Archdeacon at Luebben's Main Church 1669-1676

Some Berlin friends of Paul Gerhardt had heard of a vacancy for a rectorate in the Saxony area of Lübben and brought Paul Gerhardt to the attention of the magistrate of the town.

On October 14, 1668, he was invited to give a sermon. Thereupon, the magistrate of Lübben appointed him archdeacon at the Main Church.
Until his final relocation to Lübben he travelled to Lübben on festive days on his duty to perform the sermons. Only on June 6, 1669, he was officially inaugurated. Together with his son Paul Friedrich, his sister-in-law Sabina Fromm and her son Andreas, he moved into the deacon's residence in Church Street.

It is not known whether Paul Gerhardt wrote songs in Lübben. A sermon for a funeral, written by him and printed at that time, however, has been preserved.

His relationship to the magistrate was troubled by some "singularities" (idiosyncrasies) of his. The magistrate got restless as Paul Gerhardt took his time to assume office in Lübben. However, the belated assumption of office was also partly the magistrate's fault: he was offered inadequate living space which, in addition to that, was in a desolate state. The renovation of this apartment was progressing at a slow pace.

A cause for complaint about Paul Gerhardt was the fact that during his official duties he did not wear the usual priest's cap, but a wig.

 

The people of Lübben deemed this too worldly. They also forbade him to source his beer from Torgau. The town highlighted its own brewing privilege: this privilege banned the import of beer. Another offence was taken when he dropped the "Wednesday Sermon" before festive days. As a consequence the city fathers even complained to their sovereign, Christian of Saxony-Merseburg.

Just before his death, he made his last will and testament to his son Paul Friedrich. It is an unusual last will as it consists of behavioural guidelines. Paul Friedrich Gerhardt later left this last will including all song lyrics of his father to superintendent Feustking in Zerbst. Paul Gerhardt's songs were published in a song book by Mr. Feustking with the last will printed within the preface - through this it was possible for it to be passed down to us.

Paul Gerhardt died on May 27, 1676, and was laid to rest on June 7 in the chancel of Lübben's Main Church. The exact location however is not known.

In 1907, in commemoration of his 300th birthday, the city of Lübben honoured Paul Gerhardt by erecting a monument in front of the church. Also, renaming Lübben's Main Church, having undergone extensive renovation beforehand, into "Paul-Gerhardt-Church" in 1931 was another way of honouring the composer by the people of Lübben.