Mitten wir im Leben sind

Mitten wir im Leben sind. Pre-Reformation German (stanza 1), Martin Luther* (1483-1546) stanzas 2 and 3. This is Luther’s development of a Leise*, ‘Mytten wir ym leben synd/ mit dem todt umbfangen’, which existed in different forms in pre-Reformation Germany (see Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied II. 749-50). It was a vernacular rendering of the Latin Sequence* ‘Media vita in morte sumus’* (‘In the midst of life we are in death’). Luther’s text is in three 14-line stanzas, each ending ‘Kyrieleyson’. It was printed in Eyn Enchiridion oder Handbuchlein (Erfurt, 1524) with the title ‘Der Lobsanck, Mitten wir ym leben synd’ (DDK III. 10-11). In stanza 2 the emphasis is on God as powerful,...

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