Rev. Dr. Jaroslav J. Vajda was born in Lorain, Ohio, on April 28, 1919. He studied at Concordia College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he received the bachelor of arts degree in 1941 and the bachelor of divinity degree in 1944.
After serving several Lutheran parishes, Pastor Vajda was named editor of Concordia Publishing House’s This Day magazine in 1963. From 1971 until his retirement in 1986, he served as book developer and editor at Concordia Publishing House.
Vajda came to prominence as a hymnwriter with his hymn “Now the Silence,” which first appeared in Worship Supplement (CPH, 1969). His hymns and translations, biblically rooted and rich in imagery, number more than 200 and can be found in nearly 50 hymnals of various Christian denominations worldwide. In recognition of his significant contributions to the world of Christian hymnody, Vajda was named a Fellow of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. He also received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, Concordia Seminary, in 2007.
In 2001, Concordia Publishing House acquired the rights to Vajda’s hymns and translations in order to preserve this important body of work for many generations to come. The complete collection of his hymns, Sing Peace, Sing Gift of Peace, was published by Concordia Publishing House in 2003. His hymns and translations can also be found in Lutheran Worship (CPH, 1982), Hymnal Supplement 98(CPH, 1998), and Lutheran Service Book (CPH, 2006).