Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Handbook
— Hymn Texts and Tunes —
(TUNES ARE IN ITALIC CAPITAL LETTERS.)
A Boy is born in Bethlehem ◊ 112
\\(Latin and German text)
1. Et Barn er født i Bethlehem,
Thi glæde sig Jerusalem!
2. En fattig Jomfru sad i Løn,
Og fødte Himlens Konge-Søn!
3. Han lagdes i et Krybbe-Rum,
Guds Engle sang med Fryd derom:
4. Og Østens Vise offred der,
Guld, Røgelse og Myrrha skiær!
5. Forsvundet er nu al vor Nød,
Os er i Dag en Frelser fød!
6. I Kiød og Blod blev Han os lig,
Og giør os til Guds Børn med sig!
7. Guds kiære Børn vi blev paany,
Skal lege Jul i Himmel-By!
8. Paa Stjerne-Tepper lyseblaae,
Skal glade vi til Kirke gaae!
9. Guds Engle der os lære brat,
At sjunge, som de sang inat:
10. Da vorde Engle vi som de,
Gud-Faders Ansigt vi skal see,
11. For Frelser bold og Broder blid,
Vi synge da til evig Tid:
This Christmas hymn was especially popular during the ancient period. Its author is unknown. The oldest Latin text found so far is contained in a Benedictine book dating from the beginning of the fourteenth century. This copy belonged to the Cloister of St. George, near Olmütz, but is now kept in the university library of Prague. It was printed in 1886, in G. M. Dreves’ Cantiones Bohemicae. It contains nine stanzas with an added doxology from a 1420 Cantionale. This text with ten stanzas is also found in a Hereford Breviary of 1505. The Latin text, which is found in many different redactions ranging from six to twelve stanzas, has, very likely, been composed by several authors. Consequently, it has undergone many changes due to omissions, revisions, and additions. “Puer natus” was translated into German in 1439 by Heinrich von Laufenberg. Later on a number of German versions appeared. In the old German, Danish, and Swedish hymnals a translation in the vernacular was inserted immediately after each Latin stanza. It has been surmised that the choir sang the Latin and the congregation sang translations of the same. The German rendering most extensively used was that found in Val. Babst’s Gesangbuch, 1545: “Ein Kind geboren zu Bethlehem.” This contains ten stanzas with the German translation inserted after each stanza except the second. Other Protestant and Catholic hymnals published the hymn in various forms, but all have the same beginning. The first Danish translation appeared in the Supplement to Hans Tausen’s Hymn Book, circa 1553. This is written in four-lined stanzas without the “Hallelujah,” and it has not been included in the later Danish hymnals. The first Danish version which follows the old form, ten two-lined stanzas with the “Hallelujah,” is found in Thomissøn’s Hymn Book of 1569. This version has also been used in Kingo’s and Pontoppidan’s editions. Grundtvig revised the hymn, and his beautiful rendering is used now in Denmark. Landstad has followed Thomissøn’s edition, but has to some extent modernized the language. The English version included in The Lutheran Hymnary was made by Philip Schaff and was printed in his Christ in Song, 1869. There areat least eleven other English translations.
In regard to the third stanza, Skaar quotes from the hymnological works of Daniel: “On many early medieval paintings representing the nativity of Christ, as well as in Christmas hymns, are found an ox and an ass. This practice has been ascribed to a faulty rendering of the passage, Hab. 3:2: ‘In the midst of beasts make known’; for ‘In the midst of the years make it known.’ They concluded from Is. 1:3 that the two ‘beasts’ referred to were the ox and the ass: ‘The ox knoweth his owner and the ass his master’s crib.’ These passages are taken to be the Biblical basis for the old Christmas stanza: ‘Cognovit bos et asinus, quod puer erat Dominus, Halleluja’ (The ox and the ass knew that the Child was the Lord).” Nutzhorn claims that the expression is rather. an “innocent desire for free poetic representation of the circumstances surrounding the nativity of Christ.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
A great and mighty wonder ◊ 113
This hymn is a translation from the Greek, Mega kai paradoxon qauma, of St. Germanus, 634-734. The translation by John Mason Neale first appeared in his Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862), where the hymn was erroneously ascribed to St. Anatolius. Neale’s first stanza has been altered; it read:
A great and mighty wonder,
A full and blessed cure!
The Virgin bears the Infant
In holiness secure.
The other alterations are only slight, changing Neale’s four-line stanzas to six-line stanzas. The editors of the English Hymnal, 1906, first coupled this hymn with the tune “Es ist ein’ Ros’,” also called “Rosa Mystica,” a traditional carol melody of Germany (Alte Catholische Geistliche Kirchengesäng, Cologne, 1599, published by A. Quental). This union was made possible by using Neale’s third stanza (omitting its first line, “And we with them triumphant”) as a refrain. The result is very effective. The present setting of the tune is from Michael Prätorius’s Musae Sioniae, 1609. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
A hymn of glory let us sing ◊ 389
This Latin hymn is attributed to the Venerable Bede. It is found in no manuscripts earlier than the eleventh century. The original is in eleven four-line stanzas, and its opening line is “Hymnum canamus Domino.” One manuscript has “Hymnum canamus gloriae.” It is the latter text upon which the translation is based.
The translation is by Benjamin Webb and first appeared in the Hymnal Noted, 1854. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth ◊ 331
Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld
Der Welt und ihrer Kinder;
Es geht und träget in Geduld
Die Sünden aller Sünder;
Es geht dahin, wird matt und krank,
Ergibt sich auf die Würgebank,
Verzeiht sich aller Freuden;
Es nimmet an Schmach, Hohn und Spott,
Angst, Wunden, Striemen, Kreuz und Tod
Und spricht: Ich will’s gern leiden.
Das Lämmlein ist der grosse Freund
Und Heiland meiner Seelen;
Den, den hat Gott zum Sündenfeind
Und Sühner wollen wählen.
Geh hin, mein Kind, und nimm dich an
Der Kinder, die ich ausgetan
Zur Straf’ und Zornesruten.
Die Straf’ ist schwer, der Zorn ist gross,
Du kannst und sollst sie machen los
Durch Sterben und durch Bluten.
Ja, Vater, ja, von Herzensgrund,
Leg’ auf, ich will dir’s tragen;
Mein Wollen hängt an deinem Mund,
Mein Wirken ist dein Sagen.
O Wunderlieb’, o Liebesmacht,
Du kannst, was nie kein Mensch gedacht,
Gott seinen Sohn abzwingen!
O Liebe, Liebe du bist stark,
Du streckest den ins Grab und Sarg,
Vor dem die Felsen springen!
Ich will von deiner Lieblichkeit
Bei Nacht und Tage singen,
Mich selbst auch dir zu aller Zeit
Zum Freudenopfer bringen.
Mein Bach des Lebens soll sich dir
Und deinem Namen für und für
In Dankbarkeit ergiessen,
Und was du mir zugut getan,
Das will ich stets, so tief ich kann,
In mein Gedächtnis schliessen.
Was schadet mir des Todes Gift?
Dein Blut, das ist mein Leben;
Wenn mich der Sonne Hitze trifft,
So kann mir’s Schatten geben.
Setzt mir der Wehmut Schmerzen zu,
So find’ ich bei dir meine Ruh’
Als auf dem Bett ein Kranker;
Und wenn des Kreuzes Ungestüm
Mein Schifflein treibet um und um,
So bist du dann mein Anker.
Wenn endlich ich soll treten ein
In deines Reiches Freuden,
So soll dies Blut mein Purpur sein,
Ich will mich darein kleiden.
Es soll sein meines Hauptes Kron’,
In welcher ich will vor dem Thron
Des höchsten Vaters gehen
Und dir, dem er mich anvertraut,
Als eine wohlgeschmückte Braut
An deiner Seite stehen.
Str.1 Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld der Welt und ihrer Kinder; es geht und büßet in Geduld die Sünden aller Sünder; es geht dahin, wird matt und krank, ergibt sich auf die Würgebank, entsaget allen Freuden; es nimmet an Schmach, Hohn und Spott, Angst, Wunden, Striemen, Kreuz und Tod und spricht: "Ich will's gern leiden."
Str.2 Das Lämmlein ist der große Freund und Heiland meiner Seelen; den, den hat Gott zum Sündenfeind und Sühner wollen wählen: "Geh hin, mein Kind, und nimm dich an der Kinder, die ich ausgetan zur Straf und Zornesruten; die Straf ist schwer, der Zorn ist groß, du kannst und sollst sie machen los durch Sterben und durch Bluten."
Str.3 "Ja, Vater, ja von Herzensgrund, leg auf, ich will dir's tragen; mein Wollen hängt an deinem Mund, mein Wirken ist dein Sagen." O Wunderlieb, o Liebesmacht, du kannst - was nie kein Mensch gedacht - Gott seinen Sohn abzwingen. O Liebe, Liebe, du bist stark, du streckest den in Grab und Sarg, vor dem die Felsen springen.
Str.4 Mein Lebetage will ich dich aus meinem Sinn nicht lassen, dich will ich stets, gleich wie du mich, mit Liebesarmen fassen. Du sollst sein meines Herzens Licht, und wenn mein Herz in Stücke bricht, sollst du mein Herze bleiben; ich will mich dir, mein höchster Ruhm, hiermit zu deinem Eigentum beständiglich verschreiben.
Str.5 Ich will von deiner Lieblichkeit bei Nacht und Tage singen, mich selbst auch dir nach Möglichkeit zum Freudenopfer bringen. Mein Bach des Lebens soll sich dir und deinem Namen für und für in Dankbarkeit ergießen; und was du mir zugut getan, das will ich stets, so tief ich kann, in mein Gedächtnis schließen.
Str.6 Das soll und will ich mir zunutz zu allen Zeiten machen; im Streite soll es sein mein Schutz, in Traurigkeit mein Lachen, in Fröhlichkeit mein Saitenspiel; und wenn mir nichts mehr schmecken will, soll mich dies Manna speisen; im Durst soll's sein mein Wasserquell, in Einsamkeit mein Sprachgesell zu Haus und auch auf Reisen.
Str.7 Wenn endlich ich soll treten ein in deines Reiches Freuden, so soll dein Blut mein Purpur sein, ich will mich darein kleiden; es soll sein meines Hauptes Kron, in welcher ich will vor den Thron des höchsten Vaters gehen und dir, dem er mich anvertraut, als eine wohlgeschmückte Braut an deiner Seite stehen.
“On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
“He was oppressed, yet when He was afflicted He opened not His mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth” (Is. 53:4-7).
The above passages furnish the basis for this hymn. It was first published in Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, 3rd edition, 1648. It contained 10 stanzas. Lauxmann has called this the most beautiful of Passion hymns. There are at least eleven English translations. It was translated into Danish in 1693, by Søren Jonæsen, and later by Brorson. It was published 1735, in NoglePassions- Psalmer. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
The translation is a composite prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal, except for stanzas 4 and 7 which were prepared for the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary by Harry K. Bartels.
A mighty Fortress is our God ◊ 250-251
Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott,
Ein’ gute Wehr und Waffen;
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
Die uns jetzt hat betroffen.
Der alt’ böse Feind,
Mit Ernst er’s jetzt meint,
Gross’ Macht und viel List
Sein’ grausam’ Rüstung ist,
Auf Erd’ ist nicht seinsgleichen.
Mit unsrer Macht ist nichts getan,
Wir sind gar bald verloren;
Es streit’t fur uns der rechte Mann,
Den Gott hat selbst erkoren.
Fragst du, wer der ist?
Er heisst Jesus Christ,
Der Herr Zebaoth,
Und ist kein andrer Gott,
Das Feld muss er behalten.
Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär’
Und wollt’ uns gar verschlingen,
So fürchten wir uns nicht so sehr,
Es soll uns doch gelingen.
Der Fürst dieser Welt,
Wie sau’r er sich stellt,
Tut er uns doch nicht,
Das macht, er ist gericht’t,
Ein’ Wörtlein kann ihn fällen.
Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn
Und kein’n Dank dazu haben;
Er ist bei uns wohl auf dem Plan
Mit seinem Geist und Gaben.
Nehmen sie den Leib,
Gut, Ehr’, Kind und Weib:
Lass fahren dahin,
Sie haben’s kein’n Gewinn,
Das Reich muss uns doch bleiben.
At the Diet of Spires, 1529, the enemies of the Reformation attempted with all their craft and power to hinder the further spread of the evangelical doctrine. They passed resolutions with the expressed intention of destroying even the beginning that had been made toward evangelical freedom. The evangelical princes entered a formal protest and letter of defense, but it did not help. The resolution was adopted as the decree of the diet, and the evangelical princes were commanded to sign this decree. These princes, on the 19th of April, declared that they would not consent to any resolution adopted in this, or in any other matter contrary to God and His holy Word. It was because of this protest that the evangelical party was nicknamed “Protestants.” It is believed by most authorities on the subject that Luther wrote his famous hymn at this time. Luther himself gave it the title: Der 46ste Psalm. But it is clearly evident that he did not intend his version to be a translation of the Psalm, but that he wished to restate its thought and sentiment in hymn form. “Ein’ feste Burg” is throughout a free rendering. The oldest extant copy of the hymn is found in Form und Ordnung Gaystlicher Gesang und Psalmen, Augsburg, 1529 (Skaar, 1879; Nutzhorn, 1911). “It was also printed a few months earlier in Joseph Klug’s Geistliche Lieder auffs new gebessert zu Wittenberg, 1529. This edition is now lost.” The hymn and the melody (copied by Johann Walther) is found also in a manuscript of the Luther Codex of 1530, (O. Kade, Luther Codex, 1871). It seems, therefore, to be an established fact that the hymn was printed for the first time in 1529. Leading authorities are also well agreed now that the hymn was written during that year. There is, however, no valid reason for discounting the supposition that it may have been put in manuscript form during the latter part of the year 1528. For a long time it was thought that this hymn was written by Luther during the famous Diet of Augsburg in 1530. While this is now no longer believed, the fact remains that the hymn was sung during that important church meeting. It was used also by Luther himself. During the Diet of Augsburg he had to remain as a fugitive in Coburg. Here, as was his daily custom, “he would stand by the window, with his gaze turned toward the heavens and sing this hymn to the accompaniment played by himself upon his lute.”—Many writers have tried to prove that the hymn was composed at an earlier date. The poet Heinrich Heine mentions the Diet of Worms as the time and occasion for the origin of this hymn: “With this battle hymn filled with holy defiance, Luther and his friends entered Worms. The old cathedral trembled at these new tones, and the ravens were frightened out of their dark nests in the tower. This ‘Marseillaise of the Reformation’ still exerts its powerful influence, and it will be used again during new conflicts.”—Dr. J. Linke of Altenburg, 1886, published an exhaustive and well written treatise, in which he attempts to show that the hymn was written during the fall of 1525. Among his proofs he quotes a number of expressions found in this hymn which correspond closely with sentences used by Luther in speeches and writings of that same year. In spite of the fact that there are many things of great interest in Linke’s treatise, it cannot be accepted as definite proof. It is exceedingly unlikely that such a hymn should remain unpublished from 1521 or 1525 until 1529. This alone is sufficient reason for rejecting Linke’s theory. Others have thought that the hymn was composed in 1527, when Luther’s friend, Leonard Keyser, was burned at the stake, or that the occasion should have been the tenth anniversary of Luther’s nailing of the famous 95 theses upon the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg. Landstad says in this connection: “It is not necessary for the glory of the hymn or its author to show any specific occasion for its origin. All those years were a period of strife, tribulation, and worry, and while many began to tremble, to hesitate, and to yield, Luther lifted his eyes to the mountains, from whence help cometh; he spoke and sang and strengthened himself and others with true Christian courage.”—Skaar says: “Christian courage has found wonderfully clear expression in this hymn. The helpless flock, facing an enemy, who in craft and power has no equal here on earth, does not fail in courage, but holds fast to God and His Word and sings in tones triumphant with the assurance of victory. We are, therefore, not surprised to find that this hymn, during that period of violent struggle, won its way into many hearts in a short time. It was wafted abroad, as though by angel messengers, until it was heard in all places where the evangelical spirit had gained an entrance.”
We have a great number of testimonies to the powerful influence of this hymn in furthering the work of the Reformation. “With overwhelming force it interpreted the defiant courage of faith, which could break all bands asunder and spur the will to action” (Söderberg). From the very beginning and onward, this hymn showed its wonderful power to inspire despondent hearts to new hope and courage. It constantly reminded of the fact that though we stand “alone in our own might,” yet we have a Lord, who has given us the promise and assurance that the gates of hell shall not prevail against us—“He wins the victory in every field of battle.” The hymn has not only brought new strength and comfort to individual Christians, but has also on innumerable occasions exerted a powerful influence upon the trend of events during the critical periods of church history. During the bloody persecutions in France, 1562-72, this hymn proved a remarkable source of comfort to the sufferers in keeping up their courage, and martyrs sang it as they were brought to the place of execution. Its comforting words accompanied the exiles upon their long journeys into unknown regions and became a slogan which united the many thousands who sought homes in foreign lands where they might establish an evangelical church.—The hymn was sung by the army of Gustavus Adolphus immediately before the battle of Leipzig, 1631. When the battle was won, the king knelt among the dead and dying upon the battlefield, thanked God for the victory and closed with the words of the hymn: “‘Tis He who wins the victory in every field of battle.” It was also sung before the battle of Lützen, 1632, where Gustavus Adolphus was mortally wounded. It was often used for the same purpose as “Es wollt uns Gott genädig seyn” (“May God bestow on us His grace”); “Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word”; “Ach Gott, vom Himmel” (“O Lord, look down, from heaven behold”); and “Nun freut each, lieben Christen G’mein” (“Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice”);—which were all used as battle hymns against the Papists. In a city of Germany the Reformation was established in spite of Catholic opposition because the worshippers always sang it during the services and the children sang it upon the streets during the night. During the persecutions in Germany, about 1780, the Protestant inhabitants of Linz, in the Rhine province, were expelled from their homes to be brought to Hungary and other places, while the children were taken away from their mothers “in order that their souls might be saved.” The grief stricken parents were now given the choice of either parting from their children and going into exile, or returning to the Catholic Church and retaining their children. The mothers embraced their little children and wept over them, but they could not be prevailed upon to renounce their faith. Thus they were carried away, trusting in the gracious help to God, and they found comfort in singing:
And should they, in the strife, Take kindred, goods, and life, We freely let them go, They profit not the foe; With us remains the kingdom.
They suffered for a time, but the reaction came with the Tolerance Edict of 1781, issued by Emperor Joseph. This permitted the exiles to return home. They were not disappointed in their faith.
Also more recently, during the stress and trial of World War I, this great hymn of the Reformation served to furnish the unifying slogan to the German people who were, confessionally, split up into many groups. “A mighty fortress” by the “heretic” Luther was sung along the war front by Protestants and Catholics alike.
