Indications of Time in the Different Subject Areas

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One can expect the frequency of time indications to vary according to subject area. For this reason, those subject areas that occur in a way comparable in all hymnals were examined with regard to the frequency of references to time.43 These were the topics of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Passion or Holy Week,44 Easter,45 Ascension Day, Pentecost, and the theme of death.46 In the case of EG, Sv ps, and AHB, the sections "Trinity" and "Epiphany" were compared. It was even possible to compare the section entitled "End of the church year" for EG and Sv ps, whereby Sv ps and Pspo were combined for this aspect of the study.

In the subject areas considered, GL has a generally lower frequency of time indications than EG and Sv ps/Pspo. On average, the Swedish hymnals have a higher rate than the EG. The AHB fluctuates at a level between Sv ps/Pspo and the EG.

GL shows the highest frequency for the topic "Tod und Vollendung" (death and consummation), although its rate still lies significantly below that of the other hymnbooks. The GL has the lowest number of time indications for Lent, lagging significantly behind the other books even in this regard. In the EG, the section "Ende des Kirchenjahres" (end of the church year) has the most occurrences, while the "Passion" section has the least. The subject of "Sterben und ewiges Leben, Bestattung" (death and eternal life, burial) assumes second place. Completely in agreement with these findings, the section "End of the Church Year" in Sv ps/Pspo also exhibits the highest frequency, followed by "The Gift and Limitation of Life, Heaven, Illness, Suffering, and Death." Here, however, the hymns for Epiphany have the lowest incidence.

For the most part, the AHB follows the characteristic profile of the other books, with one significant exception, namely, the Easter hymns. In the AHB, these have a significantly higher prevalence of time indications than in the other books. Also in the AHB, the highest incidence appears toward the end of the Church year, under the category "All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day." The AHB has the lowest values for Pentecost and Lent.

The other subject areas that were studied are situated in a solid middle field that exhibits no remarkable differences or deviations.

The analysis according to subject areas therefore offers few surprising results. It was to be expected that hymns dealing with the end of the church year, with dying, with death, and with eternal life contain a greater number of references to time. The low incidence for Lent, which is common to the two German books, may be surprising, however.

Plotted graphically, the coefficients derived from the number of passages

with time indications and the number of hymns in the individual subject areas can be seen in the chart above.

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