Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Singing the Faith: Day 9 Praise and Thanksgiving

All creatures of our God and King

This hymn is a modern translation of the hymn by St Francis of Assisi, (1186-1226), Cantico de Frate Sole, the Canticle of Brother Sun.
Francis had abandoned a rich and privileged life as the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, to become a wandering beggar and preacher. The Franciscan order he founded had, and still has, a particular mission to the poorest of the poor. There are Roman Catholic and Anglican Franciscans. Francis was famous for embracing lepers, at a time when they were widely feared and shunned. This might sound like a rather grim existence, but Francis was known as a person of great joy, who saw God at work in all his creatures. This hymn captures his delight in the world around him, which he sees as joining in a great hymn of praise.
This translation is by W.H. Draper (1855-1933), the rector of Adel in Yorkshire, who wrote it for a Whitsuntide children’s festival in Leeds.

The tune “Lasst uns erfreuen”, first appeared in a German tune-book, published in Cologne in 1623. 

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

O praise Him!
O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

  • Which verse speaks most to you today?

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