The Erfurt Enchiridion of 1524 is the earliest protestant hymn book. As it states, in the past many had spent ´´the whole day standing in the choir, shouting like the priests of Baal in unclear cries´´; even ´´members of Collegiate Churches and Monasteries had often not understood what they sing or read´´, and had ´´cried like the forest-donkeys to a deaf God´´. The Erfurt Enchiridion aimed to change this - and was a remarkable success. It was reprinted repeatedly, its melodies were set to four-part music by Johann Sebastian Bach and others, and it became the core of many later hymn books. To enable today´s choirs to understand and sing the hymns in the Erfurt Enchiridion, we reprint the original and present for many of them Bach´s four-part settings with traditional singable English translations, thus supporting to ´´a continuous practice and contemplation of spiritual hymns and psalms´´, as did the Erfurt Enchiridion in 1524.
Ein Enchiridion oder Handbüchlein geistlicher Gesänge und Psalmen (Erfurt 1524):