The following incident is related by the Swedish writer, Söderberg: “A hymn writer sings in a hymn to the Savior; (“If we forget Thee, O Christ, our Savior, in times of good fortune, we seek Thee again in the time of need”). The world-events of late years have substantiated this; upon the battlefields and in the trenches, the Christian hymn has come again to new life—even among many who have lived totally apart from it. Numberless incidents from the World War testify how the weighty words and melody of a hymn became “a washing of regeneration” to many souls; how the hymn singing often became a means of gathering the scattered troops into one large congregation; and how the singing of hymns in a remarkable manner restored the spiritual ties between the soldiers in the fields and their dear ones at home. It is significant in this connection what an officer relates from his experience on the Day of Humiliation and Prayer, when he with a small group of soldiers, during their third week, stood guard in a trench scarcely one hundred meters from the enemy’s lines. The officer relates as follows: “After a long night the dawn announced the break of day, and as we spied at a distance the entrenchments of the enemy like a dark line, one of my men, who possibly never had taken part in Holy Day festivities in the Christian sense of the word, said to me: ‘This is a day of prayer. Should not also we celebrate this day here in the trench?’ I agreed,—and thus we began to sing ‘A mighty fortress is our God.’ At the outset, only a few took part in the singing, but gradually more and more joined us until at last the whole trench resounded with the song. Then followed a long, deep silence. I thought of those at home, my dear ones. It seemed to me that I could hear the church bells calling the people together for worship and that I saw the kindly countenance of our beloved pastor and heard his appealing sermon on humiliation and prayer. My whole life passed before my mind’s eye, and I made confession before my heavenly Father, before my God, who is love and who gave His Son to die for me.—These and similar thoughts were forcibly brought home to me and my companions in that trench.”
Melanchthon, Jonas, and Creutziger, during their banishment from Wittenberg in 1547, were greatly comforted by hearing “A mighty fortress” sung by a little maiden on their entrance into Weimar.—It was sung September 15, 1882, by the assembled thousands on the field of Lützen, at the services held in commemoration of the jubilee of the Gustavus Adolphus Society, which seeks to aid Protestant churches in Roman Catholic countries.—This hymn was adopted by the Salzburg emigrants of 1732, as their hymn of pilgrimage.—It was sung at Herrmannsburg at the farewell services, when Ludwig Harms was sending forth his band of missionaries. —During the Luther celebration, September 12-14, and November 10-12, 1883, it was sung in the Castle Church at Wittenberg (September 12); at Eisleben for the unveiling of the Luther Memorial in the market place (November 10); and at countless celebrations in Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Great Britain, and America. Similar festivities were held in 1921.—During a grand music festival in Boston, 1869, “A mighty fortress” was sung by many thousand people in five different languages. A large orchestra accompanied the singing. This hymn is most extensively used throughout the world. The prominent hymnologist, Carl Døving, has through a unique and intense research work been able to gather translations of this hymn in 163 different languages and dialects from almost every country in the world. In Lutheran Church Herald for Oct. 27, 1925, 162 of these languages and dialects are given.—There are over seventy translations into English only. The first translation into English was rendered by Bishop Miles Coverdale in 1539: “Oure God is a defence and towre.” There are several translations into each of the Nordic tongues: Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic. The first Danish translation was evidently included in a hymn book published in 1531, now lost. The present English translation (ELH 251), here somewhat changed, was taken from a Book of Praise, used in Canada.
“The melody (Ein’ feste Burg) is by Luther. Even though there may be found one or more snatches of melody somewhat similar in Graduale Romanum, this does not rob Luther of the honor of having produced this thoroughly classical composition, “which fits the text just like the coat of mail fits the knight.” The text and the melody are inseparable. The melody has accompanied this hymn on its march to victory throughout the world. “That Luther’s hymns are immortal is proved by the fact that so many of them still are found among the most beloved of our Church. They will always stand as ideal patterns for congregational hymns by reason of their popular directness, their intense devotional spirit, and their inspirational power. Everyone who has experienced the refreshing inspiration which hymn singing affords, has truly felt himself gripped by the childlike simplicity of faith, which in its purity shines forth in the Christmas hymn ‘From heaven above to earth I come’ , or the fervent desire for holiness and power from God resounding in the famous Pentecost hymn ‘Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord.’. Again we see how sincere confession of sin is brought to the solid rock of consolation in the hymn ‘Out of the depths I cry to Thee,’ based upon the 130th Psalm. And, finally, we see the mighty power of faith and the unflinching confidence, triumphant in hope, which characterizes the most glorious hymn of them all, ‘A mighty fortress is our God’” (Söderberg, Swedish writer).
Luther’s epoch making work as a hymn writer has been briefly summarized as follows by the German hymnologist W. Nelle: “Luther was at the same time a lyric poet and a liturgist. The two are beautifully harmonized in him. With him the prime consideration was the hymn content put in singable form. He gave not only the Bible, but also the Hymn Book into the hands of the Christians. The number of his hymns is not very great, only 37, and yet from these there may be arranged an almost complete cycle of hymns for a hymn book. To most of the church seasons have been given their appropriate hymns. And these are fine patterns of church hymns. These Luther-hymns are characterized by marked objectivity. For that very reason they were at once incorporated into a large number of hymn books. Many other hymn poets had to wait several decades—Tersteegen, 100 years—before their hymns were accepted into general use. Luther’s hymns, on the other hand, seemed to flow directly from his pen into the very midst of the congregations, and everywhere they prepared the ground for Christian church song and developed it into an integral and essential part of the divine service. His hymns are in a special sense popular models for church hymns. They give expression to the emotions that move naturally in the hearts of worshipers. They are also patterns in respect of their length. Luther’s hymns are as a rule very short. Many of them comprise only three, at the most four stanzas, and yet they present in succession the elements of confession, witness for Christ, and adoration. His short hymns of three or four stanzas are the most popular and the most far reaching in their influence. They are short in sentence structure, but rich in contents, very often each line expressing a complete thought. But even where the sentence requires several lines the close of each line presents a natural pause in the development of the thought. Also in this respect Luther was a man who could phrase his thoughts in the language of the ordinary people. His hymns may be characterized throughout as spiritual folk-songs.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
It would lead us too far afield to discuss the various views as to the time and place of the origin of this great hymn by Martin Luther—the Battle Hymn of the Reformation. Suffice it to say that the weight of evidence points to 1529 as the year of its origin. The hymn was probably written for the Diet of Spires, which convened on April 20, 1529, when the German princes made their formal “protest” against the revocation of their liberties, and thus received the name ‘‘Protestants.”, Lauxmann, in Koch, writes: “Luther with this hymn entered a protest before all the German people against any endeavor to obstruct the Gospel.”
“Ein’ feste Burg” first appeared in Klug’s Gesangbuch, Wittenberg, 1529, entitled “Der XXXXVI Psalm, Deus noster refugium et virtus.” The hymn is more than a metrical paraphrase of Ps. 46. It is really an original production on the theme of David’s psalm, with some phrases reminiscent of the Biblical text.
The tune “Ein’ feste Burg” is also Luther’s composition. It appeared in Klug’s Geistliche Lieder, Wittenberg, 1529, first edition (not extant), and in Kirchen Gesenge, Nürnberg, 1531.
This hymn of Luther’s is not only used by Lutherans the world over. It is the Hymn of Protestantism. It would be hard to find a Protestant hymnal worthy of that name in which this hymn is not. It has been rightly called “the greatest hymn of the greatest man in the greatest period of German history.” Its wide appeal is best illustrated by the fact that no Christian hymn has been translated into more languages than “Ein’ feste Burg.” Many great writers have essayed to put the hymn into English. There must be some seventy or eighty English versions at present. Thomas Carlyle, in his version “A safe stronghold our God is still” has given us one of the most excellent translations. It first appeared in Fraser’s Magazine, 1831. Another outstanding version is that by F. H. Hedge, beginning, “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark,” which appeared in Gems of German Verse, 1852. The translation above is composite and appeared in the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1868. It was prepared by the editorial committee for that collection, which based its translation on Carlyle’s version and the version, also based on Carlyle’s, by W. M. Reynolds, which appeared in the General Synod’s Collection of 1850.
The translation(ELH 250) is the one that is most widely used by American Lutherans at the present time. Its value lies chiefly in its reproduction of the sturdy ruggedness of Luther’s original.
This hymn is truly written out of the fulness of Luther’s heart. There were moments in his life when even Luther felt something akin to despair. And in such hours he would say to Melanchthon, his faithful coworker, “Come, Philip, let us sing the 46th Psalm.” And the two friends would sing lustily in Luther’s own version—”Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott.” Uncounted wavering, doubting, fearful hearts have been strengthened by this hymn of faith, have been filled with new courage and power to battle for the right to remain true to the faith once delivered to the saints.
Dr. Benson therefore says rightly: “Such a hymn, with such a tune, spreads quickly, as may well be believed; quickly, as if the angels had been the carriers. But they were men who spread Luther’s hymn of faith and courage from heart to heart and from lip to lip.”
James Huneker, musical critic, wrote: “This hymn thunders at the very gate of heaven in its magnificent affirmation of belief.”
We might go on recording the tributes of great men to this wonderful hyrnn, which Frederick the Great called “God Almighty’s Grenadier March.” We shall, however, confine ourselves to a quotation from Carlyle, who wrote:
“There is something in it like the sound of Alpine avalanches or the first murmur of earthquakes, in the very vastness of which dissonance a higher unison is revealed to us…. It is evident that to this man all popes, cardinals, emperors, devils, all hosts and nations, were but weak, weak as the forest with all its strong trees might be to the smallest spark of electric fire.”
The good this hymn has done, the faith it has inspired, the hearts it has comforted, the influence it has exerted, cannot be measured and will first be revealed to us in eternity, where the saints of God will praise their Lord and Redeemer for many blessings, not the least of which will be the privilege of having known and sung this hymn here on earth. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
A wondrous mystery is here ◊ 309
This hymn for Holy Communion is by Matthias Loy, It appeared in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880. It emphasizes the Lutheran doctrine of the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Abide in grace, Lord Jesus ◊ 579 Abide, O dearest Jesus* ◊ 579
Ach bleib mit deiner Gnade
Bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ,
Dass uns hinfort nicht schade
Des basen Feindes List!
Ach bleib mit deinem Worte
Bei uns, Erlöser wert,
Dass uns beid’ hier und dorte
Sei Güt und Heil beschert!
Ach bleib mit deinem Glanze
Bei uns, du wertes Licht;
Dein Wahrheit uns umschanze,
Damit wir irren nicht!
Ach bleib mit deinem Segen
Bei uns, du reicher Herr!
Dein’ Gnad’ und all’s Vermögen
In uns reichlich vermehr!
Ach bleib mit deinem Schutze
Bei uns, du starker Held,
Dass uns der Feind nicht trutze,
Noch fäll’ die böse Welt!
Ach bleib mit deiner Treue
Bei uns, mein Herr und Gott!
Hilf uns aus aller Not!
“Abide in grace, Lord Jesus” was first published in Stegmann’s Suspiria Temporum, 1628. In J. Clauder’s Psalmodia Nova, Stegmann is said to be the author of this hymn. It has found a place in a large number of hymnbooks of many churches. It was one of the favorite hymns of Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia. Many English translations have been made. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
This is one of our most popular hymns from the German. Josua Stegmann, according to James Mearnes, included this hymn in his Suspiria Temporum, Rinteln, 1628. A. F. W. Fischer, however, claims that it did not appear until 1630 in Stegmann’s Ernewerter Hertzen Seufftzer, etc. Lüneburg. It has as its key-note the prayer of the two disciples at Emmaus, Luke 24:29.
It has often been translated into English and other languages. A French translation begins with the line: “Demeure dans ta grace.” [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide ◊ 561
The history of this hymn ought to begin with the words of Lyte’s daughter, Anna Maria Maxwell Hoggs, written by her in the preface to Lyte’s Remains, published after his death (London, 1850): “The summer was passing away, and the month of September (the month in which he was once to quit his native land) arrived, and each day seemed to have a special value as being one day nearer his departure. His family was surprised and almost alarmed at his announcing his intention of preaching once more to his people. His weakness, and the possible danger attending the effort, were urged to prevent it, but in vain. ‘It was better,’ as he often said playfully when in comparative health, ‘to wear out than to rust out.’ He felt that he should be enabled to fulfil his wish, and feared not for the result. His expectation was well founded. He did preach, and amid the breathless attention of his hearers, gave them the sermon on the Holy Communion, which is inserted last in this volume (the Remains). He afterwards assisted in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and though necessarily much exhausted by the exertion and excitement of his effort, yet his friends had no reason to believe that it had been hurtful to him. In the evening of the same day he placed in the hands of a near and dear relative the little hymn, ‘Abide with me’ with an air of his own composing, adapted to the words.” There is not much to add to this story. In a note attached to the above mentioned farewell sermon we read: “Preached at Lower Brixham, September 4, 1847.” Lyte died in Nice, France, November, 1847.
We need not dwell upon the slight changes made in the text used in The Lutheran Hymnary. But it might be of interest to give Rev. Ellerton’s notes, published in Church Hymns, 1881: “This hymn is sometimes (nearly always) classed among evening hymns, apparently on the ground of the first two lines in Keble’s ‘Sun of my soul.’ This is a curious instance of the misapprehension of the true meaning of a hymn by those among whom it is popular; for a very little consideration will suffice to show that there is not throughout the hymn the slightest allusion to the close of the natural day. The words of St. Luke 24:29 are obviously used in a sense wholly metaphorical. It is far better adapted to be sung at funerals, as it was beside the grave of Professor Maurice; but it is almost too intense and personal for ordinary congregational use.” That this latter opinion is not the common conception is seen from the fact that it has long been one of the most popular evening hymns in the English language. It has been rendered into many languages, among these, into Latin. Gustav Jensen translated it into Norwegian for his Forslag til revidert salmebok for den norske kirke, 1915, as follows:
O bliv hos mig! nu er det aftentid Og mørket stiger,—dvæl, O Herre blid! Naar anden hjælp blir støv og duger ei, Du hjælpeløses hjælper, bliv hos mig!
Snart svinder livets dag, det kvelder fort, Og jordens lys alt mørkner og gaar bort; Forandrings skygge følger tro min vei,— O du som ei forandres, bliv hos mig!
Hver time trrenger jeg din sterke vakt, Kun for din naade viker mørkets magt; Hvor skal jeg vandre trygt foruten dig? I mulm og solskin, Herre, bliv hos mig!
Naar du velsigner, ei av frygt jeg vet, Saar gjør ei ondt, graat har ei bitterhet; Hvor er din brod, du sidste fiende? Nei,— Ved dig jeg seirer; Herre, bliv hos mig!
O, lad mig se dit kors i dødens gys, Driv mørket bort, og vær mig livets lys; Da skinner morgenrøden paa min vei! I liv og død, o Herre, bliv hos mig! [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Julian records the account of the origin of this hymn by Henry Francis Lyte as given by Lyte’s daughter in the prefatory memoir to his Remains, London, 1850:
The summer (1847) was passing away, and the month of September (that month in which he was once more to quit his native land) arrived, and each day seemed to have a special value as being one day nearer his departure. His family were surprised and almost alarmed at his announcing his intention of preaching once more to his people. His weakness and the possible danger attending the effort were urged to prevent it, but in vain. “It is better,” as he used often playfully to say when in comparative health, “to wear out than to rust out.” He felt that he should be enabled to fulfil his wish and feared not for the result. His expectation was well founded. He did preach and amid the breathless attention of his hearers gave them the sermon on the Holy Communion, which is inserted last in this volume. He afterwards assisted at the administration of the Holy Eucharist, and though necessarily much exhausted by the exertion and excitement of this effort, yet his friends had no reason to believe it had been hurtful to him. In the evening of the same day he placed in the hands of a near and dear relative the little hymn “Abide with Me,” with an air of his own composing, adapted to the words.
However, the Handbook to the Church Hymnary gives a statement by T. H. Bindley, Spectator, 1925, which sets an earlier date of composition:
In that year (1820) Lyte, as a young clergyman, was staying with the Hores at Pole Hore near Wexford. He went to see an old friend, William Augustus LeHunte, who lay dying and who kept repeating the phrase “Abide with me.” After leaving the bedside, Lyte wrote the hymn and gave a copy of it to Sir Francis LeHunte, William’s brother, amongst whose papers it remained when they passed to his nephew, the Rev. Francis LeHunte. No doubt, when Lyte felt his own end approaching, his mind reverted to the lines he had written so many years before, and then it was that they became first popularly known. These details were given to me some years ago by Sir George Ruthven LeHunte, grandson of William Augustus, and I have recently had them confirmed by members of his family.
Whatever the actual date of its origin may be, this is clear from both accounts that the hymn was not meant to be an evening hymn, as John Ellerton in his Notes and lllustrations of Church Hymns, 1881, rightly says:
It is sometimes classed among evening hymns, apparently on the ground of the first two lines, and their similarity in sound to two lines in Keble’s “Sun of My soul.” This is a curious instance of the misapprehension of the true meaning of a hymn by those among whom it is popular; for a very little consideration will suffice to show that there is not throughout the hymn the slightest allusion to the close of the natural day; the words of St. Luke 24:29 are obviously used in a sense wholly metaphorical. It is far better adapted to be sung at funerals, as it was beside the grave of Professor Maurice; but it is almost too intense and personal for ordinary congregational use.
The hymn refers more to the evening of life than to the daily eventide. Our text, though not in every detail like the author’s original, is the generally accepted one. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Abide with us, the day is waning ◊ 563
Bliv hos os, Mester, Dagen helder!
Saa bad i Emmaus de To.
O Trøst, som Skriften mig fortæller.
Du blev, du gav dem Hjertero!
Hør ogsaa os, o du Guds Søn!
Vi bede jwt den samme Bøn.
Bliv hos os, Mester, Dagen helder!
O Mester, hver en Aftenstund!
At vi den rette Bøn maa bede,
Før Øiet lukker sig til Blund,
Med ydmygt Suk for Hjertets Brøst,
Med haab om Naadens Himmeltrøst.
Bliv hos os, Mester, med din Glæde,
Naar Lykkens Aftensol gaar ned.
Naar Smertens Dugg vil Rinden væde.
Da styrk os i Taalmodighed!
Fortæl os om den egen Ve,
At du lod Herrens Vilje ste!
Bliv hos os du, naar Dagen helder,
Den sidste Livets tunge Dag,
Naar dödens Nat med Magt udvælder,
Og Frygt og Sorg gjør fælles Sag,
Med Troens Skjold undruste du
Den bange Sjæl mod Dodens Gru!
Mens Verdens Trøst da intet kræger,
Du holder Nadverd her med os,
Vi drikke Kraft af Naadens Bøger,
Og byde Morkets Magter Traads.
Med brustet Blik, med freidigt Sind,
Vi skue klart i Himlen ind.
Based upon the Gospel lesson for Easter Monday, Luke 24:13-35. It was published in Aandelige Digte og Sange by C. J. Boye, Copenhagen, 1834. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Caspar J. Boye first published this hymn in his collection Aandelige Digte og Sange, Copenhagen, 1834, basing it on the Gospel for Easter Monday, Luke 24: 13-35. The translation by Oluf H. Smeby, 1909, appeared in The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Ah, holy Jesus* ◊ 292
(See: O dearest Jesus)
Alas! and did my Savior bleed ◊ 282
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707 (also the edition of 1709), contained this hymn under the heading Godly Sorrow Arising from the Sufferings of Christ. The hymn was taken into use at once and is still a favored hymn in many churches, especially in America. Originally it contained six stanzas, but the second stanza is commonly omitted. It was translated into Latin by Gingham. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Isaac Watts first published this famous hymn in six stanzas in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707, entitled “Godly Sorrow Arising from the Sufferings of Christ.” The second stanza, marked in the original text to be left out if desired, reads:
Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine,
And bathed in its own blood,
While all exposed to wrath divine,
The glorious Sufferer stood!
In some quarters there has been objection to the last line of Stanza 1, and some hymnals have the line as altered thus:
For sinners such as I
and at least one hymnal has the line changed to:
For such an one as I.
