Description of the Magdeburg Enchiridion and Its Repertory

The Magdeburg Enchiridion belongs to the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection of Pitts Theology Library at Emory University (Atlanta).Citation: 24Call number: Kessler 1536 Ench. It was acquired in February 1988 from the Stuttgarter Antiquariat (Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing). According to the listing in DKL, it was formerly in private possession in Munich.Citation: 25DKL MagdL 1536; RISM 153602 (p. 17). Nothing further is known about its provenance.

The book was published in 1536, ten years before Luther's death; no other copies are known to have survived. Its dark-brown cover (leather on wood) is badly worn. Along the right edge are two broken brass clasps. At the bottom of the front are the faint remnants of a tooled inscription: [?]SICVTMOGSEXS[?]. The volume's small size (sextodecimo) and its title (the Greek word “enchiridion,” meaning “manual” or “handbook,” was frequently used for personal hymnals in the early years of the Reformation) indicate that it was intended for personal use.

The title page, decorated with a woodcut border depicting two angels above, five angels (with music) below, and pillars at the left and right, bears the words:

on Geistliker
leder vnde Psalmen,
vppet nye gecorri=
Sampt der Vesper
Complet / Metten
vnde Missen.

(Handbook of spiritual songs and psalms, newly corrected [i.e., brought into conformity with Lutheran doctrine]. Including Vespers, Compline, Matins, and the Mass.) Lines 1-2 and 6-8 are printed in red; lines 3-5 in black.)

The book is in octavo format with the collation: A-O.Citation: 8Borchling-Claussen 1931-36 lists nearly 5000 Low German prints through the end of the eighteenth century. In addition to the usual letters and Roman numerals of the signatures, each double-page opening is designated a single “page,” since the heading at the top, which has the form “Dat [Roman numeral] Bladt,” spans both pages. The index at the back of the hymnal gives the page numbers according to this system (although over half of the entries are incorrect). For this reason, in the following description an individual page is not identified as recto or verso of a leaf but rather as the left or right side of a “page.” For example, “2L” and “2R” refer to the left and right side of “page” 2, respectively. At the bottom of the last printed page (112R) is the colophon: “Gedrücket tho Mag/ deborch dorch Michael./ Lotther. / M. D. xxxvj.” (Printed in Magdeburg by Michael Lotter, 1536).

The first item in the Enchiridion (2L-3L) is a Low German translation of Luther's preface to Johann Walter's Geystlicher gesangk Buchleyn (Wittenburg: Joseph Klug, 1524), the so-called Chorgesangbuch, the first hymnal prepared under the Reformer's supervision.Citation: 26The High German original is reprinted in WA, 474-75; an English translation is in LW, 315-16. This is followed by a group of thirty-seven hymns (3L-43L): twenty-five by Luther and twelve by members of his circle (three each by Johann Agricola and Paul Speratus, two by Michael Stiefel, and one each by Erhart Hegenwalt, Lazarus Spengler, Justus Jonas, and Elizabeth Creutziger). As mentioned earlier, these songs, listed in Appendix 1, are Low German versions of those in the Enchiridion published by Michael Blum in Leipzig around 1530, and both books have them in the same order.Citation: 27This core repertoire of early Lutheran hymnody apparently was taken over from Hans Lufft's Enchiridion (Wittenberg, 1526), a congregational version of the 1524 Wittenberg Chorgesangbuch. All thirty-two of the German songs in the 1524 source are in the three Enchiridia published by Lufft (Wittenberg, 1526), Blum (Leipzig, c. 1530), and Lotter (Magdeburg, 1536). The four hymns in Lufft's book that are not in the Chorgesangbuch (Agricola's “Gottes Recht und Wundertat” and “Ach Herre Gott, wie haben sich,” Stiefel's “Mensch, dein Zung 1nit Gesang soll geben,” and Jonas's “Wo Gott, der Herr, nicht bei uns hält”) are retained in the two later hymnals. The order of Luther's hymns “Gott der Yater wohn uns bei” and “Wir glauben all an einen Gott” is reversed in all three of the Enchiridia with respect to the Chorgesangbuch. Finally, Luther's “Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott,” which is found in both of the later sources, is absent from the Chorgesangbuch and Lufft's hymnal because it was not written until after they were published. See Volz 1962, lxxix; cf. also Hofmann 1914, 15-16, 25, and WA, 19-20, 29-30. While Lotter's hymnal follows Blum's quite closely in most respects, several notable additions and changes indicate that he made use of other sources as well. For instance, Lotter provided melodies for Agricola's “Gottes Recht und Wundertat” (21R), Luther's “Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit” (28L) and “Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl” (30R), and Speratus's “In Gott gelaub ich, daß er hat” (38L), though Blum's book contains only the words. In addition, he gives a different tune for Speratus's “Hilf Gott, wie ist der Menschen Not” (36R). Furthermore, instead of printing Blum's melody for Stiefel's “Dein armer Hauf, Herr, tut klagen,” Lotter calls for it to be sung to the melody of the Pange lingua (9R). In several cases, he also supplemented the information given in Blum's headings. For example, Lotter added the date (1 July) to the year (1523) for Luther's “Ein neues Lied wir heben an” (6R). And he identified more fully the author of “Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn” as “Elisabeth Crützigerin” (29R) rather than simply “Elisabeth M.“Citation: 28A later addition to the Magdeburg Enchiridion is a manuscript entry of the Gloria patri in the left margin of 13L; this apparently was 1neant as a supplementary stanza for Luther's “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein.” Cf. Bosinski 1986, 49.

