I never got anywhere when I tried to learn German, so that colors the rest of this post. I also realize that there’s a small handful of Dopers who profess to be Lutherans, so I will accept the possibility that I won’t get an answer to my question.
This past Sunday, our service ended with a hymn that had English language lyrics set to the opening portion of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. I really like to original, but never knew what was sung, because it all sounds like nonsense chorals to my untrained ear. This hymn (#551, Lutheran Book of Worship) had some pretty cool lyrics if you’re into religious music. Sorry, I can’t cite an excerpt.
What I’m trying to find out is if what we sang was an accurate (or even loose) translation from the German, or if this was another example of hijacking the instrumentals from one work to create another. Unfortunately, Lutheran church music is full of examples of hijacked music.
In any case, #551 went straight to the top of my favorites list…