1919 - 2008 Hymnal Title: Celebrating Grace Hymnal Translator of "Let Our Gladness Banish Sadness" in Celebrating Grace Hymnal Jaroslav J. Vajda (b. Lorain, Ohio, 1919; d. 2008) Born of Czechoslovakian parents, Vajda was educated at Concordia College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 1944, he served congregations in Pennsylvania and Indiana until 1963. He was editor of the periodicals The Lutheran Beacon (1959-1963) and This Day (1963-1971) and book editor and developer for Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis from 1971 until his retirement in 1986. Working mainly with hymn texts, Vajda served on several Lutheran commissions of worship. A writer of original poetry since his teens, he was the author of They Followed the King (1965) and Follow the King (1977). His translations from Slovak include Bloody Sonnets (1950), Slovak Christmas (1960), An Anthology of Slovak Literature (1977), and contributions to the Lutheran Worship Supplement (1969) and the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). A collection of his hymn texts, carols, and hymn translations was issued as Now the Joyful Celebration (1987); its sequel is So Much to Sing About (1991). Vajda's hymns are included in many modern hymnals, and he was honored as a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada in 1988.
Jaroslav J. Vajda