The next section (43R-45R) is a set of four old church hymns (“etlike geistlike leder / van den older gemaket”): Low German translations of “Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich” (German version of Dies ist laetitiae), the macaronic In dulci jubilo, “Christe der du bist Tag und Licht” (German version of Christe qui Lux), and the Leise “Christ ist erstanden.” They are preceded by a brief explanation of the reason for their inclusion: “We have included the old hymns, which follow here, to clearly show how certain pious Christians, who have lived before us in the great darkness of false doctrine, nevertheless still witness to all times and peoples how to know Christ aright, and through God's grace remain immovably constant to this decision.“Citation: 29This is a Low German version of the small preface that Luther wrote for the Wittenberg hymnal of 1529 and 1533; English translation from Leaver 1991, 284. Since two of the songs (In dulci jubilo and “Christ ist erstanden”) are not in Blum's Enchiridion and the introductory sentence (also absent from Blum) matches a passage from Klug's 1529 Wittenberg hymnal, clearly this part of the Magdeberg volume derives from the 1529 source or a book based on it.

The last group of hymns (45R-82R) is an eclectic collection of thirty-four “made by pious men in places other than Wittenberg.“Citation: 30This quotation is a Low German translation of Luther's High German original in Klug's hymnal (1529 and 1533 ). Cf. n. 29 above. Among the localities represented are such far-flung cities as Nuremberg (Hans Sachs), Strassburg (Matthäus Greiter, Wolfgang Dachstein, and Symphorianus Pollio), Riga (Andreas Knöpken), Breslau (Ambrosius Moibanus), and Basel (Johann Kohlross). Again the influence of the Leipzig Enchiridion is evident, although it is much less pronounced than in the first section. Several sets of hymns are in the same order as in Blum's volume. For instance, the anonymous songs of Margrave Casimir, Margrave George, and Mary of Hungary (nos. 43-45 in Appendix 1) are at the beginning of this part in both books.Citation: 31In the Magdeburg Enchiridion, however, they are preceded by Sachs's dialogue-hymn, “O Godt Vader du heffst gewalt,” which is not in the Leipzig book. Similarly, at the end are three hymns by Thomas Müntzer (nos. 73-75). Citation: 32In the Leipzig Enchiridion, though, they are followed by a song that is absent from the Magdeburg volume, Sachs's version of Psalm 58, “Wolt jr denn nicht reden ein mal.” This section also contains a group of seven metrical psalms (nos. 64-70) that are ordered differently than in the Leipzig Enchiridion: Lotter rearranged them so that they appear in the correct numerical sequence. A fourth set includes six songs from Blum's book (nos. 53-55 and 57-59). But two more (nos. 60-61) are appended to this group, and another (no. 56) is interpolated in between. All three of these additional songs are in the second part of Joachim Slüter's “double hymnal” of 1531 (Appendix 3, no. 3). This book, or one of its many later editions, presumably was also the source for a number of other hymns. The songs by Greiter, Dachstein, and Knöpken (nos. 48-52) are the most notable group. But two others that may have been penned by Slüter himself (nos. 71-72) are also absent from the Leipzig Enchiridion.