The editorial committee for The Lutheran Hymnal felt justified in retaining the line as Watts had written it originally, as unobjectionable in the context, while generally sharing the negative attitude toward the so-called ‘‘vermicular hymns” or “worm hymns.” It is true that the Bible calls a man a worm in order to show his utter abasement before God, as in Job 25:6, “Man, that is a worm,” and in Ps. 22: 6, the expression is placed into the mouth of the suffering Redeemer: “But I am a worm and no man.” Nevertheless, the fact that a matter may be true does not always justify its use in poetry, and “worm hymns” such as the following have been rightly objected to:
Oh, may Thy powerful Word
Inspire this feeble worm
To rush into Thy kingdom, Lord,
And take it as by storm,
Worms, strike your harps, your voices tune
And warble forth your lays;
Leap from the earth with pious mirth
To trumpet forth your praise.
This hymn is still a very general favorite in the English-speaking Christian world, even though a number of modern hymnals omit it altogether. It is said to have been the means of conversion of former Governor A. H. Colquitt of Georgia. The following incident is related of this conversion by the Methodist Bishop Warren A. Candler:
Just before he arose to address the meeting, the choir sang one of the sweetest hymns of Watts. It seemed to fill him with holy rapture. When he rose to speak, his handsome face shone with supernatural brightness, his lustrous eyes were filled with tears, and his utterance was choked with emotion as he said impulsively: “Oh, how I love that song! It was my mother’s song. And today, if I could hear her sing it again, I should have greater joy than if I had heard all the choirs of heaven.”
“Alas! and did my Savior bleed!”—that was the song they sang. Because his Savior bled and died that men might live, this noble man has found at last the eternal home and the “vanished hand” for which he sighed. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
All depends on our possessing ◊ 468
Alles ist an Gottes Segen
Und an seiner Gnad’ gelegen,
Über alles Geld und Gut.
Wer auf Gott sin’ Hoffnung setzet,
Der behält ganz unverletzet
Einen freien Heldenmut.
Der mich hat bisher ernähret
Und mir manches Glück bescheret,
Ist und bleibet ewig mein.
Der mich wunderlich geführet
Und noch leltet und regieret,
Wird forthin mein Helfer sein.
Viel’ bemühen sich um Sachen,
Die nur Sorg’ und Unruh’ machen
Und ganz unbeständig sind.
Ich begehr’ nach dem zu ringen,
Was mir kann Vergnügen bringen
Und man Jetzt gar selten find’t.
Hoffnung kann das Herz erquicken;
Was ich wünsche, wird sich schicken,
So es anders Gott gefällt.
Meine Seele, Leib und Leben
Hab’ ich seiner Gnad’ ergeben
Und ihm alles heimgestellt.
Er weiss schon nach seinem Willen
Mein Verlangen zu erfüllen,
Es hat alles seine Zeit.
Ich hab’ ihm nichts vorzuschreiben;
Wie Gott will, so muss es bleiben,
Wenn Gott wlll, bin ich bereit.
Soll ich länger allhier leben,
Will ich ihm nicht widerstreben,
Ich verlasse mich auf ihn.
Ist doch nichts, das lang bestehet,
Alles Irdische vergehet
Und fährt wie ein Strom dahin.
This popular hymn of trust in God is by an unknown author and is dated c. 1673 by Koch. It was included in the Nürnberg Gesang-Buch, 1676.
The translation is an altered form of that by Catherine Winkworth in her Lyra Germanica, second series, 1858. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
All glory be to God alone ◊ 36
All’ Ehr’ und Lob soll Gottes sein,
Er ist und heisst der Höchst’ allein,
Sein Zorn auf Erden hab’ ein End’;
Sein’ Fried’ und Gnad’ sich zu uns wend’.
Den Menschen das gefalle wohl,
Dafür man herzlich danken soll.
Ach lieber Gott, dich loben wir
Und preisen dich mit ganzer B’gier.
Auch kniend wir anbeten dich
Dein’ Ehr’ wir rühmen stetiglich;
Wir danken dir zu aller Zeit
Um deine grosse Herrlichkeit.
Herr Gott im Himmel Kön’g du bist,
Ein Vater der allmächtig ist.
Du Gottes Sohn vom Vater bist
Einig gebor’n, Herr Jesu Christ.
Herr Gott, du zartes Gotteslamm,
Ein Sohn aus Gott des Vaters Stamm,
Der du der Welt Sünd’ trägst allein,
Woll’st uns gnädig, barmherzig sein!
Der du der Welt Sünd’ trägst allein,
Lass dir unsre Bitt’ g’fällig sein!
Woll’st uns gnädig, barmherzig sein!
Du bist und bleibst heilig allein,
Über alles der Herr allein.
Der Allerhöchst’ allein du bist,
Du lieber Heiland, Jesu Christ,
Samt dem Vater und Heil’gen Geist
In göttlicher Majestät gleich.
Amen, das ist gewisslich wahr,
Das bekennt al er Engel Schar
Und alle Welt, so weit und breit,
Dich lobt und ehret allezeit.
Dich rühmt die ganze Christenheit
Von Anfang bis in Ewigkeit.
This seems to have been Martin Luther’s favorite metrical version of the “Gloria in Excelsis.” It follows the Latin text much more closely than does Decius’ “Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’.” (“All glory be to God on high”) It first appeared in Joseph Klug’s Gesangbuch, Wittenberg, 1543. The author is unknown, although some authorities ascribe both text and tune to Martin Luther, as, for example, Dr. Konrad Ameln, one of the editors of the second edition of Schöberlein’s Schatz des liturgischen Chor- und Gemeindegesangs, which appeared under the title Handbuch der deutschen evangelischen Kirchenmusik
Our translation was prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal in 1940. [Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal]
All glory be to God on high ◊ 35
Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’
Und Dank für seine Gnade,
Darum dass nun und nimmermehr
Uns rühren kann kein Schade.
Ein Wohlgefall’n Gott an uns hat,
Nun ist gross’ Fried’ ohn’ Unterlass,
All’ Fehd’ hat nun ein Ende.
Wir loben, preis’n, anbeten dich
Für deine Ehr’; wir danken,
Dass du, Gott Vater, ewiglich
Regierst ohn’ alles Wanken.
Ganz ungemess’n ist deine Macht,
Fort g’schieht, was dein Will’ hat bedacht;
Wohl uns des feinen Herren!
O Jesu Christ, Sohn eingebor’n
Deines himmlischen Vaters,
Versöhner der’r, die war’n verlor’n,
Du Stiller unsers Haders.
Lamm Gottes, heil’ger Herr und Gott,
Nimm an die Bitt’ von unsrer Not, -
Erbarm’ dich unser aller!
O Heil’ger Gelst, du höchstes Gut,
Du allerheilsamst’ Tröster,
Vor’s Teufels G’walt fortan bhüt’,
Die Jesus Christ erlöset
Durch grosse Mart’r und bittern Tod,
Abwend all unsern Jamm’r und Not!
Darauf wir uns verlassen.
The song of the angels: “Glory be to God in the highest, peace on earth, good-will toward men” (Luke 2:14), was used for the public worship at an early date. It is found in the Liturgy of St. James of the 2nd century. The earliest enlarged Greek version is found in Codex alexandrinus, where it has been placed immediately after the Psalms and the Song of Solomon. This manuscript dates from the close of the 5th century. The oldest Latin version of this hymn is found in a manuscript dating from the 8th century and which is now kept in the British Museum. The same text is also found in Missale Romanum. Bishop Skaar and likewise H. Nutzhorn hold that the enlarged Greek version dates from the 2nd century, while the Latin translation was prepared by Bishop Hilarius of Poitiers (d. 368). Translations into German, English, Danish, and other languages were partly rendered in prose, later on they appear in metrical adaptations. The German metrical version, “Allein Gott in der höhe sey Ehr,” is composed of four verses of seven lines each and was prepared by Nicolaus Decius. The first edition of this version appeared in Low-German in Eyn ganz schöne unde nutte Gesangh Bock, 1526, and was re-edited in High-German in V. Schumann’s Geistliche Lieder, 1539: “Allein Gott in der Höhe sei Ehr.”
A Danish translation of the Latin prose text was made in 1528. At the same time there appeared two metrical versions, both of which were included in Een ny handbog, Rostock, 1529. One of these has four stanzas and is a translation of Decius’ Latin version. According to Nutzhorn the other is written by the pastor, Arvid Pedersøn, who studied in Wittenberg, 1524, and the following year. Later he was appointed dean of Bornholm. His translation contains five stanzas. Between the third and fourth there appears a new stanza, to which there is no corresponding part in the German original. Therefore it is thought that Arvid Pedersøn composed this additional stanza. This version has been included in the greater number of later hymnaries. The English translation of Decius’ hymn is by Miss Winkworth. There are at least 13 other English translations extant. The melody was first published in the above mentioned edition of Geistliche Lieder, by V. Schumann, Leipzig, 1539, but it is claimed to be much older. It is very probable that Decius himself composed the melody. He is referred to both as an eminent performer upon the harp, and as a composer.
“As you sing this beautiful hymn on Sunday morning,” says one writer, “then bear in mind that this hymn has been the power of God unto salvation for thousands of believing hearts. And as you sing it with true devotion, you sing it together with the saints and the angels of heaven. Thus this hymn will become also for you a power of God to overcome the world, death, and hell.” Bishop Skaar, in his mention of this hymn, quotes the following from Christian Scriver’s The Soul’s Treasury, which is applicable also in our day: “Observe the devotional gatherings; how people take part in the worship; the manner in which they pray, sing, and praise God; you will soon notice that many certainly are not sincere in their worship. O thou ungodly, ungrateful, perverted heart of man! Ought not the face of the Christian to beam with delight, as you proclaim unto him the wonderful deeds of mercy and the merits of Christ, the grace of God, and the forgiveness of sin. And, when the congregation sings a hymn of praise like ‘Thee God we praise,’ ‘All glory be to God on high,’ ‘Now thank we all our God,’ ‘My soul, now bless thy Maker,’ should not the devout Christian then praise God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his strength! Should not these hymns awaken all that is in us to sing praise and to rejoice in the spirit, to sing and to play unto Him in our hearts! Ought not our hearts then to melt like incense powder in the glowing heat of devotion!”
“This time-honored and glorious hymn, ‘All glory be to God on high,’ has in times of temptation and in the anguish of death often shown its power to bring light, comfort, and cheer to the struggling soul” (Skaar). [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
This version of the “Gloria in excelsis,” very likely by Nikolaus Decius, first appeared, in Low German, in the Rostock Gesang Buch, 1525. In High German, together with the tune, it first appeared in Valten Schumann’s Gesangbuch, Leipzig, 1539. It became very popular, although Fischer calls attention to the fact that Martin Luther received neither this nor any other Hymns by Decius into his collections.
The tranalation is an altered form of that by Catherine Winkworth in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
All glory, laud, and honor ◊ 277
Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, rex Christe redemptor,
cui puerile decus prompsit hosanna pium.
Israel tu rex, Davidis et inclyta proles,
nomine qui in Domini, rex benedicte, venis.
Coetus in excelsis te laudat caelicus omnis
et mortalis homo, cuncta creata simul.
Plebs Hebraea tibi cum palmis obvia venit;
cum prece, voto, hymnis adsumus ecce tibi.
Hi tibi passuro solvebant munia laudis;
nos tibi regnanti pangimus ecce melos.
Hi placuere tibi; placeat devotio nostra,
rex pie, rex clemens, cui bona cuncta placent. Amen.
This hymn of praise is frequently called the hymn of St. Theodulph, who was born in Italy about the year 770. He entered a monastery, and because of his outstanding scholarship he eventually became an abbot. During the stormy days of the turbulent times in which he lived he was frequently sought as a mediator by opposing factions. He attracted the attention of the great Charlemagne, who took Theodulph with him on his return to France and made him Bishop of Orleans. After the death of Charlemagne enemies conspired against the bishop, and he was finally arrested and imprisoned in a monastery at Angers, where he languished in close confinement for three long years until he died, September 18, 821.
The following story regarding the origin of the hymn is told by Clichtoveus, A. D. 1516. In his prison-cell Bishop Theodulph composed a long poem for the procession of the people on Palm Sunday. It so happened that on Palm Sunday of the year 821 Emperor Louis the Pious and his retinue passed by the prison on their way to church and heard St. Theodulph singing joyfully the hymn which he had composed for that day. When the emperor asked for the name of the singer and was told that it was Bishop Theodulph, he declared, “The bishop is no traitor,” and ordered his release at once and his restoration to office.
It seems to be fairly well established that the hymn was composed while St. Theodulph was in confinement, even though we cannot be so sure about the veracity of the rest of the account and his liberation from prison on account of it.
The translation is an altered form of that by John M. Neale in his Hymnal Noted, 1854. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
All hail the power of Jesus’ name ◊ 49
THIS hymn was first printed in Gospel Magazine, London, 1780. It contained eight verses with the title, On the Resurrection, the Lord is King. It was written the year before. In 1779 the first stanza appeared in the Gospel Magazine, set to Wm. Shrubsole’s melody. The hymn was also printed in Occasional Verses, Moral and Sacred, London, 1785. The author’s name was not given even here, but it was now generally known to be Perronet’s hymn. Later on it was revised and reedited. The edition as it now appears in the greater number of hymn books is by Dr. J. Rippon. Hymn No. 6 in The Lutheran Hymnary contains stanzas 1 and 5-8. The last stanza was added by Dr. Rippon (Baptist minister and publisher of hymn books, London, 1751-1836). Perronet’s hymn is one of the most extensively used and most popular in the English speaking world. It is mentioned among the ten best hymns of English hymnody. It has been translated into many languages, among others into Latin by Dr. H. M. McGill, “Salve, Jesu, forte nomen.” Another Latin version is “Salve nomen potestatis.”
The famous Methodist preacher, Wm. Dawson, “Billy Dawson,” caused a great sensation in London by his original and stirring sermons, which drew thousands of hearers. Thus at a large gathering he preached on Christ the Prophet, Highpriest, and King. In the last part of the sermon he pictured the coronation procession of prophets, patriarchs, apostles, and martyrs, who throng the sanctuary to do homage to their Lord and King. Suddenly the preacher paused in the sermon and began singing “All hail the power of Jesus’ name.” The effect was overwhelming. The entire audience arose and sang the hymn with enthusiasm and power. Wm. Shrubsole’s melody, “Miles Lane” (from a chapel in Miles Lane, London, where a free congregation conducted its services), was written when the composer was 20 years of age, while he was chorister in Canterbury Cathedral. It is used chiefly in England. There are also several newer melodies for this hymn. In America the melody “Coronation” is used very extensively. This was composed by the American composer, Oliver Holden (b. 1765) of Massachusetts. He was a dealer in music and also served as director of music. He published The American Harmony in 1792, and the Worcester Collection in 1797. Holden died in Charleston, Mass., Sept. 4th, 1844. The English melody is the best and is especially effective with the three-fold, “Crown Him.” But it requires a greater range of voice (from low B to F). Holden’s melody is used most extensively in this country, both because it is “ours” and because it is melodious and very singable. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
All mankind fell in Adam’s fall ◊ 491
Durch Adams Fall
This hymn is a free translation, in long meter, of Lazarus Spengler’s hymn “Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt,” (See: By Adam’s Fall) which is in nine stanzas of eight lines. Spengler’s hymn first appeared in the Gegstliche gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg 1524. Julian rightly states:
During the Reformation period it attained a wide popularity as a didactic and confessional hymn of the Evangelical faith. It is one of the most characteristic hymns of the time, conceived in the spirit of deep and earnest piety, eminently Scriptural, and setting forth the Reformation teachings in concise and antithetical form, but is, however, too much like a system of theology in rime.
The English version is by Matthias Loy. It was included in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
All men living are but mortal ◊ 472
Alle Menschen müssen sterben,
Alles Fleisch vergeht wie Heu;
Was da lebet, muss verderben,
Soll es anders werden neu.
Dieser Leib, der muss verwesen,
Wenn er anders soll genesen
Zu der grossen Herrlichkeit,
Die den Frommen ist bereit.
Drum so will ich dieses Leben,
Wann es meinem Gott beliebt,
Auch ganz willig von mir geben,
Bin darüber nicht betrübt;
Denn in meines Jesu Wunden
Hab’ ich schon Erlösung funden,
Und mein Trost in Todesnot
Ist des Herren Jesu Tod.
Jesus ist für mich gestorben,
Und sein Tod ist mein Gewinn;
Er hat mir das Heil erworben,
Drum fahr’ ich mit Freuden hin,
Hin aus diesem Weltgetümmel,
In den schönen Gotteshimmel,
Da ich werde allezeit
Schauen die Dreieinigkeit.
Da wird sein das Freudenleben,
Da viel tausend Seelen schon
Sind mit Himmelsglanz umgeben,
Dienen Gott vor seinem Thron,
Da die Seraphinen prangen
Und das hohe Lied anfangen:
Heilig, heilig, heilig heisst
Gott der Vater, Sohn und Geist,
Da die Patriarchen wohnen,
Die Propheten allzumal,
Da auf ihren Ehrenthronen
Sitzet die gezwöllte Zahl,
Da in so viel tausend Jahren
Alle Frommen hingefahren,
Da wir unserm Gott zu Ehr’n
Ewig Halleluja hör’n.
O Jerusalem, du Schöne,
Ach, wie helle glänzest du!
Ach, wie lieblich Lobgetöne
Hört man da in sanfter Ruh’!
O der grossen Freud’ und Wonne!
Jetzund gehet auf die Sonne,
Jetzund gehet an der Tag,
Der kein Ende nehmen mag.
Ach ich habe schon erblicket
Diese grosse Herzlichkeit!
Jetzund werd’ ich schön geschmücket
Mit dem weissen Himmelskleid
Und der goldnen Ehrenkrone,
Stehe da vor Gottes Throne,
Schaue solche Freude an,
Die kein Ende nehmen kann.
This hymn, by Johann Georg Albinus, Koch calls “his best-known hymn and a pearl in the Evangelical treasury of Song.” It was written for the funeral of Paul von Henssberg, a Leipzig merchant, and was thus sung from broadsheets, June 1, 1652. Later Albinus used it in a funeral sermon for Regina Staffelin, citing it as his own composition.
The translation, excepting Stanza 5, is an altered form of that by Catherine Winkworth in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. Stanza 5, by an unknown writer, is from the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880, altered. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
All my heart sings and rejoices ◊ 115
Fröhlich soll mein Herze springen
Dieser Zeit, Da vor Freud’
Alle Engel singen.
Hört, hört, wie mit vollen Chören
Alle Luft Laute ruft:
Christus ist geboren!
Heute geht aus seiner Kammer
Gottes Held, Der die Welt
Reisst aus allem Jammer.
Gott wird Mensch dir, Mensch, zugute.
Gottes Kind, Das verbind’t
Sich mit unserm Blute.
Sollt’ uns Gott nun können hassen,
Der uns gibt, Was er liebt
Über alle Massen?
Gott gibt, unserm Leid zu wehren,
Seinen Sohn Aus dem Thron
Seiner Macht und Ehren.
Sollte von uns sein gekehret,
Der sein Reich Und zugleich
Sich uns selbst verehret?
Sollt’ uns Gottes Sohn nicht lieben,
Der jetzt kömmt Von uns nimmt,
Was uns will betrüben?
Hätte vor der Menschen Orden
Unser Heil Einen Greu’l,
Wär’ er nicht Mensch worden.
Hätt’ er Lust zu unsern Schaden,
Ei, so würd’ Unsre Bürd’
Er nicht auf sich laden.
Er nimmt auf sich, was auf Erden
Wir getan, Gibt sich an,
Unser Lamm zu werden,
Unser Lamm, das für uns stirbet
Und bei Gott Für den Tod
Gnad’ und Fried’ erwirbet.
