Contest nets new hymn for seminary

Matthew Priem, a fourth-year student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, is this year’s winner in the Pamela Anne Prevallet Memorial Fund Annual hymn-priem.gifHymn Competition.  Priem is from Ocala, Fla.

Priem’s winning hymn, “What Life Is This,” may be heard on the seminary’s Web site at

The annual hymn competition was created in 2000 by Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Prevallet in memory of their daughter.  The competition is open to students of Concordia Seminary who are serving their vicarage, or internship, at a Lutheran congregation.

Dr. James Brauer, professor and chairman of practical theology and dean of the chapel at the seminary, said, “It is good to foster hymn writing as a pastoral activity already when pastors are being formed.  It could yield some good, new resources for ministry over the years.”

Commenting on his hymn, Priem said, “By means of law and Gospel, I hope to redefine death and life for both singers and hearers and lead them to confident hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ.  This theme is ideally associated with Lent, although parts, especially the final verses, may be borrowed for funerals throughout the year.”

The Pamela Anne Prevallet Memorial Fund at Concordia Seminary holds the copyright to the texts of the winning hymns, and encourages use of the hymns in congregations.

For more information about the annual competition or this year’s winning hymn, contact the seminary’s communications office at 314-505-7374 or

Posted Nov. 13, 2008

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