Finnish hymns and hymnals

Hymns before hymnals Although archaeological evidence suggests that some form of Christanity may have existed earlier, the Christian Church was brought to Finland in 1155 by the English-born Henry, Bishop of Uppsala, Sweden, together with King (Saint) Erik of Sweden. Henry, the ‘apostle to Finland’, met an untimely end when he was murdered by a peasant, Lalli, on an icy lake. Amazing tales began to circulate about Henry and he was later canonized. Antiphons, hymns and sequences* were written in his honour including the oldest Finnish hymn, the Latin ‘Ramus virens olivarum’ (‘strong branch of olives’). Following Henry’s death, the Christian faith spread slowly from the west to other parts...

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