Nun, er liegt in seiner Krippen,
Ruft zu sich Mich und dich
Spricht mit süssen Lippen:
Lasset fahr’n, o liebe Brüder,
Was euch quält, Was euch fehlt,
Ich bring’ alles wieder.
Ei, so kommt und lasst uns laufen!
Stellt euch ein, Gross und klein;
Eilt mit grossem Haufen!
Liebt den, der vor Liebe brennet;
Schaut den Stern, Der uns gern
Licht und Labsal gönnet.
Die ihr schwebt in grossen Leiden,
Sehet, hier Ist die Tür
Zu den wahren Freuden.
Fasst ihn wohl, er wird euch führen
An den Ort, Da hinfort
Euch kein Kreuz wird rühren.
Wer sich fühlt beschwert im Herzen,
Wer empfind’t Seine Sünd’
Sei getrost, hier wird gefunden,
Der in Eil’ Machet heil
Die vergift’ten Wunden.
Die ihr arm seid und elende,
Kommt herbei, Füllet frei
Eures Glaubens Hände!
Hier sind alle guten Gaben
Und das Gold, Da ihr sollt
Euer Herz mit laben.
Süsses Heil, lass dich umfangen,
Lass mich dir, Meine Zier,
Du bist meines Lebens Leben;
Nun kann ich Mich durch dich
Wohl zufrieden geben.
Meine Schuld kann mich nicht drücken,
Denn du hast Meine Last
All’ auf deinem Rücken.
Kein Fleck ist an mir zu finden,
Ich bin gar Rein und klar
Aller meiner Sünden.
Ich bin rein um deinetwillen;
Du gibst g’nug Ehr’ und Schmuck,
Mich darein zu hüllen.
Ich will dich ins Herze schliessen
O mein Ruhm, Edle Blum’,
Lass dich recht geniessen!
Ich will dich mit Fleiss bewahren,
Ich will dir Leben hier,
Dir will ich abfahren;
Mit dir will ich endlich schweben
Voller Freud’ Ohne Zeit
Dort im andern Leben.
THIS beautiful Christmas hymn appeared first in Crüger’s Praxis pietatis melica, 1656. The original contains fifteen stanzas, so that only a small portion of them have come to us in English translation. But the translator, Miss Winkworth, has certainly grasped the central thought of this hymn, and it is to be regretted that this Christmas hymn with Ebeling’s beautiful melody is not more extensively used among us. *** The Ev. Luth. Hymnbook of the Missouri Synod contains all fifteen stanzas in good English translation. Likewise, the whole hymn, translated by Dr. Matthias Loy, is found in the Ev. Luth. Hymnal of the Ohio Synod. (Notes on Gerhardt may be found under No. 157.) Both Johann Crüger and Johann Ebeling have each written a melody which is used for this hymn, but both of these melodies were originally composed for Gerhardt’s hymn, “Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen.” “Why should cross and trial grieve me”. *** [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
All my hope on God is founded ◊ 203
Meine Hoffnung stehet feste
All people that on earth do dwell ◊ 51
The date and place of the birth of William Kethe, the author of this hymn, are unknown. He was an exile from Scotland for some time during the Marian persecutions; at Frankfort in 1555 and at Geneva in 1557. During this exile he contributed twenty-four metrical psalms to the Psalm Book prepared by these English refugees and also helped in the translation of the Bible. In 1561 he was made rector of Childe Okeford, Dorset, and probably remained there until his death, about 1593.
The hymn is first found in the Fourscore and Seven Psalms of David, Geneva, 1561, and in the Psalmes issued by John Day in London the same year. The doxology was added.
The text is the original, unchanged, except for the ancient spellings, such as “yt” for “that,” “ye” for “the,” “shop” for “sheep,” “indure” for “endure,” “folck” for “folk.” The last has been given, erroneously, as flock in many modern hymnals. Whether to retain the question-mark after For why? which means because, is a matter of opinion. We retained it, as it is in keeping with the quaintness of the entire text. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
All praise to God who reigns above ◊ 435
Sei Lob und Ehr’ dem höchsten Gut,
Dem Vater aller Güte,
Dem Gott, der alle Wunder tut,
Dem Gott, der mein Gemüte
Mit seinem reichen Trost erfüllt,
Dem Gott, der allen Jammer stlilt.
Gebt unserm Gott die Ehre!
Was unser Gott geschaffen hat,
Das will er auch erhalten,
Daruber will er früh und spat
Mit seiner Gnade walten.
In seinem ganzen Königreich
Ist alles recht und alles gleich.
Gebt unserm Gott dieEhre!
Ich rief dem Herrn in meiner Not:
Ach Gott, vernimm mein Schreien!
Da half mein Heffer mir vom Tod
Und liess mir Trost gedeihen.
Drum dank’, ach Gott, drum dank’ ich dir!
Ach danket, danket Gott mit mir!
Gebt unserm Gott die Ehre!
Der Herr ist noch und nimmer nicht
Von seinem Volk geschieden,
Er bleibet ihre Zuversicht,
Ihr Segen, Heil und Frieden.
Mit Mutterhänden leitet er
Die Seinen stetig hin und her.
Gebt unserm Gott die Ehre!
Ihr, die ihr Christi Namen nennt,
Gebt unserm Gott die Ehre!
Ihr, die ihr Gottes Macht bekennt,
Gebt unserm Gott die Ehre!
Die falschen Götzen macht zu Spott.
Der Herr ist Gott, der Herr ist Gott!
Gebt unserm Gott die Ehre!
So kommet vor sein Angesicht
Mit jauchzenvollem Springen,
Bezahlet die gelobte Pflicht
Und lasst uns fröhlich singen:
Gott hat es alles wohl bedacht
Und alles, alles recht gemacht.
Gebt umserm Gott die Ehre!
THIS hymn of nine stanzas appeared for the first time in the author’s tract entitled, Christliches Gedenkbüchlein zur Beförderung eines anfangendes neues Lebens, 1673. Its Biblical basis is Deuteronomy 32:3: “Because I will publish the name of the Lord; ascribe ye greatness unto our God.” The hymn found a ready acceptance into the hymnaries of the Lutheran Church and also among other denominations. Koch says that this one hymn is worth more than a hundred others, and calls it a classic hymn of first rank, which gained great favor as soon as it was published. G. C. Rieger, of Stuttgart, while cast upon his deathbed, found great comfort in this hymn; likewise the famous jurist and professor, J. J. Moser. Our English translation is by Miss Frances E. Cox. The ninth stanza of the original is omitted. The hymn first appeared in Lyra Eucharistica, 1864, and later in Miss Cox’s volume in the same year, Hymns from the German, second edition, 1864. It was rendered into Danish by H. A. Brorson and was published in Troens rare Klenodie, 1742. This translation was revised by W. A. Wexels, and Wexels’ version again was used by Landstad in his hymnary. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
All praise to Thee, eternal God* ◊ 136
(See: O Jesus Christ, all praise to Thee)
All praise to Thee, my God, this night ◊ 565
Ken’s evening hymn was published in Harmonia Sacra, 1693, by Henry Playford, who very likely received it directly from the author. A note attached says: “Words by Bishop Ken, set by Jeremiah Clarke.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
This cento is from Thomas Ken’s famous evening hymn, a companion piece of his equally famous morning hymn, “Awake, my soul, and with the Sun.” It appeared in print in the 1695 edition of Ken’s Manual, and, in 1709, in an altered form. Our cento is composed of Stanzas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 12. The omitted Stanzas 6 to 11, according to the version of 1709, are as follows:
6. Dull Sleep of Sense me to deprive,
I am but half my time alive;
Thy faithful Lovers, Lord, are griev’d,
To lye so long of Thee bereav’d.
7. But though Sleep o’er my fraility Reigns
Let it not hold me long in Chains
And now and then let lose my Heart,
Till it an Hallelujah dart.
8. The faster Sleep the Senses binds,
The more unfetter’d are our Minds;
O may my soul, from matter free,
Thy loveliness unclouded see!
9. O when shall I in endless Day,
Forever chase dark Sleep away,
And Hymns with the Supernal Choir
Incessant Sing and never tyre!
10. O may my Guardian while I sleep
Close to my Bed his Vigils keep,
His Love Angelical instill.
Stop all the Avenues of ill.
11. May he Celestial Joys rehearse,
And thought to thought with me converse
Or in my stead all the Night long,
Sing to my God a Grateful Song. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
All that I was, my sin, my guilt ◊ 451
“By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).
The hymn appeared first in The Bible Hymn Book, 1845. It appeared later in the author’s Hymns of Faith and Hope, first series, 1857, and in later editions under the title Mine and Thine. It is very extensively used in England and America. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
All ye who on this earth do dwell ◊ 52
Nun danket all’ und bringet Ehr’,
Ihr Menschen in der Welt,
Dem dersen Lob der Engel Heer
Im Himmel stets vermeld’t!
Ermuntert euch und singt mit Schall
Gott, unserm höchsten Gut,
Der seine Wunder überall
Und grosse Dinge tut,
Der uns von Mutterleibe an
Frisch und gesund erhält
Und, wo kein Mensch nicht helfen kann,
Sich selbst zum Helfer stellt;
Der, ob wir ihn gleich hoch betrübt,
Doch bleibet gutes Muts,
Die Straf’ erlässt, die Schuld vergibt
Und tut uns alles Gut’s.
Er gebe uns ein fröhlich Herz,
Erfrische Geist und Sinn
Und werf’ all’ Angst, Furcht, Sorg’ und Schmerz
In’s Meeres Tiefe hin.
Er lasse seinen Frieden ruhn
In Israelis Land,
Er gebe Glück zu unserm Tun
Und Heil in allem Stand.
Solange dieses Leben währt.
Sei es stets unser Heil
Und bleib’ auch, wenn wir von der Erd’
Abscheiden, unser Teil.
This hymn by Paul Gerhardt was written in celebration of the Peace of Westphalia, which brought to an end the Thirty Years’ War. It first appeared in Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, 1648, in nine stanzas. Our version omits the following stanzas:
7. His love and goodness may He let
In and around us be.
All that may frighten us and fret
Cast far into the sea.
9. He giveth His beloved sleep
When these frail heart-beats cease;
And in His presence then will keep
Our souls in endless peace.
The translation is by Alfred Ramsey, d. 1926, altered. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Alleluia! Jesus lives! ◊ 340
Halleluja, Christus lebt!
Er war tot und lebet wieder.
Aus der Nacht des Grabes schwebt
Schon der Erstling seiner Brüder,
Sprengt für sie des Todes Tor,
Und tritt im Triumph hervor.
Christus lebt! O jauchzet ihm!
Dankt, ihr gottversöhnten Sünder!
Jauchzet mit, ihr Seraphim!
Dankt dem grossen Überwinder,
Dem an seinem Siegestag
Sünd’ und Tod’ und Höll’ erlag!
Christus lebt! Wer ist betrübt,
Schlägt die Augen mutlos nieder?
Der uns bis in Tod geliebt,
Unser Bruder, lebet wieder.
Endlos ist sein Leben nun,
Uns ohn’ Ende wohlzutun.
Christus lebt! Wer an ihn glaubt,
Stirbt nicht, ob der Leib auch sterbe.
Christi Glied, du folgst dem Haupt,
Erbst mit ihm sein Lebenserbe,
Stehst mit ihm—Halleluja!—
Siegreich überm Grabe da.
Christus lebt! und zu ihm zieht
Mich sein Geist mit sanftem Zuge.
Flieht, ihr Weltgefühle, flieht
Hemmt nicht meine Seel’ im Fluge!
Denn mein Herz fliegt ohne Ruh’
Seinem Urmagnete zu.
Auf! in eurem Jubelklang
Singt mit uns, ihr Himmelschöre!
Singt den frohen Lobgesang:
Gott sei in den Höhen Ehre,
Friede jedem Erdenteil,
Und der Menschheit Gottes Heil!
Carl B. Garve first published this hymn in Christliche Gesänge, Görlitz, 1825, in eight stanzas. The translation is by Jane Borthwick in her Hymns from the Land of Luther, fourth series, 1862. The omitted Stanzas 4 and 6 read:
4. Christus lebt; euch grüsst sein Mund:
“Seht, ich leb’, und ihr sollt leben!
Tut es meinen Brüdern kund,
Dass sie sich vom Staub’ erheben!
Bei mir sollen im Verein
Alle meine Brüder sein.”
6. Christus lebt! Sein Lebenspfand,
Christi Geist, lebt mir im Herzen;
Furcht und Unruh’ sind verbannt,
Leer die Quelle meiner Schmerzen,
Und auf meinem Angesicht
Glänzt des ew’gen Lebens Licht. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
THIS hymn appeared first in Christliche Gesänge, Görlitz, 1825. It contained eight stanzas. The present translation was rendered by Miss Jane Borthwick, and was published in her Hymns from the Land of Luther, 4th series, 1862. In our version stanzas 4 and 6 have been omitted. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Alleluia! Let praises ring! ◊ 6
Halleluja! Lob, Preis und Ehr’
Sei unserm Gott je mehr und mehr
Für alle seine Werke;
Von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit
Sei in uns allen ihm bereit
Dank, Weisheit, Kraft und Stärke!
Hellig, heilig, freilich, freilich,
Heilig ist Gott,
Unser Gott, der Herr Zebaoth!
Halleluja! Preis, Ehr’ und Macht
Sei auch dem Gotteslamm gebracht,
In dem wir sind erwählet,
Das uns mit seinem Blut erkauft,
Damit besprenget und getauft
Und sich mit uns vermählet!
Ist die Freundschaft und Gemeinschaft,
Die wir haben
Und darinnen uns erlaben.
Halleluja! Gott Heilger Geist
Sei ewiglich von uns gepreist,
Durch den wir neugeboren,
Der uns mit Glauben ausgeziert,
Dem Bräutigam uns zugeführt,
Den Hochzeitstag erkoren!
Eia, ei da,
Da ist Freude, da ist Weide,
Da ist Manna
Und ein ewig Hosianna!
Halleluja! Lob, Preis und Ehr’
Sei unserm Gott je mehr und mehr
Und seinem grossen Namen!
Stimmt an mit aller Himmelsschar
Und singet nun und immerdar
Mit Freuden: Amen, Amen!
Heilig, heilig, freilich, freilich,
Heilig ist Gott,
Unser Gott, der Herr Zebaoth!
This hymn is an example of the strange changes through which some of our hymns have passed before receiving their final form. In 1642 Martin Rinckart, best known for his hymn “Now Thank We All Our God,” published a Bridal Mass (Leibliche, Geistliche und Himmlische Braut Messe) in which he included a wedding hymn, based on Rev. 21 and 22. In 1655 an unknown poet published a new version of this hymn, changing it into a burial hymn. Finally, in 1698, in the Geistreiches Gesangbuch, Darmstadt, four stanzas of this hymn appeared as a hymn of praise to the Holy Trinity. In this form the hymn was taken over into other collections and became very popular. It has sometimes been erroneously ascribed to Bartholomäus Crasselius. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Almighty Father, bless the Word ◊ 580
THE author of this hymn is not known. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Almighty Father, heav’n and earth ◊ 447
Edward A. Dayman wrote this hymn in 1867. It first appeared in the Sarum Hymnal, 1868, as an offertory hymn. The text has been altered. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Almighty God, Thy Word is cast ◊ 228
COTTERlLL’S Selection, published in 1819, contained this hymn, which was ordered to be sung after the sermon. It is generally recognized as one of Cawood’s best hymns. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
John Cawood published this hymn in five stanzas in 1819. It is said to have been written in 1815. It was to be used “after the sermon.” The omitted stanza is:
Nor let Thy Word, so kindly sent
To raise us to Thy throne,
Return to Thee and sadly tell
That we reject Thy Son. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
An awe-full mystery is here* ◊ 309
(See: A wondrous mystery is here)
Angels from the realms of glory ◊ 114
MANY hymn critics have pronounced this to be one of Montgomery’s finest hymns. Its place among hymns of first rank has not been called in question. It was first printed in Montgomery’s journal, The Sheffield Iris, Christmas Eve, 1816. It contained five stanzas. The Lutheran Hymnary has omitted the last. In a slightly revised form it was taken up in Montgomery’s Christian Psalmist, 1825, under the title, Good Tidings of Great Joy to All People. The last stanza of the original has been omitted from many hymnals. In several editions a doxology has been put in place of the fifth stanza. The first four stanzas have been rendered into Latin by R. Bingham: “Angeli, sancta regione lucis.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Angels we have heard on high ◊ 116
Les Anges dans no campagnes
Ont entonne l’hymne des Dieux,
Et l’écho de no mantagnes
Redit cechant mélodieux.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Bergers, pour qui cette féte?
Quel est l’objet de tout ces chants?
Quel vainqueur, quelle conquéte
Mèrite ces cris triomphants?
Ils annoncent la naissance
Du Libérateur d’Israël,
Et, pleins de reconnaissance,
Chantent en ce jour solennel:
Cherchons tous l’heureux village
Qui l’a vu naîsous ses toits;
Offrons-lui le tendre hommage
Et de nos coeurs et de nos voix:
Dans l’humilité profunde
Où vous paraissez à nos yeux,
Pour vous louer, Dieu du monde,
Nous redirons ce chant joyeux:
Déja, par la bouche de l’Ange,
Par les hymnes des Chérubins,
L’homme connaî la louange
Qui se chantent aux parvis divins:
Dociles à leur exemple,
Seigneur, nous viendrons désormais
Au milieu de votre temple,
Chanter avec eux vos bienfaits:
Arise and shine in splendor ◊ 166
Brich auf und werde lichte,
Lass gehn die Nacht zunichte,
Dein Licht kommt her zu dir;
Die Herzlichkeit des Herren
Glänzt prächtig weit und ferren
Und zeigt sich um und über dir.
Zwar finster ist die Erde,
Der armen Heiden Herde
Liegt dunkel weit und breit:
Dich hat der Herr, dein Leben,
Dein Heil und Trost, umgeben
Mit grosser Ehr’ und Herrlichkeit.
Die Völker auf der Erden,
So je beschienen werden
Durchs klare Sonnenlicht,
Die sollen dein Licht kennen,
Zum Glanze fröhlich rennen,
Der aus der Höh’ des Himmels bricht.
Heb auf, heb dein Gesichte:
Das Volk folgt deinem Lichte,
Die Welt kommt ganz zu dir;
Sie hat von dir vernommen,
Die Söhn’ und Töchter kommen
Und suchen deinen Ruhm und Zier.
Dein Herze wird dir wallen,
Wenn dir kommt zu Gefallen
Die Anzahl um das Meer;
Du wirst die Augen weiden
Am Volke vieler Heiden,
So dringt mit Haufen zu dir her.
Martin Opitz published this Epiphany hymn in his Episteln, 1628, in six stanzas. It was headed “On the Holy Three Kings’ Day, Isaiah 60.”
The translation is by Gerhard Gieschen, 1937, and was revised by him for The Lutheran Hymnal after it had previously appeared in the church publication called Faith-Life. The omitted Stanza 6 reads, as translated by Emmanuel Cronenwett for the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
AND BY HARRY K. BARTELS
Arise, my soul, sing joyfully ◊ 118
Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist,
Und trage groß Verlangen, ein kleines King, das Vater heißt,
Mit Freuden zu empfangen.
Dies ist die Nacht, darin es kam
Und menschlich Wesen an sich nahm,
Dadurch die Welt mit Treuen als Braut zu feiern.
Str.1 Brich an, du schönes Morgenlicht, und laß den Himmel tagen! Du Hirtenvolk, erschrecke nicht, weil dir die Engel sagen, daß dieses schwache Knäbelein soll unser Trost und Freude sein, dazu den Satan zwingen und letztlich Frieden bringen.
