraced, but have become beloved and embedded into today’s worship practice.  

Another indicator of a hymn’s importance in our times is how some of the larger Lutheran church conferences such as Higher Things and The Good Shepherd Institute have featured the new hymns, in some cases designing a whole conference around a hymn text, such as “O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth” and “We Praise You and Acknowledge You.”  Such treatment plants those hymns into the life experience of the church and they become the Kernlieder for the church’s future.


1.   332   Savior of the Nations

2.   334   O Lord, How Shall I Meet You

3.   344   On Jordon’s Banks

4.   347   Comfort, Comfort Ye

5.   357   O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

6.   358   From Heaven Above

7.   359   Lo, How a Rose

8.   360   All My Heart Again Rejoices

9.   372   O Jesus Christ, Thy Manger Is

10.   384 Of the Father’s Love

11.   395 O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright

12.   402 The Only Son from Heaven

13.   406 To Jordon Came the Christ

14.   420 Christ, the Life of All the Living

15.   422 On My Heart Imprint Your Image

16.   434 Lamb of God, Pure and Holy

17.   438 A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth

18.   439 O Dearest Jesus, What Law

19.   442 All Glory, Laud, and Honor

20.   449/450 O Sacred Head Now Wounded

21.   458 Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

22.   483 With High Delight

23.   487 Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain

24.   490 Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won

25.   493 A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

26.   494 See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph

27.   498 Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest

28.   508 The Day is Surely Drawing Near

29.   516 Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying

30.   544 O Love, How Deep

31.   555 Salvation Unto Us Has Come

32.   556 Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice

33.   561 The Tree of Life

34.   568 If Your Beloved Son, O God

35.   571 God Loved the World So That He Gave

36.   578 Thy Strong Word

37.   580 The Gospel Shows the Father’s Grace

38.   581 These are the Holy Ten Commands

39.   585 Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide

40.   594 God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It

41.   596 All Christians Who Have Been Baptized

42.   601 All Who Believe and Are Baptized

43.   607 From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee

44.   614 “As Surely as I Live,” God Said

45.   617 O Lord, We Praise Thee

46.   633 At the Lamb’s High Feast

47.   636 Soul Adorn Yourself with Gladness

48.   637 Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord

49.   645 Built on the Rock

50.   655 Lord, Keep Us Steadfast

51.   656 A Mighty Fortress

52.   666 O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe

53.   672 Jerusalem the Golden

54.   676 Behold a Host, Arrayed in White

55.   677 For All the Saints

56.   683 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me

57.   689 Let Me Be Thine Forever

58.   696 O God, My Faithful God

59.   708 Lord, Thee I Love with all My Heart

60.   709 The King of Love My Shepherd Is

61.   710 The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want

62.   716 I Walk in Danger All the Way

63.   724 If God Himself Be for Me

64.   737 Rejoice My Heart Be Glad and Sing

65.   741 Jesus Christ My Sure Defense

66.   743 Jesus, Priceless Treasure

67.   746 Through Jesus Blood and Merit

68.   750 If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee

69.   754 Entrust Your Days and Burdens

70.   756 Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me

71.   758 The Will of God is Always Best

72.   760 What God Ordains is Always Good

73.   766 Our Father, Who from Heaven Above

74.   768 To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray

75.   774 Feed Thy Children, God Most Holy

76.   797 Praise the Almighty

77.   805 Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow

78.   818 In Thee is Gladness

79.   819 Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good

80.   820 My Soul, Now Praise Your Maker

81.   823 May God Bestow on Us His Grace

82.   834 O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth

83.   839 O Christ, Our True and Only Light

84.   876 O Blessed, Holy Trinity

85.   878 Abide with Me

86.   880 Now Rest beneath Night’s Shadow

87.   887 Now the Light Has Gone Away

88.   895 Now Thank We All Our God

89.   897 O Rejoice, Ye Christians, Loudly

90.   909 Christ is Made the Sure Foundation

91.   913 O Holy Spirit, Enter In

92.   919 Abide, O Dearest Jesus   

93.   934 My Soul Now Magnifies the Lord (Magnificat)

94.   936 Sing Praise to the God of Israel (Benedictus)

95.   938 In Peace and Joy I Now Depart (Nunc Dimittis)

96.   940/941 (Te Deum)

97.   947/948 All Glory Be to God on High (Gloria)

98.   953 We All Believe in One True God (Apostles’ Creed)

99.   954 We All Believe in One True God (Nicene Creed)

100.   960 Isaiah, Mighty Seer in Days of Old (Sanctus)