Johann Sebastian Bach, widely regarded as the greatest of all composers of music for Christian worship, was born in 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, into a family of distinguished musicians. In 1708, shortly after marrying his cousin, Maria Barbara Bach, he became court organist to the Duke of Weimar, where he wrote his principal compositions for the organ. In 1717 he became music director (Kapellmeister) to Prince Leopold of Coethen. In 1720, his wife died, and in 1721 he married Anna Magdalena Wuelcken, for whom he composed a famous set of keyboard pieces. From 1723 until his death in 1750 he was at Leipzig, where he taught, conducted, sang, played, and composed. He had 20 children, of whom nine survived him, four of whom are also remembered as composers.
Almighty God, beautiful in majesty and majestic in holiness, who hast taught us in Holy Scripture to sing thy praises, and who hast given to thy servant Johann Sebastian Bach grace to show forth thy glory in music: Be with all thy servants who write and make music for thy people, that with joy we on earth may glimpse thy beauty, and at length may know the inexhaustible richness of thy new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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