Str.2 Willkommen, süßer Bräutigam, du König aller Ehren! Willkommen, Jesu, Gottes Lamm, ich will dein Lob vermehren; ich will dir all mein Leben lang von Herzen sagen Preis und Dank, daß du, da wir verloren, für uns bist Mensch geboren.
Str.3 Lob, Preis und Dank, Herr Jesu Christ, sei dir von mir gesungen, daß du mein Bruder worden bist und hast die Welt bezwungen; hilf, daß ich deine Gütigkeit stets preis in dieser Gnadenzeit und mög hernach dort oben in Ewigkeit dich loben.
Arise, sons of the kingdom* ◊ 105
(See: Rise, children of the kingdom)
Arm these Thy soldiers, mighty Lord ◊ 508
This hymn is a slightly altered portion of Christopher Wordsworth’s longer confirmation hymn “Father of All, in Whom We Live,” published in his Holy Year, 1862. The original hymn is divided into three parts, as follows:
Part I: Referring to the Whole Congregation, in three eight-line stanzas, beginning: “Father of All, in Whom We Live.”
Part II: Referring to Those who Come to be Confrmed: to be used before the laying on of hands, in five eight-line stanzas, beginning: “O God, in Whose All-searching Eye.”
Part III: After the Laying on of Hands: to be sung specifically by those who have been confirmed, in three eight-line stanzas, beginning: “Our Hearts and Voices Let Us Raise.”
Our hymn is from the second part, of which it is Stanzas 3 to 5. Stanzas 1 and 2 of this section read:
1. O God, in whose all-searching eye
Thy servants stand to ratify
The vow baptismal by them made
When first Thy hand was on them laid,
Bless them, O holy Father, bless,
Who Thee with heart and voice confess.
May they, acknowledged as Thine own,
Stand evermore before Thy throne.
2. O Christ, who didst at Pentecost
Send down from heaven the Holy Ghost
And at Samaria baptize
Those whom Thou didst evangelize,
And then on Thy baptized confer
Thy best of gifts, the Comforter,
By apostolic hands and prayer,
Be with us now as Thou wert there.
[Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Around the throne of God a band ◊ 546
John M. Neale first published this children’s hymn in his Hymns for Children, first series, 1842, in nine stanzas (with the long-meter doxology of Thomas Ken). This cento contains Stanzas 1, 2, 8, and 9 of the original. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
As after the waterbrooks ◊ 462
A dirge based upon the 42nd and the 43rd Psalm of David. The hymn was composed in 1811 and printed in Saga, Nytaarsgave for 1812. It is one of Grundtvig’s first church hymns. His spiritual verses were, previously, as he himself says, not hymns but “a sighing for the hymn tune.” In the preface to the Saga he says: “The harp which I hung above the altar of the Lord, He Himself handed me again, when He had consecrated it for Himself, and with courage from on high I touch the quivering strings. To the glory of my God I now realize that I have never sung so joyfully as I have since I ceased to be my own and entered into the service of my rightful Lord.”
The English translation was rendered by the Rev. Carl Døving, 1904, who thus again has given abundant proof of his ability to translate the peculiarly idiomatic verses of Grundtvig. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
As each happy Christmas ◊ 117
Alle Jahre wieder
Kommt das Christuskind
Auf die Erde nieder,
Wo wir Menschen sind
Kehrt mit seinem Segen
Ein in jedes Haus
Geht auf allen Wegen
Mit uns ein und aus.
Steht auch mir zur Seite
Still und unerkannt,
Daß es treu mich leite
An der lieben Hand.
As with gladness men of old ◊ 168
A hymn for Epiphany Sunday, written “during an illness,” presumably in 1860. It was printed first in a small collection, Hymns of Love and Joy, next in the trial edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. In 1861 it was published in St. Raphael’s Hymnal, Bristol, and in the regular edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. From that time and on it has been included in practically all new hymnals as well as in the new editions of the old. The text has suffered very few changes. In a treatise on English Hymns, Sir L. Palmer (Lord Selborn) mentions this hymn in the strongest terms of praise and appreciation. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Asleep in Jesus! Blessed sleep ◊ 478
Margaret Mackay’s hymn, “Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep,” appeared for the first time in The Amethyst; or Christian’s Annual, 1832 (W. Oliphant), Edinburgh. It contained six stanzas with the following introduction: “Sleeping in Jesus. By Mrs. Mackay of Hedgefield. This simple but expressive sentence is inscribed on a tombstone in a rural burying ground in Devonshire, and gave rise to the following verses.” It was included in Mrs. Mackay’s Thoughts Redeemed, 1854, where she relates that the monument bearing the inscription, “Sleeping in Jesus,” is found in the cemetery near Pennycross Chapel and adds: “Distant only a few miles from a bustling and crowded seaport town, reached through a succession of those lovely green lanes for which Devonshire is so remarkable, the quiet aspect of Pennycross comes soothingly over the mind. ‘sleeping in Jesus’ seems in keeping with all around.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
At Jesus’ feet our infant sweet ◊ 245
At the Lamb’s high feast we sing ◊ 310
Ad regias Agni dapes,
Stolis amicti candidis,
Post transitum maris Rubri,
Christo canamus Principi.
Divina cujus caritas
Sacrum propinat sanguinem,
Almique membra corporis
Amor sacredos immolat.
Sparsum cruorem postibus
Vastator horret Angelus:
Fugitque divisum mare,
Merguntur hostes fluctibus.
Jam Pascha nostrum Christus est,
Paschalis idem victima,
Et pura puris mentibus
O vera caeli vicitma,
Subjecta cui sunt tartara,
Soluta mortis vincula,
Recepta vitae praemia.
Victor subactis inferis,
Trophaea Christus explicat,
Caeloque apreto, subditum
Regem tenebrarum trahit.
Ut sis perenne mentibus
Paschale Jesu gaudium,
A morte dira criminum
Vitae renatos libera.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
In sempiterna saecula. Amen.
At the name of Jesus ◊ 53
Awake and sing the song ◊ 17
Awake, my heart, with gladness ◊ 341
Auf, auf, mein Herz, mit Freuden,
Nimm wahr, was heut’ geschieht!
Wie kommt nach grossem Leiden
Nun ein so grosses Licht!
Mein Heiland war gelegt
Da, wo man uns hinträgt,
Wenn von uns unser Geist
Gen Himmel ist gereist.
Er war ins Grab gesenket,
Der Feind trieb gross Geschrei.
Eh’ er’s vermeint und denket
Ist Christus wieder frei
Und ruft: Viktoria!
Schwingt fröhlich hier und da
Sein Fähnlein als ein Held,
Der Feld und Mut behält.
Das ist mir anzuschauen
Ein rechtes Freudenspiel;
Nun soll mir nicht mehr grauen
Vor allem, was mir will
Entnehmen meinen Mut
Zusamt dem edlen Gut,
So mir durch Jesum Christ
Aus Lieb’ erworben ist.
Die Höll’ und ihre Rotten,
Die krümmen mir kein Haar;
Der Sünden kann ich spotten,
Bleib’ allzeit ohn’ Gefahr;
Der Tod mit seiner Macht
Wird schlecht bei mir geacht’t;
Er bleibt ein totes Bild,
Und wär’ er noch so wild.
Die Welt ist mir ein Lachen
Mit ihrem grossen Zorn;
Sie zürnt und kann nichts machen,
All’ Arbeit ist verlor’n.
Die Trübsal trübt mir nicht
Mein Herz und Angesicht;
Das Unglück ist mein Glück,
Die Nacht mein Sonnenblick.
Ich hang’ und bleib’ auch hangen
An Christo als ein Glied;
Wo mein Haupt durch ist gangen,
Da nimmt er mich auch mit.
Er reisset durch den Tod,
Durch Welt, durch Sünd’ und Not,
Er reisset durch die Höll’,
Ich bin stets sein Gesell.
Er dringt zum Saal der Ehren,
Ich folg’ ihm immer nach
Und darf mich gar nicht kehren
An einzig Ungemach.
Es tobe, was da kann,
Mein Haupt nimmt sich mein an;
Mein Heiland ist mein Schild,
Der alles Toben stillt.
Er bringt mich an die Pforten,
Die in den Himmel führt,
Daran mit güldnen Worten
Der Reim gelesen wird:
Wer dort wird mit verhöhnt,
Wird hier auch mit gekrönt;
Wer dort mit sterben geht,
Wird hier auch mit erhöht.
Paul Gerhardt’s most excellent Easter hymn first appeared in Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, 1648, in nine stanzas. The translation is an altered form of that by John Kelly in his Paul Gerhardt’s Spirtual Songs, 1867. The omitted Stanza 3 reads:
Upon the grave is standing
The Hero, looking round;
The Foe, no more withstanding,
His weapons on the ground
Throws down, his hellish power
To Christ he must give o’er
And to tbe Victor’s bands
Must yield his feet and hands. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Awake, my soul, and with the sun ◊ 74
IN 1674 Thomas Ken published A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester College. In this book reference is made to three hymns for evening, midnight, and morning, recommended for the use of the scholars. In a later edition, 1695, these hymns are printed: “Awake, my soul, and with the sun,” 12 stanzas; “All praise to Thee, my God, this night” , the original of 14 stanzas beginning thus, “Glory to Thee,” etc.; and “My God, I now from sleep awake” (original: “Lord, now my sleep does me forsake,” 13 stanzas). All three hymns contain the doxology, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.” Some have thought that these hymns are imitations of old Latin morning hymns, i. e., the morning hymn, “Awake, my soul” from the Latin “A solis ortus cardine”; and the evening hymn, “Glory to Thee,” from “Te lucis ante terminum.” These hymns by Thomas Ken are among the most popular in the English language. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Awake, Thou Spirit, who didst fire ◊ 395
This hymn was published in 1750, in the first edition of the author’s hymns, under the title Die Uebung der Gottseligkeit in allerley Geistlichen Liedern. The original of this hymn contained 14 stanzas dedicated to “The faithful workers in the Lord’s vineyard for the blessed propagation of the Gospel throughout the entire world.” Our translation of stanzas 1-3 and 5-8 was made by Miss Winkworth for her Lyra Germanica, 1855. These have been somewhat changed in the version of our Lutheran Hymnary. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Away in a manger ◊ 119
Baptized into Thy name most holy ◊ 242
Str.1 Ich bin getauft auf deinen Namen, Gott, Vater und Heilger Geist; ich bin gezählt zu deinem Samen, zum Volk, das dir geheiligt heißt. Ich bin in Christus eingesenkt, ich bin mit seinem Geist beschenkt.
Str.2 Du hast zu deinem Kind und Erben, mein lieber Vater, mich erklärt; du hast die Frucht von deinem Sterben, mein treuer Heiland, mir gewährt; du willst in aller Not und Pein, o guter Geist, mein Tröster sein.
Str.3 Doch hab ich dir auch Furcht und Liebe, Treu und Gehorsam zugesagt; ich hab, o Herr, aus reinem Triebe dein Eigentum zu sein gewagt; hingegen sagt ich bis ins Grab des Satans schnöden Werken ab.
Str.4 Mein treuer Gott, auf deiner Seite bleibt dieser Bund wohl feste stehn; wenn aber ich ihn überschreite, so laß mich nicht verlorengehn; nimm mich, dein Kind, zu Gnaden an, wenn ich hab einen Fall getan.
Str.5 Ich gebe dir, mein Gott, aufs neue Leib, Seel und Herz zum Opfer hin; erwecke mich zu neuer Treue und nimm Besitz von meinem Sinn. Es sei in mir kein Tropfen Blut, der nicht, Herr, deinen Willen tut.
Str.6 Laß diesen Vorsatz nimmer wanken, Gott Vater, Sohn und Heilger Geist. Halt mich in deines Bundes Schranken, bis mich dein Wille sterben heißt. So leb ich dir, so sterb ich dir, so lob ich dich dort für und für.
THIS baptismal hymn was first printed in the author’s Erbauliches Handbüchlein für Kinder, Giessen, 1734. It contained seven six-lined stanzas and bore the title, Erneuerung des Taufbundes (Renewal of the Baptismal Covenant). Rambach set it to the melody “Wer weiss wie nahe mir mein Ende” (Who knows when death may overtake me?). Our English translation, rendered by Dr. Charles William Schäfer, is not in the same meter as the original, and the sixth stanza is omitted. … The hymn is one of Rambach’s best, and is extensively used throughout the Lutheran Church. There are three English translations. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Be not dismayed, thou little flock* ◊ 375
(See: O little flock, fear not the foe)
Beautiful Savior ◊ 54
Str.1 Schönster Herr Jesu, Herrscher aller Herren, Gottes und Marien Sohn, dich will ich lieben, dich will ich ehren, meiner Seele Freud und Kron.
Str.2 Schön sind die Wälder, schöner sind die Felder in der schönen Frühlingszeit; Jesus ist schöner, Jesus ist reiner, der mein traurig Herz erfreut.
Str.3 Schön ist der Monde, schöner ist die Sonne, schön sind auch die Sterne all. Jesus ist feiner, Jesus ist reiner als die Engel allzumal.
Str.4 Schön sind die Blumen, schöner sind die Menschen in der frischen Jugendzeit; sie müssen sterben, müssen verderben: Jesus bleibt in Ewigkeit.
Str.5 Alle die Schönheit Himmels und der Erden ist gefaßt in dir allein. Nichts soll mir werden lieber auf Erden als du, liebster Jesus mein.
THIS hymn has been called Crusaders’ Hymn from the twelfth century, sung by the Crusaders upon the Way to Jerusalem. There is, however, no tangible evidence to prove this. The oldest source of the hymn is a Münster Gesangbuch from 1677, where it appears under the above-mentioned beginning, and contains five stanzas. During the course of time it has undergone several changes, stanzas have been added and others omitted, etc. Its modern form together with the beautiful melody was noted down from oral recitation in the province of Glaz, Silesia, and was printed in Schlesische Volkslieder, Leipzig, 1842. This version became the basis for our present English translation, which was rendered by Dr. Joseph Augustus Seiss, an American Lutheran pastor born in Maryland, 1823 (d. 1904). It was this hymn with its beautiful melody which inspired the poet B. S. Ingemann to write his famous Crusaders’ Hymn in the Danish, “Deilig er Jorden,” which ought to take the place of this hymn in our English hymnals. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Before Thee, God, who knowest all ◊ 493
THIS hymn was first printed in 1861 in Landstad’s Udkast til Kirkesalmebog. The Scriptural basis for this hymn is as follows: First stanza, Ezra 9:6: “O my God, I am ashamed to lift up my face to Thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.” Second stanza, Psalm 51:11: “Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.” Third stanza, Luke 18:14: “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Each stanza closes with the prayer of the publican: “Lord, have mercy upon me!” The English translation adopted for The Lutheran Hymnary was rendered by the Rev. Carl Døving in 1909. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Before Thy throne I now appear ◊ 564
Before Your awesome majesty ◊ 50
Behold a host ◊ 553
AND one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in the white robes, who are they, and whence came they? And I said unto him, My Lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that came out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat: for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their Shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 7:13-17).
This hymn was written in the later years of Brorson’s life. Our present English translation was produced by the joint efforts of the pastors Sanden, Smeby, Kvamme, and Døving.
This is what the hymnologist Söderberg says: “Of the glory of the life to come, the harp of Brorson has wonderful strains. This hymn about the Lord’s elect in heaven radiates a snow-white splendor of transfiguration:
Den store, hvide flok vi se som tusen bjerge fuld av sne, med skov omkring av palmesving for tronen—hvo er de?
“What is it that touches us so wondrously in this and other swan songs by Brorson? It is the folktune, the spirit of the language and the rhythm, of the imagery and thought, something incomparable and unexplainable, an element of power everlasting: That is, this plain, pious, emotional lyric passion which gives birth to sadness and longing, power and triumphant joy. Therefore so many of Brorson’s swan songs in particular have received their tunes —mellow and sonorous at the same time—from the inmost life of the common people living in the valleys and forests, along the hillsides and among the mountains of Norway; and perhaps no more beautiful melody than that of ‘Den store, hvide flok’ has welled forth from the religious craving of the heart of the Norwegian people for an expression in song—spontaneously and sweetly, as a multitudinous reverberation, a hallelujah to the poet’s inspired words in his beautiful anthem.”
By means of Edvard Grieg’s classical setting of the folk-tune, this hymn has become the best known and most popular Scandinavian hymn in the English speaking countries. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Behold the Lamb of God! ◊ 235
THE author’s Hymns of the Heart, 1848, contained this hymn. It has seven stanzas with the beginning: “Behold the Lamb of God!” and bears the title: “Ecce Agnus Dei.” It is found in a large number of hymnals in England and America, but hardly ever in its original form; but as a rule revised and abbreviated. The Lutheran Hymnary contains stanzas 1, 2, 5, and 7, with a few slight variations. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Behold, a branch is growing ◊ 121
Es ist ein Reis (Ros’) entsprungen
Aus einer Wurzel zart,
Als uns die Alten sungen,
Von Jesse kam die Art,
Und hat ein Blümlein bracht
Mitten im kalten Winter
Wohl zu der halben Nacht.
Das Reislein, das ich meine,
Davon Jesaias sagt,
Hat uns gebracht alleine
Marie, die reine Magd.
Aus Gottes ew’gem Rat
Hat sie ein Kind geboren
Wohl zu der halben Nacht.
Den Hirten auf dem Felde
Verkünd’t das english’ Heer,
Wie zur selbigen Stunde
Christus geboren wär’
Zu Bethle’m in der Stadt,
Da sie das Kindlein finden,
Wie ihn’n der engel g’sagt.
Das Blümelein so kleine,
Das duftet uns so süss,
Mit seinem hellen Scheine
Vertreibt’s die Finsternis,
Wahr’r Mensch und wahrer Gott,
Hilft uns aus allen Leiden,
Rettet von Sünd’ und Tod.
Wir bitten dich von Herzen,
O Heiland, edles Kind,
Durch alle deine Schmerzen,
Wann wir fahren dahin
Aus diesem Jammertal,
Du wollest uns geleiten
Bis in der Engel Saal.
This carol seems to have had its beginning in the 15th of 16th century. Originally it was sung in honor of Mary. In the Alte Catholische Geistliche Kirchengesäng, Köln, 1599, it appeared in twenty-three stanzas. Michael Prätorius, in his Musae Sioniae, VI, 1609, brings only two stanzas, which are with but slight changes Stanzas 1 and 2 of our German text above. The second stanza had been altered to shift the emphasis from Mary to the Christ-child, for originally the second stanza read:
Das Röslein, das ich meine,
Davon Jesaias sagt,
Ist Maria, die reine,
Die uns das Blümlein bracht;
Aus Gottes ew’gem Rat
Hat sie ein Kind geboren
Und bleib ein’ reine Magd.
The carol was received into various German hymn-books, usually with alterations and in different centos. The Berlin Leiderschatz, in 1832 (or earlier), added the stanza which does not seem to have been among the original twenty-three stanzas.
