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Ernest Edwin Ryden

Noted Lutheran author and hymnologist

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 Ernest Edwin Ryden

Background Information on the author from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

"In addition to his congregational calls and editorship of the Lutheran Companion magazine, Ryden was a noted author and hymnologist. He published two books on hymns. He served as secretary of the Joint Commission on a Common Hymnal, which in conjunction with the Joint Commission on a Common Liturgy created the Service Book and Hymnal which represented the collaborative work of the eight Lutheran church bodies that comprised the National Lutheran Council. In the current Evangelical Lutheran Church in America hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, three of his hymn texts are included.

"During his tenure at Gloria Dei in St. Paul, Ryden hosted, as well as wrote, a radio program, “The Story of Our Hymns,” on KSTP in Minneapolis/St. Paul from 1928-1934. He was president of Augustana’s Minnesota Conference’s Board of Christian Service. He was also a great proponent of Lutheran Unity and served on the Joint Commission on Lutheran Unity.

"Many honors were presented to Ryden during his career. In 1930 Augustana College honored him with a Doctor of Divinity. And in 1949 he was given the Royal Order of the North Star by the government of Sweden for his body of work, especially his work with Scandinavian hymnody.

"After retirement from active ministry, Ryden continued to participate in the activities which gave him great joy. He began to learn Portuguese when he was in his nineties so he could edit a hymnal for the Presbyterian Church of Brazil...."


Works by Ernest Edwin Ryden

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Ryden shared the lore of Christian hymns across many times and cultures not just in The Story of Our Hymns, but also in a radio show of the same name that aired in Minneapolis and St. Paul from 1928-1934. “To know the hymns of the Church is to know something of the spiritual strivings and achievements of the people of God throughout the centuries,” Ryden aptly wrote. Taking an historical perspective, he proceeds chronologically, but divides the history of hymnology according to culture. First, he recounts hymnology’s beginnings and development up until the Protestant Reformation. Then, he tells the story of Protestant hymnology in Germany and Scandinavia. He ends his history with the development of a hymn tradition in England and America.

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