Thy Strong Word

I found the story behind one of our churches favorite hymn interesting.
To us new seminarians in 1963, Walter Buzsin was just a too old boring professor. It was only after several decades that I learned of his importance to Lutheran music. Ah, the ignorance of know – it – all college graduates with a BA degree.

“Thy Strong Word”
The tune for “Thy Strong Word” is called “Ebenezer,” and it is named after Ebenezer Chapel in Rhos, a village in southern Wales. But the tune is also known as “Tôn-y-botel” (“tune in a bottle”). Legend says that the tune was first found in a bottle that washed ashore on the Welsh coast!

When musicologist and professor Walter Buszin first learned of the tune, he ran across the yard of Martin Franzmann’s home and asked Franzmann to write a text for it. Franzmann wrote “Thy Strong Word” to go with the tune.

The processional hymn for our class graduation from the seminary was, “Thy Strong Word.”

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