The translation is By Harriet Krauth Spaeth, who published Stanzas 1 to 4 in 1875, and by John Caspar Mattes, who added Stanza 5 in 1914. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Beneath the cross of Jesus ◊ 330
This and a few other hymns were written a short time before Elizabeth Clephane passed out of this life into eternity. Her hymns are filled with intense love for the Savior, and they give pointed expression to the longing of the soul and the eternal hope of the Christian. “Beneath the cross of Jesus” was printed, 1872, in The Family Treasury, together with a few other hymns under the title Breathings on the Border. Among her other productions may be mentioned the famous Gospel Hymn, “There were ninety and nine that safely lay,” which became very popular and was extensively used at the revival meetings conducted by Moody and Sankey. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Beneath the cross of Jesus kneeling ◊ 288
Beside Thy manger* ◊ 129
(See: I stand beside Thy manger here)
Blessed is the man that never ◊ 457
BASED upon the first Psalm of David, this hymn appeared first in Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen, Berlin, 1653. It was published in Danish in 1740, in Pontoppidan’s Den Nye Psalme-Bog. The author of this version is not known. Landstad rendered a new translation for his hymnal published in 1869. The present English translation was rendered by the Rev. Carl Døving, 1906. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word ◊ 1
Str.1 Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, dich und dein Wort anzuhören; lenke Sinnen und Begier auf die süßen Himmelslehren, daß die Herzen von der Erden ganz zu dir gezogen werden.
Str.2 Unser Wissen und Verstand ist mit Finsternis verhüllet, wo nicht deines Geistes Hand uns mit hellem Licht erfüllet; Gutes denken, tun und dichten mußt du selbst in uns verrichten.
Str.3 O du Glanz der Herrlichkeit, Licht vom Licht, aus Gott geboren: mach uns allesamt bereit, öffne Herzen, Mund und Ohren; unser Bitten, Flehn und Singen laß, Herr Jesu, wohl gelingen.
“Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word,” appeared first in Altdorffisches Gesang-Büchlein, 1663. In 1676 it was taken into Clausnitzer’s hymn book at Nürnberg and has since been constantly used in Germany and in other Lutheran countries. The first Danish translation appeared in Pontoppidan’s Hymnary in 1740. The translator is not known. In Pontoppidan’s, as well as in the German hymnals, it is ordered to be sung “before the sermon,” but since Guldberg’s Hymnal appeared the hymn has been used as an opening hymn for the service. There are at least eleven English translations. The Lutheran Hymnary has made use of Miss Winkworth’s version. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Blessed Jesus, here we stand* ◊ 244
(See: Dearest Jesus! we are here)
Blest be the tie that binds ◊ 420
John Fawcett wrote this hymn in 1772. Miller, in his Singers and Songs Of the Church, 1869, describes the circumstances of its origin thus: “This favorite hyrnn is said to have been written in 1772 to commemorate the determination of its author to remain with his attached people at Wainsgate. The farewell sermon was preached, the wagons were loaded, when love and tears prevailed, and Dr. Fawcett sacrificed the attractions of a London pulpit to the affection of his poor but devoted flock.”
In Stanza 4, Line 1, Fawcett had:
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Blest is the man, forever blest ◊ 416
This is Isaac Watts’s long-meter version of Ps. 32. It appeared in his Psalms of David Imitated, 1719, headed “Repentance and Free Pardon; or, Justification and Sanctification.” Watts explains the liberty he has taken with the psalm thus:
These first two verses of this psalm being cited by the apostle in the 4th chapter of Romans to show the freedom of our pardon and justification by grace without works, I have, in this version of it, enlarged the sense, by mention of the blood of Christ and faith and repentance; and because the psalmist adds “A spirit in which is no guile,” I have inserted that sincere obedience, which is Scriptural evidence of our faith and justification. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Bread of the world, in mercy broken ◊ 312
Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light* ◊ 118
(See: Arise, my soul, sing joyfully)
Brethren, called by one vocation* ◊ 421
(See: We are called by one vocation)
Brief life is here our portion* ◊ 534
(See: The world is very evil)
Bright and glorious is the sky ◊ 120
Dejlig er den himmel blå,
lyst det er at se derpå,
hvor de gyldne stjerner blinke,
hvor de smile, hvor de vinke
os fra jorden op til sig.
Det var midt i julenat,
hver en stjerne glimted mat,
men med ét der blev at skue
én så klar på himlens bue
som en lille stjernesol.
Når den stjerne lys og blid
sig lod se ved midnatstid,
var det sagn fra gamle dage,
at en konge uden mage
skulle fødes på vor jord.
Vise mænd fra østerland
drog i verden ud på stand
for den konge at oplede,
for den konge at tilbede,
som var født i samme stund.
De ham fandt i Davids hjem,
de ham fandt i Betlehem,
uden spir og kongetrone,
der kun sad en fattig kone,
vugged barnet i sit skød.
Stjernen ledte vise mænd
til vor Herre Kristus hen;
vi har og en ledestjerne,
og når vi den følger gerne,
kommer vi til Jesus Krist.
Denne stjerne lys og mild,
som kan aldrig lede vild,
er hans guddoms-ord det klare,
som han os lod åbenbare
til at lyse for vor fod.
Brightest and best ◊ 169
AN Epiphany hymn. It was first published in The Christian Observer, November, 1811; later in Heber’s Posthumous Hymns. This hymn has been severely criticized. It has even been asserted that its use involves star worship (!). Others do not like the meter and rhythm, which they claim resembles a dance-tune. Some have taken it into their hymnals, only to exclude it from later editions. Still others have revised it considerably. But in spite of all this it has become one of the most favored of Heber’s hymns. Rev. R. Bingham has rendered it into Latin. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Built on the Rock ◊ 211
Kirken den er et gammelt Hus,
Staar, om end Taarnene falde;
Taarne fuld mange sank i Grus,
Klokker end kime og kalde,
Kalde paa Gammel og paa Ung,
Meest dog paa Sjælen træt og tung,
Syg for den evige Hvile.
Herren vor Gud vist ei bebor
Huse, som Hænder mon bygge,
Arke-Paulunet var paa Jord
Kun af hans Tempel en Skygge,
Selv dog en Bolig underfuld
Bygde han sig i os af Muld,
Reiste af Gruset i Naade.
Vi er Guds Hus og Kirke nu,
Bygget af levende Stene,
Som under Kors med ærlig Hu
Troen og Daaben forene;
Var vi paa Jord ei meer end To,
Bygge dog vilde han og bo
Hos os med hele sin Naade.
Samles vi kan da med vor Drot
Selv i den laveste Hytte,
Finde med Peder, der er godt,
Tog ei al Verden i Bytte,
Aand er og Liv i allen Stund
Ordet til os af Jesu Mund;
Ordet kun heiliger Huset.
Husene dog med Kirke-Navn,
Bygde til Frelserens Ære,
Hvor han de Smaa tog tidt i Favn,
Er os, aom Hjemmet, saa kjære,
Deilige Ting i dem er sagt,
Sluttet har der med os sin Pagt
Han, som os Himmerig skjänker.
Fonten os minder om vor Daab,
Altret om Nadverdena Naade,
Alt med Guds Ord om Tro og Haab
Og om Guds Rjærligheds Gaade,
Huset om ham hvis Ord bestaar:
Kristus, idag ait som igaar,
Evig Gude Søn, vor Gjenløser.
Give da Gud, at hvor vi bo,
Altid, naar Klokkerne ringe,
Folket forsamles i Jesu Tro
Der hvor det pleied at klinge:
Verden vel ei, men I mig ser,
Alt hvad jeg siger, se, det sker!
Fred være med eder alle!
WHEN Grundtvig prepared his Sangværk til den Danske Kirke, 1837, this famous hymn appeared in its first form. Later on, the author abbreviated and revised it. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
This hymn first appeared in N. F. S. Grundtvig’s Sangværk til den Danske Kirke, 1837. Later the author revised and abbreviated it as above. It has become one of the most popular hymns in the Church among Scandinavian Christians.
The translation is by Carl Døving, 1909, altered. It appeared in The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
By Adam’s fall ◊ 430
By faith we are divinely sure ◊ 229
By grace I’m saved ◊ 226
Aus Gnaden soll ich selig werden!
Herz, glaubst du’s, oder glaubst du’s nicht?
Was willst du dich so blöd’ gebärden?
Ist’s Wahrheit, was die Schrift verspricht,
So muss auch dieses Wahrheit sein:
Aus Gnaden ist der Himmel dein.
Aus Gnaden!—Hier gilt kein Verdienen,
Die eignen Werke fallen hin;
Gott, der aus Lieb’ im Fleisch erschienen,
Bringt uns den seligen Gewinn,
Dass uns sein Tod das Heil gebracht
Und uns aus Gnaden selig macht.
Aus Gnaden!—Merk dies Wort: Aus Gnaden,
Sooft dich deine Sünde plagt,
Sooft dir will der Satan schaden,
Sooft dich dein Gewissen nagt.
Was die Vernunft nicht fassen kann,
Das beut dir Gott aus Gnaden an.
Aus Gnaden kam sein Sohn auf Erden
Und übernahm die Sündenlast.
Was nötigt’ ihn, dein freund zu werden?
Sag’s, wo du was zu rühmen hast!
War’s nicht, dass er dein Bestes wollt’
Und dir aus Gnaden helfen sollt’?
Aus Gnaden!—Dieser Grund wird bleiben,
Solange Gott wahrhaftig heisst.
Was alle Knechte Jesu schreiben,
Was Gott in seinem Wort anpreist,
Worauf all unser Glaube ruht,
Ist Gnade durch des Lammes Blut.
Aus Gnaden bleibt dem blöden Herzen
Das Herz des Vaters aufgetan,
Wenn’s unter grösster Angst und Schmerzen
Nichts sieht und nichts mehr hoffen kann.
Wo nähm’ ich oftmals Stärkung her,
Wenn Gnade nicht mein Anker wär’!
Aus Gnaden!—Hierauf will ich sterben.
Ich fühle nichts, doch mir ist wohl;
Ich kenn’ mein sündliches Verderben,
Doch auch den der mich heilen soll.
Mein Geist ist froh, die Seele lacht,
Weil mich die Gnade selig macht.
Christian L. Scheidt based this hymn on Eph. 2: 8, 9. It was written in ten stanzas and appeared in the Ebersdorfer Gesangbuch, 1742. The cento omits Stanzas 6, 7, and 10. which read in the translation of M. Loy: [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Chief of sinners though I be ◊ 429
William McComb published this hymn in his Poetical Works, 1864. It is entitled “Christ All in All.” [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Children of the heavenly Father ◊ 174
Christ alone is our salvation ◊ 484
By an unknown author. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Christ is made the sure foundation ◊ 8
lapis Christus missus est
Qui conpage parietis
in utroque nectitur,
Quem Sion saneta suscepit,
In quo credena permanet.
Hoc in templo, summe Deus,
Et clementi bonitate
precum vota suscipe;
hic infunde iugiter.
Hic promereantur omnes
Et adepta possidere
cum sanctis perenniter,
translati in requiem.
Gloria et honor Deo
Una Patri Filioque
Cui laus est et potestas
per aeterna saecula.
This hymn is the second part of the hyrnn Urbs beata Ierusalem, by an unknown Latin writer of probably the eighth century, one stanza being omitted.
John M. Neale’s translation of the entire hymn appeared in his Mediaeval Hymns, 1851. It is as follows:
1. Blessed City, heavenly Salem,
Vision dear of peace and love,
Who, of living stones upbuilded,
Art the joy of heaven above:
And, with angel hosts encircled,
As a bride to earth dost move:
2. From celestial realms descending
Ready for the nuptial bed,
Decked with jewels, to His presence
By her Lord shall she be led:
All her streets and all her bulwarks
Of pure gold are fashionèd.
3. Bright with pearls her portal glitters,—
It is open evermore,—
And by virtue of their merits
Thither faithful souls may soar
Who for Christ’s dear name in this world
Pain and tribulation bore.
4. Many a blow and biting sculpture
Polished well those stones elect,
In their places now compacted
By the heavenly Architect;
Who therewith hath willed forever
That His palace should be decked.
5. Christ is made the sure Foundation,
And the precious Corner-stone,
Who, the twofold walls surmoumting,
Binds them closely into one;
Holy Sion’s Help forever
And her Confidence alone.
6. All that dedicated city,
Dearly loved by God on high,
In exultant Jubilation
Pours perpetual melody:
God the One and God the Trinal
7. To this temple, where we call Thee,
Come, O Lord of hosts, today.
With Thy wonted loving-kindness
Hear Thy servants as they pray
And Thy fullest benediction
Shed within these walls for aye.
8. Here vouchsafe to all Thy servants
That they supplicate to gain,
Here to have and hold forever
Those good things their prayers obtain,
And hereafter, in Thy glory,
With Thy blessed ones to reign.
9. Laud and honor to the Father,
Laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit
Ever Three and ever One:
While unending ages run.
[Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Originally this hymn had nine stanzas. It dates from the sixth or the seventh century. The Scriptural basis is as follows: I Pet. 2-5; Rev. 12; and Eph. 2:10. The author is unknown. The hymn is found in three manuscripts from the eleventh century, kept in the British Museum. Another manuscript dating from the same era is at St. Gall. The hymnologist, G. M. Dreves, published this hymn from a tenth century copy. It has also been treated in the works of Mone, Wackernagel, and many others.
This precious and popular hymn had a place in a large number of breviaries in the Middle Ages. It was ordered for use at church dedications and the like. In places it is given complete, but very often it is divided into two sections, so that the last five stanzas make up a separate hymn, beginning: “Angulare fundamentum lapis missus Christus est.” Out of this last section have been formed the two above mentioned hymns: No. 129 by J. M. Neale, and No. 130 by J. Chandler. Various versions based on the first four stanzas are found in some English hymnals. The one most commonly used is by Neale, “Blessed city, heavenly Salem, Vision dear of peace and love.” Hymns based on the second section, however, are much more numerous. Opinion is divided as to whether the sixth and seventh stanzas of the original are of the same age as the rest of the hymn. These stanzas have therefore often been printed separately. The original text has, no doubt, undergone many changes. Many centos have arisen due to various methods of grouping and treating the stanzas of this hymn. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Christ Jesus lay is death’s strong bands ◊ 343
Christ lag in Todesbanden,
Für unsre Sünd’ gegeben,
Der ist wieder erstanden
Und hat uns bracht das Leben.
Des wir sollen fröhlich sein,
Gott loben und dankbar sein
Und singen: Halleluja!
Str.2 Den Tod niemand zwingen konnt bei allen Menschenkindern; das macht alles unsre Sünd, kein Unschuld war zu finden. Davon kam der Tod so bald und nahm über uns Gwalt, hielt uns in seim Reich gefangen. Halleluja.
Str.3 Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn, an unser Statt ist kommen und hat die Sünd abgetan, damit dem Tod genommen all sein Recht und sein Gewalt; da bleibt nichts denn Tods Gestalt, den Stachel hat er verloren. Halleluja.
Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg,
Da Tod und Leben rungen;
Das Leben, das behielt den Sieg,
Es hat den Tod verschlungen.
Die Schrift hat verkündet das,
Wie ein Tod den andern frass,
Ein Spott der Tod ist worden.
Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm,
Davon Gott hat geboten,
Das ist dort an des Kreuzes Stamm
In heisser Lieb’ gebraten;
Des Blut zeichnet unsre Tür,
Das hält der Glaub’ dem Tot für,
Der Würger kann nicht würgen.
So feiern wir dies hohe Fest
Mit Herzensfreud’ und Wonne,
Das uns der Herre scheinen lässt;
Er ist selber die Sonne,
Der durch seiner Gnaden Glanz
Erleucht’t unsre Herzen ganz,
Der Sünd’ Nacht ist vergangen.
Wir essen nun und leben wohl
In rechten Osterfladen;
Der alte Sauerteig nicht soll
Sein bei dem Wort der Gnaden.
Christus will die Koste sein.
Und speisen die Seel’ allein;
Der Glaub’ kein’s andern lebet.
This Easter hymn was composed in 1524. It seems to be based upon an old spiritual folk song, as the heading indicates: Der Ostergesang: Christ ist erstanden, gebeszert. The stanza from this folk-song is as follows:
Christ ist erstanden von der marter aller, Des schüll wir allen fro sein, Christ scholl vnser trost sein.
Kyrioleis. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, des schüll wir allen fro sein, Christ scholl vnser trostt sein. Kyrioleis.
Besides this hymn it seems that Luther has had before him a “sequence” from the 11th century:
Victimae paschali laudes immolent Christiani. 2. Agnus redemit oves, Christus innocens patri reconciliavit peccatores. 3. Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando, dux vitae mortuus regnat vivus.
Luther emphasized the third strophe: Death and life met in a terrible conflict. The Prince of Life, though dead, lives and reigns. Luther also, in one of his sermons, refers to this strophe and gives the following comment upon it: “It is not possible to determine who wrote this hymn, but the author must have possessed deep spiritual insight, judging by the descriptive power and skill with which he portrays this struggle; death assailing life, the devil also wishing to destroy it; and Life, which is our Lord Jesus Christ, permitted itself to be slain; but Death made a grievous mistake, because Life in this person was eternal. But Death does not realize this; does not observe the eternal force and divine power hidden in the mortal body of this person. Death has misreckoned, it has outraged a person who cannot die, but who nevertheless dies. For, although the human nature in Christ really and truly died, the divine nature in Him was immortal, yet, during His suffering and death, it remained hidden in Him and —as the ancient church fathers said—it remained covered and did not shine forth or make itself known in order that the human might die. Here Death has done all it could do; it could not accomplish any more. But since this person, according to His divine nature, is perpetual life and can not remain in death, He arises again and tramples death and sin and the devil under foot and reigns thereafter in a new and eternal life against which neither sin, death, nor devils can prevail. This is a most wonderful sermon, never before heard in the world. Our understanding cannot grasp it, but we must accept it in faith: that Christ lives and yet dies upon Calvary, but dies in such a manner that life nevertheless reigns in Him, and that death must itself die in Him and thereby lose its power. This is proclaimed for our comfort in order that we might believe and teach that death has now lost its power over us. Here we have, God be praised, a Man whom death assails and slays like all other men, but as it slays Him, death must itself die and be swallowed up while on the other hand the Lamb that was slain, namely, Christ, lives to all eternity.” (Is. 25:8. Luther’s Haus-Postille.)
The fourth stanza of this hymn has brought comfort and cheer to many dying Christians. A story is told of a pious Christian woman living in Holstein about the year 1780. As she lay upon her deathbed, her pastor, visiting her for the last time, spoke to her concerning her spiritual condition and suggested that they sing the hymn, “Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands.” She followed softly. But on coming to the words, “An empty form alone remains; His sting is lost forever,” she raised herself in the bed, repeated the words in a low voice, but with beaming countenance, and straightway her soul was lifted to the bosom of her Savior.—When the court preacher, Hedinger (d. 1704), was cast upon the sick bed, he requested one of his friends, during a visit, to read Luther’s Easter hymn. As the words were read: “An empty form alone remains,” his friend remarked: “Therefore, merely a semblance of death, no real death any more.” But Hedinger exclaimed: “No, not a ‘semblance,’ ‘An empty form—an empty form alone remains.’” Luther’s famous Easter hymn has by many been ranked with his “A mighty fortress is our God”. Coverdale rendered it into English in 1539. There are in all 18 English translations. The translation in L. H. of st. 1, 4, 6, 7 is by R. Massie, 1854. The melody, which dates from the Middle Ages, was evidently worked over by Johann Walther, based upon the old version, “Christ ist erstanden.” It was first printed in the Erfurt Enchiridion, 1524.
* * *
The original “Christ ist erstanden” entered into the Latin liturgy used at services during the Middle Ages as a so-called “leise” (Kyrie eleison). As previously noted, however, it did not originate in the Latin but came into use first as a German stanza.
