Rinkart, Martin


b Eilenburg on the Mulde, Saxony 1586, d Eilenburg 1649. The Latin School at Eilenburg; chorister at St Thomas’ Sch, Leipzig. Univ of Leipzig 1602, where music teaching helped to pay his bills; MA (theology) 1616. In June 1610 he began as a teacher at the Eisleben Gymnasium and Kantor of St Nicholas’ Church; then Diaconus of St Anne’s Ch 1911, and in 1913 he became pastor nearby, at Erdeborn and Lyttichendorf (Lutjendorf). The town council at Eilenburg then invited him to return as Archdiaconus from 1617. He remained for 32 years, most of them spent among the terrors, invasion, robbery, violence, famine and plague of the Thirty Years War. He famously addressed his congregation, ‘Come, my children, we can find no mercy with men. Let us take refuge in God.’ In spite of the pressures of ministry involving mass burials including that of his wife, he engaged in much historical and musical study, writing a cycle of 7 dramas to mark the centenary of the Reformation. Described by James Mearns as a voluminous writer and a good musician, in view of his often desperate situation he unsurprisingly lost many of his publications; others survive in single copies only. His poetry dates from his early youth onwards, but his hymns appeared mainly between 1630 and 1645. No.161.

Hymns and songs by Rinkart, Martin

Number Hymn Name
161 Now thank we all our God