Paul Westermeyer has had a distinguished career in church music. He is Emeritus Professor of Church Music at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, where he taught, served as cantor, and directed a master’s program with St. Olaf College. He has also served at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst IL and Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside IL. More broadly, Dr. Westermeyer has also been visiting professor at Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music and served as editor of The Hymn, the quarterly journal of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. He has also served as president of that organization, national chaplain of the AGO and chair of the Ecclesiastical Concerns committee for the ALCM.
Pastor Westermeyer is a graduate of Elmhurst College, Lancaster Theological Seminary, the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary, and the University of Chicago. He did CPE training (Clinical Pastoral Experience) at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL as well as graduate study at Notre Dame and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis MO.
His many writings include the following books:
- With Tongues of Fire (1995)
- The Church Musician (1997)
- Let Justice Sing: Hymnody and Justice (1998)
- Te Deum: The Church and Music (1998)
- Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2010)
- A High and Holy Calling: Essays of Encouragement for the Church and Its Musicians (2018)
Who better then, to make keen observations about current trends (micro and macro) in the Church’s music and worship and insightfully set them within a theological perspective and a historical context?
These “occasional reflections” offer a broad perspective, a practical bent, and a heart for the person in the pew.
- Reflection 16 -- Worship Planning as Symphony (PDF)
- Reflection 15 -- The Church's Song II (PDF)
- Psalms and Psalm Tones (PDF)
- On Being Musical (PDF)
- To Be Human is to Sing (PDF)
- All My Fresh Springs Are in You (PDF)
- Music's Intent (PDF)
- Wonder and Grace (PDF)
- Messiaen (PDF)
- Communal Wisdom (PDF)
- The Best and the Worst (PDF)
- The Church's Song (PDF)
- The Church Musician as Persuader (PDF) (Barry Bobb with a response by Paul Westermeyer)
- The Church's Music as Counter-Cultural (PDF)
- For the Glory of God and the Good of the Neighbor (PDF)
- The State of Church Music (2019) (PDF)