It is not likely that the original was written later than the 12th century, since the author of a 13th century MS. refers to it by merely citing the first line, taking for granted that the hymn was universally known. It was one of the most popular sequences and was included in all the major Latin plenaries and agendas from the century preceding the Reformation. It was used at the Catholic services throughout Germany. It was sung not only during services but also upon other occasions, as pilgrimages, processionals, Passion plays, and at private gatherings. An Augustinian monk relates from an Easter banquet given at the castle of Giebiechenstein, near Halle: “The host, the Margrave of Brandenburg, exclaimed: ‘Welcome, my dear abbot, let us go and wash ourselves before the meal!’ And when we were all washed the courtiers began to sing this stanza in German:
Christ ist uferstanden von der todes banden; des wollen wir alle fro sein, Gott will unser frost sein. Kyrieleisen!
When they had sung this three times, they sat down to the banquet.”—But the stanza has also been used as a hymn of victory in war. When the German Order of Knights, in July, 1410, after a fierce battle with the Polish army, succeeded in routing the enemy, this stanza was sung as a song of triumph upon the field of battle. During the Catholic Middle Period, this hymn was without doubt quite commonly used also in Denmark and Norway. This appears clearly from the index printed in Hans Thomissøn’s Hymn Book. This index bears the heading, “De gamle Sange som her været brugt i Pavedommet” (the old songs which have been used during the reign of Papacy). Among these he also mentions “Christ stod op aff døde” (Christ ist erstanden). In Geistliche Lieder, Erfurt, 1531, two stanzas have been added. Hans Thomissøn employed only the one stanza, but Grundtvig and Landstad, following Kingo, have adopted the hymn of three stanzas, and both of their versions are included in Landstad’s Hymn Book (343, 344). [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Christ the Lord is risen again ◊ 344
Christus ist erstanden
Von des Todes Banden;
Des freuet sich der Engel Schar,
Singend im Himmel immerdar:
Der für uns sein Leben
In Tod hat gegeben,
Der ist nun unser Osterlamm,
Des wir uns freuen allesamt.
Der, ans Kreuz gehangen,
Kein’n Trost konnt’ erlangen,
Der lebet nun in Herrlichkeit,
Uns zu vertreten stets bereit.
Der so ganz verachwiegen
Zur Hölle gestiegen,
Den wohlgerüst’ten Starken band,
Der wird nun in der Höh’ erkannt.
Der da lag begraben,
Der ist nun erhaben,
Und sein Tun wird kräftig erweist
Und in der Christenheit gepreist.
Er lässt nun verkünden
Vergebung der Sünden,
Und wie man die durch rechte Buss’
Nach seiner Ordnung suchen muss.
O Christe, Osterlamm,
Speis uns heut’ allesamt,
Nimm weg all unsre Missetat,
Dass wir dir singen früh und spat:
Michael Weisse first published this hymn in Ein New Gesengbuchlen, Jung Bunzlau, Bohemia, 1531. It is based on the ancient hymn “Christ ist erstanden.” (See Hymn No. 187.)
The translation is by Catherine Winkworth in her Lyra Germanica, second series, 1858, and in Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
OUR ELH version also combines the medieval Christ ist erstanden.
Christ ist erstanden
Von der Marter alle;
Des soll’n wir alle froh sein,
Christ will unser Trost sein.
Wär’ er nicht erstanden,
So wär’ die Welt vergangen;
Seit dass er erstanden ist,
So lob’n wir den Herrn Jesum Christ.
Des soll’n wir alle froh sein,
Christ will unser Trost sein.
This is the oldest Gerrnan Easter hymn and one of the earliest German hymns of any kind. According to Wackernegel it is found in four versions in the twelfth century. The same authority gives seventeen fifteenth-century versions that vary from five lines to eleven stanzas.
The three-stanza version is from Geistliche Lieder, Erfurt, 1531, and Klug’s Gesangbuch, Wittenberg, 1529. Luther’s estimate of it is this: “After a time one tires of singing all other hymns, but the ‘Christ ist erstanden’ one can always sing again.”
The translation is our own and was prepared in 1939 for The Lutheran Hymnal.
The tune “Christ ist erstanden” is as old as the hymn and is based on the Gregorian Chant for the Latin Easter sequence, “Victimae paschali.” (See Hymn No. 191.) [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Christ the Lord is risen today; Alleluia! ◊ 345
Laudes immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves;
Christus innocens Patri
Mors et vita duello
Dux vitae mortuus
“Dic nobis, Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?”
“Sepulchrum Christ! viventis,
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis;
Sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus, spes mea,
Praecedet suos in Galilea.”
Credendum est magis soli
Quam Iudaeorum turbae fallaci.
Scimus Christum resurrexisse
Ex mortuis vere.
Tu nobis, Victor Rex, miserere.
This ancient Easter sequence is of 11th- or 12th-century origin and of unknown authorship. It has been attributed to a number of medieval writers, but without any certainty. Luther estimated it highly and practically incorporated Stanza 3 in his hymn “Christ lag in Todesbanden.” (Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands).
The translation is by Jane E. Leeson and first appeared in H. Formby’s Hymns, 1851, where it is in four eight-line stanzas. Here the third stanza is omitted. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Christ, mighty Savior ◊ 567 [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Christ, the Life of all the living ◊ 333
Jesu, meines Lebens Leben,
Jesu, meines Todes Tod,
Der du dich für mich gegeben
In die tiefste Seelennot,
In das äusserste Verderben,
Nur dass ich nicht möchte sterben:
Tausend-, tansendmal sei dir,
Liebster Jesu, Dank dafür!
Du, ach, du hast ausgestanden
Lästerreden Spott und Hohn,
Speichel, Schläge, Strick’ und Bande,
Du gerechter Gottessohn,
Mich Elenden zu erretten
Von des Teufels Sündenketten!
Tausend-, tausendmal sei dir,
Liebster Jesu, Dank dafür!
Du hast lassen Wunden schlagen,
Dich erbärmlich richten zu,
Um zu heilen meine Plagen
Und zu setzen mich in Ruh’!
Ach’, du hast zu meinem Segen
Lassen dich mit Fluch belegen!
Tausend-, tausendmal sei dir,
Liebster Jesu, Dank dafür!
Man hat dich sehr hart verhöhnet,
Dich mit grossem Schimpf belegt
Und mit Dornen gar gekrönet:
Was hat dich dazu bewegt?
Dass du möchtest mich ergötzen,
Mir die Ehrenkron’ aufsetzen.
Tausend-, tausendmal sei dir,
Liebster Jesu, Dank dafür!
Du hast dich hart lassen schlagen
Zur Befreiung meiner Pein,
Fälschlich lassen dich anklagen.
Dass ich könnte sicher sein;
Dass ich möchte trostreich prangen,
Hast du sonder Trost gehangen.
Tausend-, tausendmal sei dir,
Liebster Jesu, Dank dafür!
Du hast dich in Not gestecket,
Hast gelitten mit Geduld,
Gar den herben Tod geschmecket,
Um zu büssen meine Schuld;
Dass ich würde losgezählet,
Hast du wollen sein gequälet.
Tausend-, tausendmal sei dir,
Liebster Jesu, Dank dafür!
Str.7 Deine Demut hat gebüßet meinen Stolz und Übermut, dein Tod meinen Tod versüßet; es kommt alles mir zugut Dein Verspotten, dein Verspeien muß zu Ehren mir gedeihen. Tausend-, tausendmal sei dir, liebster Jesu, Dank dafür.
Nun, ich danke dir von Herzen,
Jesu, für gesamte Not:
Für die Wunden, für die Schmerzen,
Für den herben, bittern Tod,
Für dein Zittern, für dein Zagen,
Für dein tausendfaches Plagen,
Für dein’ Angst und tiefe Pein
Will ich ewig dankbar sein.
Ernst Homburg published this hymn for Passiontide with its striking refrain in his collection Geistliche Lieder, which was published in two parts, at Jena and Naumburg, 1659. This hymn was in Part I (according to Koch this part has the engraved title, Naumburg, 1658). It was headed “Hymn of Thanksgiving to His Redeemer and Savior for His Bitter Sufferings.” In the preface to his Geistliche Lieder Homburg states: “I was specially induced and compelled [to the writing of hymns] by the anxious and sore domestic afflictions by which God… has for some time laid me aside.”
The omitted Stanza 7 reads in translation, without the refrain:
That Thou wast so meek and stainless
Doth atone for my proud mood;
And Thy death makes dying painless,
All Thy ills have wrought our good;
Yea, the shame Thou didst endure
Is my honor and my cure.
Catherine Winkworth’s translation of this hymn in her Chorale Book for England, 1863, omits Stanzas 3, 4, and 6 and also departs slightly from the original meter. The translation above is based on her text for Stanzas 1, 2, 5, and 7. Stanzas 3, 4, and 6 are a composite translation from the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, 1912.
The tune “Jesu, meines Lebens Leben” is from Kirchengesangbuch, Darmstadt, 1687. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
“OF my life the life, O Jesus!” [also translated Christ, the Life of all the living] was published in Homburg’s Geistliche Lieder, 2nd part, 1659. Schamelius says: “He composed this hymn in order to find comfort during adversities, and he lays especial stress upon what Jesus suffered and why He suffered; the suffering itself and its purpose and efficacy.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Christians, come, in sweetest measures ◊ 411
This cento is from a Latin sequence, c. 1150, ascribed to Adam of St. Victor. The original poem is in ten stanzas, of which the cento includes Stanzas 1, and 8 to 10. The Latin text of Stanzas 1 and 8, reads:
Iucundare, plebs fidelis,
cuius Pater est in caelis,
est Iohannes testis ipsi,
scribens in Apocalypsi,
‘Vere vidi, vere scripsi
Paradisus his rigatur,
viret, floret, fecundatur;
his abundat, his rigatur
Fons est Christus, hi sunt rivi;
fons est altus, hi proclivi,
ut saporem fontis vivi
The translation is an altered form of that by Robert Campbell in his Hymns and Anthems, 1850. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Christians, prayer may well employ you* ◊ 518
(See: Rise! To arms…)
Come down, O Love divine ◊ 9
Come to Calvary’s holy mountain ◊ 412
IN that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1; John 4:14; 2 Kings 5:13; Heb. 10:22; 1 John l:7).
This hymn appeared first in Cotterill’s Selection, 1819, under the title A Fountain opened for Sin and Uncleanness. It was printed in Christian Psalmist, 1825, and has been given a place in many leading hymn books. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come unto Me, ye weary ◊ 413
COME unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
This hymn was written in 1867, and was first published in The People’s Hymnal in that year. It ranks as one of the best of Mr. Dix’s hymns, and is found in a number of leading hymn books in England and in America. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, follow Me, the Savior spake ◊ 422
Str.1 "Mir nach", spricht Christus, unser Held, "mir nach, ihr Christen alle! Verleugnet euch, verlaßt die Welt, folgt meinem Ruf und Schalle; nehmt euer Kreuz und Ungemach auf euch, folgt meinem Wandel nach.
Str.2 Ich bin das Licht, ich leucht euch für mit heilgem Tugendleben. Wer zu mir kommt und folget mir, darf nicht im Finstern schweben. Ich bin der Weg, ich weise wohl, wie man wahrhaftig wandeln soll.
Str.3 Ich zeig euch das, was schädlich ist, zu fliehen und zu meiden und euer Herz von arger List zu rein'gen und zu scheiden. Ich bin der Seelen Fels und Hort und führ euch zu der Himmelspfort.
Str.4 Fällt's euch zu schwer? Ich geh voran, ich steh euch an der Seite, ich kämpfe selbst, ich brech die Bahn, bin alles in dem Streite. Ein böser Knecht, der still mag stehn, sieht er voran den Feldherrn gehn.
Str.5 Wer seine Seel zu finden meint, wird sie ohn mich verlieren; wer sie um mich verlieren scheint, wird sie nach Hause führen. Wer nicht sein Kreuz nimmt und folgt mir, ist mein nicht wert und meiner Zier."
Str.6 So laßt uns denn dem lieben Herrn mit unserm Kreuz nachgehen und wohlgemut, getrost und gern in allem Leiden stehen. Wer nicht gekämpft, trägt auch die Kron des ewgen Lebens nicht davon.
Mir nach! spricht Christus, unser Held,
Mir nach, ihr Christen alle!
Verleugnet euch, verlasst die Welt,
Folgt meinem Ruf und Schalle,
Nehmt euer Kreuz und Ungemach
Auf euch, folgt meinem Wandel nach!
Ich bin das Licht, ich leucht’ euch für
Mit heil’gem Tugendleben.
Wer zu mir kommt und folget mir,
Darf nicht im Finstern schweben.
Ich bin der Weg, ich weise wohl,
Wie man wahrhaftig wandeln soll.
Mein Herz ist voll Demütigkeit,
Voll Liebe meine Seele;
Mein Mund, der fleusst zu jeder Zeit
Von süssem Sanftmutsöle;
Mein Geist, Gemüte, Kraft und Sinn
Ist Gott ergeben, schaut auf ihn.
Ich zeig’ euch das, was schädlich ist.
Zu fliehen und zu meiden
Und euer Herz von arger List
Zu rein’gen und zu scheiden.
Ich bin der Seelen Fels und Hort
Und führ’ euch zu der Himmelspfort’.
So lasst uns denn dem lieben Herrn
Mit Leib und Seel’ nachgehen
Und wohlgemut getrost und gern
Bei ihm im Leiden stehen!
Denn wer nicht kämpft, trägt auch die Kron’
Des ew’gen Lebens nicht davon.
Johann Scheffler (Angelus Silesius) based this hymn on Matt. 16:24. It appeared in his Heilige Seelenlust, 1668, in six stanzas, entitled “She [the Soul] Encourages to the Following of Christ.” In the Geistreiches Gesang-Buch, Halle, 1704, Stanza 4 was added. Its author is unknown. The hymn has been called “a masterpiece of Scriptural didachic poetry.”
The translation, altered, is by Charles W. Schaeffer. It appeared in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, 1912. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest ◊ 10
Veni, Creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita,
Imple superna gratia
Quae Tu creasti pectora.
Qui Paracletus diceris,
Donum Dei altissimi,
Fons vivus, Ignis, Charitas,
Et spiritalis Unctio.
Tu septiformis munere,
Dextrae Dei Tu digitus,
Tu rite promisso Patris,
Sermone ditas guttura.
Accende lumen sensibus,
Infunde amorem cordibus,
Infirma nostri corporis
Virtute firmans perpeti.
Hostem repellas longius,
Pacemque dones protinus,
Ductore sic Te praevio
Vitemus omne noxium.
Per Te sciamus, da, Patrem,
Noscamus atque Filium,
Te utriusque Spiritum
Credamus omni tempore.
Sit laus Patri cum Filio,
Sancto simul Paracleto,
Nobisque mittat Filius
Charisma Sancti Spiritus.
Str.1 Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist, besuch das Herz der Menschen dein, mit Gnaden sie füll, denn du weißt, daß sie dein Geschöpfe sein.
Str.2 Denn du bist der Tröster genannt, des Allerhöchsten Gabe teu'r, ein geistlich Salb an uns gewandt, ein lebend Brunn, Lieb und Feu'r.
Str.3 Zünd uns ein Licht an im Verstand, gib uns ins Herz der Lieb Inbrunst, das schwach Fleisch in uns, dir bekannt, erhalt fest dein Kraft und Gunst.
Str.4 Du bist mit Gaben siebenfalt der Finger an Gotts rechter Hand; des Vaters Wort gibst du gar bald mit Zungen in alle Land.
Str.5 Des Feindes List treib von uns fern, den Fried schaff bei uns deine Gnad, daß wir deim Leiten folgen gern und meiden der Seelen Schad.
Str.6 Lehr uns den Vater kennen wohl, dazu Jesus Christ, seinen Sohn, daß wir des Glaubens werden voll, dich, beider Geist, zu verstehn.
Str.7 Gott Vater sei Lob und dem Sohn, der von den Toten auferstand, dem Tröster sei dasselb getan in Ewigkeit alle Stund.
Conflicting claims have been advanced concerning the authorship of this hymn. Among others the following have been mentioned: Emperor Charles the Great (d. 8 14); Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604); Bishop Ambrose; and Rabanus Maurus (d. 856). The results of the latest investigations, however, point to the last named as the author. The hymn is first mentioned toward the close of the ninth century. Dreves, one of the leading men in hymnological research, and other scholars with him, have through comparative study of manuscripts, verse form, rhythm, and accent, come to the conclusion that this hymn must have been written by Rabanus Maurus, whose hymns are marked by unique characteristics.
This hymn has won universal recognition throughout the Christian Church. It has been used not only during the Pentecost season but especially on great festive occasions, such as the coronation of kings, the ordination of ministers and bishops, and the opening of synods and church councils. It has been used as a Pentecost hymn from the tenth century and on. During the singing of this hymn the church bells were tolled, incense was offered, all the candles were lighted, and the priests appeared in complete garb. It was a common saying that “this hymn was so beloved of the Triune God that when we in our hearts sincerely mean what we here with our mouth confess, the Holy Spirit cannot but come with His sevenfold gifts to us who sing it” (Is. 11:2). Also in our Church this hymn is regularly used at ordination services (there are some, however, who show a tendency to ignore established church customs by reconstructing the ritual for ordination and giving it rather the characteristic of an “impromptu program”. As early as the 12th century this hymn was rendered in German. Another German translation appeared in the 15th century. The original Latin version contains six stanzas. Later a doxology was added. This appears in different forms in various editions.
In 1524 appeared Luther’s redaction of the hymn: Der hymnus: Veni Creator Spiritus, etc., verdeutscht; Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist, of seven stanzas. In Luther’s version, as also in the Danish-Norwegian and Swedish translations, the third and fourth stanzas of the original have been interchanged. The hymn appeared in Danish in the first edition of Claus Mortensen’s Hymnal of 1528: Een ny handbog med Psalmer oc aandelige lofsange, etc.: “Kom Gud Skaber hellige Aand.” There are a number of later translations and revisions, among these also one by Grundtvig. Our present English translation follows the version of E. Caswall (1849) and others. There are between 50 and 60 English translations from the Latin original, and at least eight from Luther’s version.
The same melody has been continually employed with this hymn from the earliest period, in fact it was used before this hymn was written, as the setting for: “Hic est dies verus Dei,” an Easter hymn written by Ambrose. Thus it comes to us as an “echo” of the ancient Ambrosian church song. Johann Walther used it as a setting for Luther’s translation, and it was printed in Erfurter Enchiridion, 1524. In Klug’s Geistliche Lieder, 1535, another version appears, which has virtually the same form as the one commonly used by us. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord! ◊ 2
Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott,
Erfüll mit deiner Gnaden Gut
Deiner Gläubigen Herz, Mut und Sinn.
Dein’ brünstig Lieb’ entzünd’ in ihn’n!
O Herr, durch deines Lichtes Glast
Zu dem Glauben versammelt hast
Das Volk aus aller Welt Zungen;
Das sei dir Herr, zu Lob gesungen!
Du heiliges Licht, edler Hort,
Lass uns leuchten des Lebens Wort
Und lehr uns Gott recht erkennen,
Von Herzen Vater ihn nennen!
O Herr, behüt vor fremder Lehr’,
Dass wir nicht Meister suchen mehr
Denn Jesum mit rechtem Glauben
Und ihm aus ganzer Macht vertrauen!
Du heilige Brunst, süsser Trost,
Nun hilf uns fröhlich und getrost
In dein’m Dienst beständig bleiben,
Die Trübsal uns nicht abtreiben!
O Herr, durch dein’ Kraft uns bereit
Und stärk des Fleisches Blödigkeit,
Dass wir hier ritterlich ringen,
Durch Tod und Leben zu dir dringen!
