Juraj Tranovsky, Hymnwriter 29 May 1637

(from the Lutheran Calendar)

Juraj (Jiri, George) Tranovsky (Trzanowski, Tranoscius) was born in 1591 in Silesia, the son of a blacksmith. In 1607 he became a student at the University of Wittenberg. He was ordained in 1616 and spent his life teaching and preaching in Prague, Moravia, Silesia, and finally in Slovakia. He translated the Augsburg Confession into Slovak, but he is chiefly known for his hymnal, Cithara Sanctorum ("Harp of the Saints" -- note the relation of Latin "cithara" to English "zither" and "guitar"), which is the basis of Slovak hymnody. It contains about 400 hymns, some of them translations of old Latin hymns, some translations of Lutheran chorales, and about 150 hymns composed by Tranovsky himself. He died 29 May 1637.

written by James Kiefer


Almighty God, who have taught your people to praise you in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs: We thank you for your servants to whom you have given skill in the writing of hymns, especially at this time for Juraj Tranovsky, and we pray that by your grace we may sing your praises joyfully in this life, and finally attain to the harmony of the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.