Gospel saying

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A gospel saying (also gospel motet ) is a polyphonic setting of an excerpt from a gospel , the setting of entire gospels is called history .


The Evangelical Lutheran Church took over from the Catholic Church the concept of a fixed pericope order , i.e. a binding definition of the scriptures for the individual Sundays and holidays. The written readings were initially sung in the form of simple melody models ( lesson tones ).

After the setting of Bible texts in vernacular was initially limited almost exclusively to psalm texts, the first German gospel sayings were composed towards the end of the 16th century. Andreas Raselius (1594), Christoph Demantius (1610), Melchior Vulpius (from 1612) and Melchior Franck ( Gemmulae Evangeliorum , also known as German Gospel Sayings for the Church Year , 1623) published choral cycles ( Gospel years ) in which each for a whole church year for every Sunday and public holiday a central excerpt from the respective pericope text was composed as a gospel verse. When a gospel verse was performed at that time, most of the gospel reading probably took place in the lesson tone, and the gospel verse was inserted at the appropriate point (as figural music ).

The gospel saying can be seen as one of the original forms of the cantata . In the cantata, the performance no longer takes place within the gospel lecture, but after it, the texts are longer and not limited to reading texts, the form is divided into several parts, the inclusion of instruments becomes the rule.