While almost all of the hymns in the final section of the Magdeburg Enchiridion are also in Slüter's 1531 hymnal, clearly it did not serve as Lotter's sole (or even principal) exemplar. Apart from significant differences in the order of the songs, the Magdeburg Enchiridion includes three (nos. 46, 62, and 66) that are not in the Rostock volume.Citation: 33“Danek segge wy alle Gade vnsem Heren Christo” (no. 62) and “Here wo lange wultu vorgeten myner” (no. 66) are both in the Leipzig Enchiridion. The latter, Sachs's version of Psalm 12, was excluded from Slüter's hymnal apparently because it contains Greiter's version (“Ach Herr wo lange vorgestu myner”) instead. An important clue that Lotter probably worked from a later edition of Slüter's books is the inclusion of “Fröwet iuw fröwet iuw in desser tidt” (no. 46). Though it is neither the Leipzig Enchiridion nor the 1531 edition of Slüter, it begins to turn up in Hans Walther's 1534 reprint (Appendix 3, no. 4).Citation: 34Surely this book, which appeared in Low German in Magdeburg two years before the Enchiridion, was more likely to have been Latter's source than the High German broad-sheet (Nuremberg: Kunegund Hergotin, c. 1529) mentioned by Wackernagel (W, 3:128 [no. 165]).

Like the Leipzig and Rostock hymnals, the Magdeburg Enchiridion includes the orders of worship for Vespers, Compline, Matins, and the Mass. The general outlines of these services, especially the daily Offices, are similar in all three books. While detailed comparisons cannot be pursued here, below is a brief inventory of the components of each service in the Magdeburg Enchiridion that makes note of major differences from the wtwo earlier volumes (L = Leipzig Enchiridion, c. 1530; R = Rostock hymnal, 1531).

De Düdesche Vesper (82R-86L)

  1. Antiphon: “Kum hillige geist Here Godt” (Luther)
  2. Collect: “O Barmhertige Godt”
  3. Psalm 114: “DO Israel vth Egypten töch”
  4. Magnificat: “MIn seele erheuet den HEREN”
  5. Lord's Prayer
    Not in L or R.
  6. Collect: “O Almechtige Godt”
  7. Collect: “O Güdige Godt”
    Not in L.

De Düdesche Complet (86L-91L)

  1. Psalm 4: “ERhöre my wenn ick rope”
  2. Psalm 25: “THo dy HERE erheue ick myne seele”
  3. Psalm 91: “WOl vnder der bescharminge des alder högesten sitt”
    R has Psalm 134, too.
  4. Nunc dimittis: “HEre nu lestu dynen dener in dem frede varen”
  5. Lord's Prayer
    Not in L or R.
  6. Collect: “O almechtige Godt”
  7. Collect: “Vorschone Here”
  8. Salve regina: “HEre Godt van herten wy dy gröten”
    Not in R.
  9. Da pacem Domine: “Vorlene vns frede gnedichlick”
    In the first part of R (Ci), but not listed in the order of worship for Compline;
    L has a different version.
  10. Collect: “Almechtige Godt”
    Not in L or R.

De Düdesche Metten (91R-99R)

  1. Psalm 1: “WOl deme de nicht wandert im rade der Godtlosen”
  2. Psalm 2: “WOrumme dauen de Heiden”
  3. Psalm 3: “OCh HERE wo ys myner viende so veel”
  4. Antiphon: “Umme den vordenst des louen”
    Not in L or R.
  5. Versicle: “Bewise vns Here dine barmherticheit”
    Not in L or R.
  6. Lord's Prayer
    Not in L.
  7. Lesson
    Not in L.
  8. Response: “So wy dat gude entfangen hebben van der handt des Heren”
    Not in L.
  9. Versicle: “Bloth bin ick vthgeghan van myner moder”
    Not in L.
  10. Te deum laudamus: “O Godt wy lauen dy”
    Psalms 93, 100, 63, 67, and 148 for Lauds appear between the Te deum and Benedictus in R.
  11. Benedictus: “GEbenediet sy Godt de Here van Israel”
  12. Antiphon: “Gebenedyet sy Godt de Here van Israel”
    Not in R.
  13. Benedicamus: “De almechtige Godt wolde vns synen Segen geuen”
    Not in R.
  14. Collect: “Here Godt”
  15. Collect: “Almechtige eewige Godt”
    L and R have an additional collect between nos. 15 and 16.
  16. Collect: “Here Jhesu Christe”

