Gießen / Salzburg (IDEA) – A newer Christian song can now be heard from the bell tower on Mozartplatz in Salzburg. It is the song “Praise the Lord my soul and his holy name”. It was written and composed in 1987 by the then teacher and current head of the state education authority for the district of Gießen and the Vogelsberg district, Ministerialrat Norbert Kissel (Gießen).
As he told the evangelical news agency IDEA, the text is based on Psalm 103. The idea for the melody came to him while tidying up early rooms. Kissel can only guess why the song is now known and sung around the world: “It can be used in many ways. The text is simple. Somehow it creates community because it can be sung in canon. “
Only recently had he received a request from a Korean Christian community that they wanted to take over the song in their hymnbook. He has received feedback on the song from all over the world, for example from Tanzania and Russia. In some television services, too, there are already explanations.
Kissel: Music is important to my faith
As Kissel IDEA further said, music plays an important role in his Christian faith and his everyday life: “The office of church musician, albeit part-time, is a very important part of my life. To live my faith without composing, without singing and making music – I don’t want to imagine anything like that! “
As he said, Kissel would have liked to get an impression of what the song sounds like in Salzburg. The stricter travel regulations due to the corona pandemic have prevented that so far. He also wrote many other songs, but none became as well known as “Praise the Lord, my soul”. However, he reckons that his song “We hand each other the light of hope” from 2019 could also become known.
The Salzburg carillon with its 35 bells was created in 1703. Over 100 pieces of music can be played, controlled by a large brass cylinder. The carillon sounds three times a day: at 7 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. – four minutes past the hour.