Hymn #76: Sent Forth by God’s Blessing

Omer Westendorf (1916-1997) published this hymn under the pseudonym J. Clifford Evers in the People’s Mass Book (1964).  It was the first vernacular hymnbook to implement the changes in Roman Catholic liturgy ordered by the Second Vatican Council.

Omer Westendorf was born on February 24, 1916, at Cincinnati, Ohio.  He became a church organist at the age of twenty and served at St. Bonaventure Church, Cincinnati, for over forty years.  The church’s choir has recorded religious music and performed on television, radio, and in live concerts.

This Welsh folk melody, THE ASH GROVE, was traditionally sung to a tragic ballad recounting a hunting accident, entitled “Llwyn Onn.”  Another ballad sung to this tune in England was a happier tale of a country lover.

Leland Bernhard Sateren (1913-2007) harmonized this tune in 1972 when it was included in the Lutheran supplement Contemporary Worship – 4: Hymns for Baptism and Holy Communion.  Sateren has served on the music faculty of Augsburg College and has composed more than three hundred choral works.