De Düdesche Misse (99R-109R)

  1. Confession (Confiteor): “UNse hülpe sy in dem namen des Heren”
    Not in L.
  2. Absolution: “DE almechtige barmhertige Godt”
    Not in L or R.
  3. Introit: Psalm 34: “ICk wil den HEREN lauen alle tidt”
    L does not specify which hymn or psalm should open the Mass;
    R calls for “Uth deper nodt schrye yck tho dy” (Psalm 130).
  4. Kyrie: “HERE vorbarme dy vnser”
    L calls for the threefold Kyrie in Greek.
  5. Gloria in excelsis: “ALlene Gade in der höge sy eere” (Nikolaus Decius) Citation: 35W, 3:565-66 (no. 615). Bosinski (1971, 45,46) suggests that the fourth stanza was penned by Slüter.
    L and R have a different version.
  6. Greeting: “De HERE sy mit iuw”
    Not in L.
  7. Collect: “O almechtige Godt”
    Not in R.
  8. Collect: “O Godt Vader vorlene vns”
    Not in L.
  9. Epistle
  10. Alleluia
    Not in L;
    in R, the Alleluia is placed after the hymn.
  11. Hymn: “De heil de ys vns kamen her” (Paul Speratus) or another of one's choice
    L suggests “Nu bitten wir den heiligen geist” (Luther);
    R calls for “Dyth synth de hylghen teyn geboth” (Luther).
  12. Gospel
  13. Creed: “Wy löuen all an einen Godt” (Luther)
    R includes an alternative version, too.
    In L, the Creed is followed by the sermon.
  14. Confession and Absolution (Eine Christlike wise tho bichten): “LEue Here vnde gude fründt”
    This section precedes the Mass in L and R.
  15. Lord's Prayer
    This comes after the Sanctus in R, and includes the Scriptural context from Matthew 6.
  16. Warning: “LEuen fründe Christi”
    Not in R.
  17. Warning: “MYne alder leuesten in Godt”
    Not in L;
    after the Agnus dei in R (and followed by another).
  18. Words of Institution
    Preceded by the Sursum corda in R.
  19. Hymn: “Godt sy gelauet” (Luther), “Jhesus Christus vnse Heilandt” (Luther), or Sanctus
    In L these hymns are mentioned after the Sanctus;
    in R the Sanctus only is specified.
  20. Sanctus “HIllich ys Godt de Vader” (Decius)Citation: 36W, 3:567-68 (no. 618).
    L and R both have different versions.
  21. Agnus dei: “O Lam Gades vnschüldich” (Decius)Citation: 37W, 3:568 (no. 619).
    L has a different version. In R it is preceded by a brief prayer (“O Here elröse vns van allen sychtigen vnd vnsychtighen vienden”) and the Pax domini.
  22. Collect: “WY dancken dy almechtige HERE God”
    R has a different collect.Citation: 38The last portion of the Mass (beginning after the Creed) is quite different in R as compared with L and the Magdeburg Enchiridion. In addition to the differences noted above, R includes the Nunc dimittis and several other prayers, dialogues, and declarations.
  23. Benediction: “De HERE segene dy vnde behöde dy”

Thirty-one of the seventy-five hymns in the main part of the Magdeburg Enchiridion, plus the Te deum in the Matins service, have music. In the Te deum (94L-97R) the text is underlaid beneath the notes; in all other cases the music is printed separately before the words. Again a remarkably high degree of congruity exists between the Magdeburg and Leipzig Enchiridia. Lotter's book provides music for almost the same hymns as Blum's, especially in the first section, the songs of Luther and his circle.Citation: 39In only one case, Stiefel's “Dein armer Hauf, Herr, tut klagen” (no. 7 in Appendix 1), is a song that has a melody in Blum printed without music in Lotter. (However, the two books have different melodies for Speratus's “Hilf Gott, wie ist der Menschen Not” [no. 34].) On the other hand, six of the melodies in the Magdeburg Enchiridion (nos. 17, 25, 28, 35, 55, 57) clearly came from some other source, since they do not appear in the Leipzig hymnal. Moreover, apart from misprints (which are numerous in both books), the Magdeburg volume agrees with the Leipzig hymnal even when there are significant variants that set them apart from other sources (e.g., the end of Hegenwalt's “Erbarm dich mein, o Herr Gott” [no. 12]).

