Monday, March 13, 2017

Singing the Faith: Day 8: Praise and Thanksgiving

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation

The words and music for this popular hymn are by Joachim Neander 1650-1680, a German Reformed Church minister. The tune is probably based on a German folk tune. It would originally have been sung unaccompanied and in unison, in line with the Calvinist views of the Reformed Church. Neander loved exploring the landscape around him, and  was fond of conducting worship in the open air in a valley which eventually became named after him – the Neanderthal. In 1856 ancient human remains were found in a cave in the valley, a species now known as Neanderthal man!

The hymn was translated by Catherine Winkworth.1827-1878, who was described in her lifetime as "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley”. She grew up in Manchester, where her father owned a silk mill, and she was taught by William Gaskell, a prominent Unitarian minister (and husband of Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell, whose novels are full of concern for the urban poor.) Subsequently she lived in Clifton, Bristol. As well as translating hymns she was well known for her work to better the education of girls and women.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
now to his temple draw near;
praise him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
how thy heart’s wishes have been
granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew
what the Almighty can do,
who with his love doth befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him.
Let the amen
sound from his people again,
gladly for aye we adore him.

  • What signs of the goodness of God have you seen in the last 24 hours? 

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