Monday, December 21, 2009

Middle Tennessee Christmas and Hanukkah services were in German

German was the predominant language in some of the mid-state's 19th century Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant congregations:

[A]t the Church of the Assumption most sermons were said in German until World War I
Jews were very active in civic life in Nashville. Many were involved with non-Jewish fraternal societies like the Masons and Odd Fellows. A number joined German-speaking lodges, reflecting their strong German identity. Indeed, most of the sermons delivered in Nashville’s synagogues in the latter half of the 19th century were in German.
They established Hohenwald (which translates into High Forest). The cultural traditions of the Swiss were kept alive by the Swiss Singing Society, a band called "Echoes of Switzerland," waltzes at Society Park in Hohenwald, and the annual production "Willhelm Tell." Church services at the Swiss Reformed and German Reformed Churches were conducted in German.

21st century Tennessee-Germany connections

Nashville extends its German traditions through to the 21st century in a variety of ways: Photo by Zadi Diaz. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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