One of the most intriguing features of the Magdeburg Enchiridion is the group of four handwritten hymns in the endpapers (transcriptions, with parallel High German versions, are provided in Appendix 2). Apparently they were entered by an early owner of the book, probably within a decade after it was published, to supplement the printed repertory. On the inside of the front cover are the first three stanzas of Luther's “Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam” (presumably the other four verses and one or two additional songs were on the two leaves that have been excised between this page and the next). Broadsheets of this hymn began circulating as early as 1541, and it appeared in Low German in Walther's 1543 hymnal (Appendix 3, no. 9).Citation: 40Jenny 1985, 117; Geffcken 1857, 225; Bachmann 1881, 50. According to Lucke (WA, 281), it was dated 1541 (evidently copied from a broad sheet) in a Low German hymnal published in Lubeck in 1556 by Jürgen Richolff. Unfortunately, the book was lost in a fire in 1870.

The other manuscript entry in the front is a metrical version of Psalm 103, “Nun lob, mein Seele, den Herren,” by Johannes Gramann of Königsberg. A broadsheet of this song, along with three others by Caspar Gretter and Johannes Schneesing (pastor at Friemar, near Gotha), was printed in Nuremberg by Georg Wachter around 1540.Citation: 41Wackernagel 1855, 168 (no. 412). In the same year four polyphonic settings (in Johann Kugelmann's Concentus novi) were published in Augsburg by Melchior Kriesstein. Low German versions are found in the hymnals of Christian Rödinger (Magdeburg, 1543; Appendix 3, no. 11) and Johann Balhorn, Sr. (Lübeck, 1545; Appendix 3, no. 12).Citation: 42W, 3:821-23 (nos. 968-70); Bachmann 1881, 53, 58. The version in the Magdeburg Enchiridion is quite different from the one in Rödinger's hymnal.

The first of the two handwritten hymns in the back is the morning song “Ich danck dir, liebe Herre” by Johannes Kohlross (d.1558), a pastor in Basle (his metrical version of Psalm 127 is no. 68 among the printed hymns). A broadsheet of “Ick danck dir, liebe Herre” was printed in Nuremberg by Wachter around 1535,Citation: 43W, 3:86 (no. 114); DKL 1LBl Nbg um 1535; RISM 153502 and it subsequently appeared in two Leipzig hymnals published by Valentin Schumann (1539) and Valentin Bapst (1545). In addition, it is in the Low German hymnals published by Hans Walther in Magdeburg in 1540, 1541, and 1543 (Appendix 3, nos. 7-9).Citation: 44Geffcken 1857, 225; Bachmann 1881, 47-48, 50.

The last hymn is “Herr Gott, der du erforschest mich,” a metrical version of Psalm 139 by Heinrich Vogther. It was printed in Strassburg by Wolf Köpfel in 1527.Citation: 45DKL 4LB1 Straß 1527b; RISM 152713. Although very little is known about Vogther, he is identified as “Maler zu Wimpffen” and “maler zu Straßburgk” (painter in Strassburg), respectively, in broadsheets from 1524-1526.Citation: 46W, 3:505, 508.

Linguistic analysis of these songs reveals that they are in late Middle Low German of the Lübeck Standard with strong Westphalian and Dutch influence, rather than the indigenous dialect of Magdeburg (Elbe Eastphalian).Citation: 47I owe this information to Keith Boden of the Department of Germanic Languages at the University of Texas (Austin), who reports additionally that “the translator/scribe was probably trained in the Lubeck Standard of the Middle Low German heyday (mid-fourteenth century). This Lübeck Standard was characterized by a strong influence of the so-called “westliche Strömung” or “western current,” which incorporated several features of Westphalian and Dutch that were not native to the Lübeck area. On the other hand, there is not enough evidence of Westphalian features which are not typically present in the Lübeck Standard to warrant placing the hymns exclusively in the Westphalian dialect. An increase in Dutch orthographic influence was typical for Low German manuscripts of the Reformation period” (letter to the author, 22 June 1993). See also Martin Durrell, “Westphalian and Eastphalian,” in Russ 1990, 59-90; “The Low German Dialects” in Noble 1983, 89-108. This, in turn, suggests that the scribe (presumably the book's owner) lived in the northwest corner of Germany, near the Dutch border, perhaps in Osnabrück, Münster, Dortmund, or Wuppertal.