Paul Manz, acclaimed organist, composer, and church musician, died on Wednesday, October 28 at the age of 90. His gifts have tremendously enriched the church, and influenced so many musicians. The light of Christ shone brightly through Paul in his gifts, his life, and his many years of faithful service. He made organs sing as part of the heavenly chorus.
His motet E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come has become a classic of sacred choral literature. He was instrumental in giving life to the hymn festival in North America. Many church organists have played from his collection of hymn improvisations. He has been one of God’s great gifts to his church, and he will be missed. Yet, let God be praised for the life of Paul Manz.
The Minnesota Public Radio program Pipedreams website says: His son John reported that, with the family gathered round the bedside, they had put on a recording of the marvelous choral piece that Paul and Ruth had created, and when the text came round again to “E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come”, Paul breathed his last.
I count it amongst my blessings that I have been able to come within Paul’s orbit for many years at my former church in Gloria Dei. I also am thankful for Paul as the father of one of my pastors. Because Paul and his wife Ruth were members of the same congregation that I was a member of for many years, I also had the pleasure of singing E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come under his direction several years ago. Since his son John was one of our our pastors, that piece had been something of a “signature” piece for the church choir, and it was a special treat for us when Paul lead us in his beloved motet one year.
An obituarty for Paul Manz can be found here.
Listen to E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come.
In 2001 Paul Manz was the subject of a broadcast Pipedreams. You can listen to that program at the Pipedreams website.
Give rest unto your servant with your saints, O God, where there is neither pain nor sorrow, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
For you, God, only are immortal, the creator and the maker of all. And we are mortal, formed of the earth, and to the earth we shall return. For so did you ordain when you created me, saying, “You are dust and to dust you shall return.” All of us go down to the dust, yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Give rest unto you servant with your saints, O God, where there is neither pain nor sorrow, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
—Eastern Orthodox Kontakian for the Departed
2 Responses to Paul Manz, 1919–2009
I’m looking for a recording of the Kontakion which was included in Paul’s funeral. In particular, I hope for one that includes the countertenor descant in the alleluia verse. I’m thinking you might have been there. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!
Margy, That is a beautiful piece, isn’t it? The text is also wonderful and so meaningful, especially on an occasion like today’s memorial Eucharist for Paul.
The only recording that I have of Rupert Lang’s Kontakion is one that was made for family and choir members at the funeral for the husband of the former minster of music at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. I did a Google search and discovered that the choir at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, BC has done a recording. The composer is the music director there. Information can be found at http://www.cathedral.vancouver.bc.ca/arts_learning/earth_cd.htm