Most of us probably have a few favorite hymns–hymns that comfort us, lift our spirits, or perhaps remind us of certain times or events in our lives. Words and music can awaken our spirituality and give us a sense of God’s presence.
Englishwoman Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878) was the foremost translator of German hymns into English in the nineteenth century, translating nearly 400 hymns. Just as the psalmist wrote the psalm within the context of a deep relationship with God, so Catherine translated within the context of a relationship with God and deep reverence for the Scriptures.
From writers to translators to singers, hymns serve as bridges, linking people with Scripture and with God.
This message is based on a devotion, “Catherine WInkworth: Translator,” written by Emily Demuth Ishida that appeared in Programs, Retreats and Devotions 2 published by Women of the ELCA in 1996. Today we remember two hymn translators: Catherine Winkworth who died in 1878 and John Mason Neale who died in 1866.