Troeger, Thomas H


b Suffern, New York. Graduate of Yale Univ; Colgate Rochester Divinity Sch where he also taught before becoming Peck Prof of Preaching and Communication, the Iliff Sch of Theology, Denver, Colorado. He has been ordained as a Presbyterian and an Anglican, and was formerly President of the Academy of Homiletics. He is a prominent member of the N American Hymn Soc and a frequent speaker at its meetings; in c1993 Edward J McKenna said he was ‘probably America’s finest living hymnwriter’. In the 2005 edn of A Panorama of Christian Hymnody (which features 9 of his texts and one paraphrase), Paul A Richardson says that ‘the conscious and effective use in his writing of a wide range of poetic devices demonstrates his belief that hymns can be intellectually and aesthetically challenging’. Typical of his originality is the approach to ‘Our Father…’ in Let all who pray the prayer Christ taught/ first clear the cluttered heart.; or to Christmas in The hands that first held Mary’s child/ were hard from working wood. In both of these (as in others) it is the 2nd line which brings us up short even as we sing; the traditional CM can still spring its surprises. A Transfiguration hymn, Swiftly pass the clouds of glory, is one of his two entries in the N American Lutheran service book of 2006. Much of his writing has been done in conjunction with his composer-colleague Carol Doran. Two collections published in the UK, both by OUP, were New Hymns for the Lectionary: to glorify the Maker’s name (1986), and Borrowed Light: hymn texts, prayers, and poems (1994). The text and its tune featured in Praise! introduces the 2006 CD Timeless Love: the hymn tunes of John Barnard. 10 of his texts feature in the 1987 Chalice Hymnal (USA Disciples of Christ) and 6 in the 1998 Canadian Common Praise, but the N American Episcopalian Hymnal 1982 (published 1985) apparently came too early for its editors to be aware of his work. In the UK, Common Praise (2000) has two of his texts and Sing Praise (2010). Troeger is also an accomplished flautist; see also the notes to Carl P Daw jnr. No.591.

Hymns and songs by Troeger, Thomas H

Number Hymn Name
591 We need each other’s voice to sing