Wackernagel gives a double form of stanza one, from two manuscripts of the 15th century at München; one from the Basel Plenarium, 1514, and one from the Obsequiale, Ingolstadt, 1570. This stanza is a translation from an antiphon, not earlier than the 11th century, which reads:
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium et tui amoris in eis ignem accende. Qui per diversitatem linguarum qunctarum gentes in unitatem fidei congregasti. Halleluia, Halleluia.
This antiphon, written by an unknown author, has been called Antiphona de sancto Spiritu or Antiphona in vigilia pentecostes. Baumker says that the Latin antiphon is still sung in many dioceses in Germany on Sundays before high mass. According to the old ritual for the Danish-Norwegian Church, it is still used at ordination services, sung in Latin with Psalm 104:30 added: “Emitte Spiritum tuum, Domine, et creabuntur, et renovabis faciem terrae.” The first Danish translation dates from 1514; the second is given by Hans Thomissøn, 1569; and the third by Grundtvig, 1868.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Reple; Grundtvig’s translation (Landst. 21):
Kom Helligaand, opfyld med Lyst Din troende Forsamlings Bryst/ Med Himlens Ild du os antende, aff Kristi Kjærlighed at brende! For Hjerterne dig aabenbar, Oplys dem med din Lampe klar, Saa alle Tunger trindt paa Jord Samstemmig prise Troens Ord! Halleluja, Halleluja!
Die antiphona: Veni, Sancte Spiritus, etc. verdeutscht: Luther adopted, with a few changes, the old German translation, concerning which he says that the Holy Ghost inspired it both as to its words and melody. Luther added two original stanzas. J. F. Lambert says in Luther’s Hymns: “This hymn is an animated prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit. He shall be the inhabitant of the souls of men, and shall blow gently over the nations. Stanza 1 shows that the Holy Spirit must be glorified among the nations as the Lord who holds them together, through the effulgence of His light; 2: the light of the Holy Spirit is seen and known through the Word, and is implored to teach men to seek their salvation through the knowledge of God, and to fix their hopes on Christ alone; 3: the Holy Spirit, as a sacred flame and heavenly fire, guides men, also when they are under the cross, to a lasting service of God and to victory.”
According to Klippgen, the character of the hymn shows that it originated during the time of the Diet of Worms (?). It appeared in the Erfurt Enchiridion and Walther’s book of 1524 and 1525. It was published by Klug and other authors. Leonard Keyser, a Roman priest, was burned alive, in Passau, August 16, 1527, on account of his Evangelical preaching. He implored the multitude standing by to assist him in his prayers for all his foes, and that he might remain steadfast in the faith, even unto death. While his enemies bound him hand and foot upon the funeral pyre, he begged the multitude to sing: “Komm Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott.” Speaking of this pious man and his horrible death, Luther said: “O Lord God, that I might be worthy of such a confession and death! What am I? What am I doing? How ashamed I feel, when I read this account, that I have not been worthy of having suffered a similar fate long since.—Well, if it shall be so, then let it be! Thy will be done!”—In the Peasants’ War the hymn was sung by Münzer and his forces immediately before the battle of Frankenhausen, May 25, 1525.
Caroline Perthes Homburg, daughter of Matthias Claudius, sent birthday greetings January 16, 1821, to her son, Matthias, a student in the university, saying: “My most earnest birthday wish and prayer for you is:
Thou strong defense, Thou holy Light, Teach me to know our God aright, and call Him Father from the heart: The Word of Life and Truth impart, That he may love not doctrines strange, Nor e’er to other teachers range; But Jesus for his Master own, and put his trust in Him alone.
“My beloved child, may God fulfil this prayer to you!” (Partly from J. F. Lambert, Luther’s Hymns.) The Norwegian version is by M. B. Landstad; the English translation by R. Massie, 1854, somewhat altered. The melody is by Johann Walther, 1524. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, Holy Ghost, in love ◊ 11
Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
Et emitte caelitus
Lucis tuae radium:
Veni, Pater pauperum;
Veni, Dator munerum;
Veni, Lumen cordium,
Dulcis Hospes animae,
In labore Requies,
In aestu Temperies,
In fletu Solacium.
O Lux beatissima,
Reple cordis intima
Sine tuo numine
Nihil est in homine,
Nihil est innoxium.
Lava, quod est sordidum,
Riga, quod est aridum,
Rege, quod est devium,
Fove, quad est languidum,
Flecte, quad est rigidum,
Sana, quod est saucium.
Da tuis fidelibus
In te confldentibus
Da virtutis meritum,
Da salutis exitum,
Da perenne gaudium. Amen.
This is the Golden Sequence, one of the “loveliest of all the hymns in the whole circle of Latin poetry” (Archbishop Trent). It is of early thirteenth-century origin, although of uncertain authorship. It has been attributed to Robert II of France, Stephen Langton, Innocent III, and others. The authorship of the last-named is considered the most plausible by competent authorities.
The translation is by Ray Palmer and first appeared in the Sabbath Hymn Book, Andover, 1858. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
First stanza: Veni, sancte spiritus, Et emitte coelitus, Lucis tuae radium. Veni, pater pauperum, Veni, dator munerum, Veni, lumen cordium.
This is one of the most beautiful sequences in the Latin language. It has been called “the golden sequence.” A critic of the 16th century writes as follows: “Nor indeed, in my opinion, can this poem be sufficiently praised; for it is above all praise, whether by reason of its wonderful sweetness along with a most clear and flowing style, or by reason of its agreeable brevity, along with wealth and profusion of ideas, especially as almost every line expresses an idea, or finally by reason of its elegant grace of structure.” Archbishop Trench says: “The loveliest of all hymns in the whole circle of Latin poetry. It could only have been composed by one who had been acquainted with many sorrows and also with many consolations.” The hymn evidently dates from the beginning of the 13th century. The verse form employed is not known to have been used earlier than 1150. It is not definitely known who wrote the hymn. Several authorities have referred it to Pope Innocent III (d. 1216). Others have mentioned Herman Contractus (d. 1054), Stephen Langdon (d. 1228), and King Robert II of France (d. 1031).
Innocent III (Lothario Conti) was born in Anagni 1161. He became favorably known in Paris, Bologna, and Rome. He became cardinal at an early age and was elected pope in 1198, 37 years of age. During his reign the See of Rome rose to its highest point of power. His unblemished life and noble character, his mild yet firm and kindly manner and exceptional ability won for him a place of extraordinary power and influence. A number of hymns have been ascribed to him. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, let us join our cheerful songs ◊ 66
Isaac Watts published this hyrnn in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707, in five stanzas. The omitted Stanza 4 reads:
Let all that dwell above the sky
And air and earth and seas
Conspire to lift Thy glories high
And speak Thine endless praise. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Come, let us with our Lord arise ◊ 3
Come, my soul ◊ 381
This hymn of John Newton’s is based on I Kings 3:5: “In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.” The hymn was published in the collection of Olney Hymns, 1779, and is one of Newton’s most popular hymns. It was used very frequently in Spurgeon’s tabernacle in London. Spurgeon requested that the hymn be sung softly and subdued immediately before the general prayer. The original contained seven stanzas. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, O come, Thou quickening Spirit ◊ 438
Komm, o komm, du Geist des Lebens,
Wahrer Gott von Ewigkeit!
Deine Kraft sei nicht vergebens,
Sie erfüll’ uns jederzeit;
So wird Geist und Licht und Schein
In dem dunkeln Herzen sein.
Gib in unser Herz und Sinnen
Weisheit, Rat, Verstand und Zucht,
Dass wir andres nichts beginnen,
Denn was nur dein Wille sucht!
Dein’ Erkenntnis werde gross
Und mach uns von Irrtum los!
Zeige, Herr, die Wohlfahrtsstege!
Das, was wider dich getan,
Räume ferner aus dem Wege;
Schlecht und recht sei um und an!
Wirke Reu’ an Sünden Statt,
Wenn der Fuss gestrauchelt hat!
Lass uns stets dein Zeugnis fühlen,
Dass wir Gottes Kinder sind,
Die auf ihn alleine zielen,
Wenn sich Not und Drangsal find’t;
Denn des Vaters liebe Rut’
Ist uns allewege gut.
Reiz uns, dass wir zu ihm treten
Frei mit aller Freudigkeit;
Seufz auch in uns, wenn wir beten,
Und vertritt uns allezeit!
So wird unsre Bitt’ erhört
Und die Zuversicht gemehrt.
Wird auch uns nach Troste bange,
Dass das Herz oft rufen muss:
Ach, mein Gott, mein Gott, wie lange?
Ei, so mache den Beschluss;
Sprich der Seele tröstlich zu
Und gib Mut, Geduld und Ruh’!
O du Geist der Kraft und Stärke.
Du gewisser, neuer Geist,
Fördre in uns deine Werke,
Wenn der Satan Macht beweist;
Schenk uns Waffen in dem Krieg
Und erhalt in uns den Sieg!
Herr, bewahr auch unsern Glauben,
Dass kein Teufel, Tod noch Spott
Uns denselben möge rauben!
Du bist unser Schutz und Gott.
Sagt das Fleisch gleich immer nein,
Lass dein Wort gewisser sein.
Wenn wir endlich sollen sterben,
So versichre uns je mehr,
Als des Himmelreiches Erben,
Jener Herzlichkeit und Ehr’,
Die uns unser Gott erkiest
Und nicht auszusprechen ist.
This hymn appeared first in Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, 1664. It was written by Heinrich Held, a lawyer of Guthrau, Silesia, educated in Königsberg, d. cat 1659. The Danish translator is unknown. Our present English version was rendered by Dr. C. W. Schaffer (b. 1813 in Maryland; d. 1896), professor of theology at the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, Thou almighty King ◊ 12
Charles Wesley is mentioned in many hymnals as the author of this hymn, which is used extensively throughout the English speaking world. But it is not found in Wesley’s collection of 1779. The meter is also different from that of Wesley’s hymns. The hymn is found in a collection edited by Rev. Spencer Madan, in his 3rd edition, 1763. It appears there with the melody “God save the king” (America). George Whitefield had taken the hymn into a collection published by him at an earlier date. In that issue the hymn is called an Hymn to the Trinity. During the Revolutionary War, while the English yet controlled Long Island, the English troops one Sunday morning marched into a church and ordered the congregation to sing “God save the king.” The congregation sang the melody of the Old Royal hymn, but the text with the following words:
Come, Thou almighty King, Help us Thy name to sing, Help us to praise; Father all glorious, O’er all victorious, Come and reign over us, Ancient of days. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, Thou bright and Morning Star ◊ 75
Morgenglanz der Ewigkeit,
Licht vom unerschöpften Lichte,
Schick uns diese Morgenzeit
Deine Strahlen zu Gesichte
Und vertreib durch deine Macht
Deiner Güte Morgentau
Fall’ auf unser matt Gewissen,
Lass die dürre Lebensau
Lauter süssen Trost geniessen
Und erquick uns, deine Schar,
Gib, dass deiner Liebe Glut
Unsre kalten Werke töte,
Und erweck uns Herz und Mut
Bei entstandner Morgenröte,
Dass wir, eh’ wir gar vergehn,
Ach du Aufgang aus der Höh’,
Gib, dass auch am Jüngsten Tage
Unser Leichnam aufersteh’
Und, erfernt von aller Plage,
Sich auf jener Freudenbahn
Leucht uns seibst in jene Welt.
Du verklärte Gnadensonne,
Führ uns durch das Tränenfeld
In das Land der ew’gen Wonne,
Wo die Lust, die uns erhöht,
This cento is composed of Stanzas 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7 of the hymn written by Christian Knorr, Baron von Rosenroth. The hymn was first published in the baron’s Neuer Helicon mit seinen Neun Musen, etc., Nürnberg, 1684. The omitted stanzas are:
2. Die bewölkte Finsternis
Müsse deinem Glanz entfliehen.
Die durch Adams Apfelbiss
Über uns sich müsste ziehen,
Dass wir, Herr, durch deinen Schein
5. Lass uns ja das Sündenkleid
Durch des Bundesblut vermeiden,
Dass uns die Gerechtigkeit
Möge wie ein Rock bekleiden
Und wir so vor aller Pein
Fischer says it is “one of the freshest, most original, and spirited of morning hymns, as if born from the dew of the sunrise.”
Knorr based his hymn on the following by Martin Opitz, translated by C. W. Shields, Sacred Lyrics, Philadelphia, 1859:
O Holy Light, of Light engendered,
O glorious Sun of Righteousness,
Again as erst from chaos rendered,
Thou dost our waking vision bless,
Thanks and adoration!
Well a new oblation
Such new grate beseems;
Gift of sinful spirits,
Purge it by Thy merits
In Thy cleansing beams.
Now let the glory of Thy dawning
On our benighted souls arise;
Where’er Thou shinest, Star of Morning,
The gloom of sin and sorrow flies.
See, O Lord, we wander;
Darkened paths we ponder,
Lost from Wisdom’s way.
Oh, dispel our terror,
And this night of error
Turn to glorious day.
Julian says that Knorr’s hymn is “more happily expressed and has attained greater popularity.”
The translation is by Richard Massie, contributed to Mercer’s Church Psalter and Hymn Book, 1857, and in his own Lyra Domestica, 1864. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus ◊ 87
The collection, Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord, 1744, brought out the first edition of this hymn. It found a place in many hymnals, but it was not included in Wesley’s Hymn Book until the revised edition appeared in 1875. It is sung extensively both in England and in America, especially in the Episcopalian Church. In some hymnals the first line has been rewritten as follows: “Come, O (Thou) Savior, long expected,” or “Hail, Thou long expected Jesus.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, Thou precious ransom, come ◊ 88
Komm, du wertes Lösegeld,
Dessen alle Heiden hoffen;
Komm, o Heiland aller Welt,
Tor’ und Türen stehen offen;
Komm in ungewohnter Zier,
Komm, wir warten mit Begier!
Zeuch auch in mein Herz hinein,
O du grosser Ehrenkönig,
Lass mich deine Wohnumg sein!
Bin ich armer Mensch zu wenig,
Ei, so soll mein Reichtum sein,
Dass du bei mir ziehest ein.
Nimm mein Hosianna an
Mit den Siegespalmenzweigen!
Soviel ich nur immer kann,
Will ich Ehre dir erzeigen
Und im Glauben dein Verdienst
Mir zueignen zum Gewinst.
Hosianna, Davids Sohn!
Ach Herr, hilf, lass wohl gelingen!
Lass dein Zepter, Reich und Kron’
Uns viel Heil und Segen bringen,
Dass in Ewigkeit besteh’:
Hosianna in der Höh!
Johann Gottfried Olearius first published this hymn in his book Jesus! Poetische Erstlinge an geistlichen Deutschen Liedern und Madrigalen, Halle, 1664. It is based on Matt. 21: 5-9. It was entitled “On Advent.” The hymn has long been a favorite Advent hymn in the Lutheran Church.
The translation is by Prof. August Crull, somewhat altered. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Come, Thou Savior of our race* ◊ 90
(See: Savior of the nations, come)
Come, ye faithful, raise the strain ◊ 347
Aiswmen, panteV laoi,
tw ek pikraV douleiaV
Faraw ton Israhl apallaxanti
kai en buqw qalasshV
podi abrocwV odhghsanti
Shmeron ear yucwn,
oti CristoV ek tafou,
wsper hlioV, eklamyaV trihmeroV
ton zoferon ceimwna
aphlase thV amartiaV hmwn,
H basiliV twn wrwn
th lamproforw hmera
hmerwn te basilidi fanotata
ton egkriton thV ekklhsiaV laon,
ton anastata Criston.
Pulai qanatou, Criste,
oude tou tafou sfragideV,
oude kleiqra twn qurwn Soi antesthsan,
all¢ anastaV epesthV
toiV filoiV sou eirhnhn, Despota,
dwroumenoV thn panta
This hymn by John of Damascus was written about the middle of the eighth century. It is based on the Song of Moses, Ex. 15. The translation is an altered form of that by John M. Neale in the Christian Remembrances, 1859. Neale’s original is as follows:
1. Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness!
God hath brought His Israel
Into joy from sadness:
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke
Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot
Through the Red Sea waters.
2. ‘Tis the spring of souls today:
Christ hath burst His prison
And from three days’ sleep in death
As a sun hath risen.
All the winter of our sins,
Long and dark, is flying
From His light, to whom we give
Laud and praise undying.
3. Now the queen of seasons, bright
With the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts,
Comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem,
Who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains
4. Neither might the gates of death
Nor the tomb’s dark portal
Nor the watchers nor the seal
Hold Thee as a mortal;
But today amidst the Twelve
Thou didst stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore
Passeth human knowing.
This hymn is the first ode found in the so-called Pentecostarium. It was written by John of Damascus for the St. Thomas festival. Its Biblical basis is Exodus 2:15: “Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.” In all the English versions it is commonly employed as an Easter hymn. The first half of the original was rendered into English by Neale for his Hymns of the Eastern Church. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, ye thankful people, come ◊ 461
THIS hymn appeared in Alford’s Psalms and Hymns Adapted to the Sundays and Holidays throughout the Year, 1844. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Come, your hearts and voices raising ◊ 128
Kommt und lasst uns Christum ehren,
Herz und Sinnen zu ihm kehren!
Singet fröhlich, lasst euch hören,
Wertes Volk der Christenheit!
Sünd’ und Hölle mag sich grämen,
Tod und Teufel mag sich schämen.
Wir, die unser Heil annehmen.
Werfen allen Kummer hin.
Sehet, was hat Gott gegeben!
Seinen Sohn zum ew’gen Leben!
Dieser kann und will uns heben
Aus dem Leid in’s Himmels Freud’.
Seine Seel’ ist uns gewogen,
Lieb’ und Gunst hat ihn gezogen,
Uns, die Satanas betrogen.
Zu besuchen aus der Höh’.
Jakobs Stern ist aufgegangen,
Stillt das sehnliche Verlangen,
Bricht den Kopf der alten Schlange
Und zerstört der Hölle Reich.
Unser Kerker, da wir sassen
Und mit Sorgen ohne Massen
Uns das Herze selbst abfrassen,
Ist entzwei, und wir sind frei.
O du hochgesegn’te Stunde,
Da wir das von Herzensgrunde
Glauben und mit unserm Munde
Danken dir, O Jesulein!
Schönstes Kindlein in dem Stalle,
Sei uns freundlich, bring uns alle
Dahin, wo mit süssem Schalle
Dich der Engel Heer erhöht!
This hymn by Paul Gerhardt was first published in Johann Ebeling’s Geistliche Andachten, Berlin, 1667. It is based on Luke 2: 15.
The composite translation was prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Comfort, comfort ye My people ◊ 102
Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben,
Tröstet mein Volk, spricht mein Gott;
Tröstet, die sich jetzt betrüben
Über Feindes Hohn und Spott.
Weil Jerusalem wohl dran,
Redet sie gar freundlich an;
Denn ihr Leiden hat ein Ende,
Ihre Ritterschaft ich wende.
Ich vergeb’ all ihre Sünden,
Ich tilg’ ihre Missetat,
Ich will nicht mehr sehn noch finden,
Was die Straf’ erwecket hat;
Sie hat ja zweifältig Leid
Schon empfangen; ihre Freud’
Soll sich täglich neu vermehren
Und ihr Leid in Freud’ verkehren.
Eine Stimme lässt sich hören
In der Wüste weit und breit,
Alle Menschen zu bekehren:
Macht dem Herrn den Weg bereit,
Machet Gott ein’ ebne Bahn;
Alle Welt soll heben an,
Alle Tale zu erhöhen,
Dass die Berge niedrig stehen.
Ungleich soll nun eben werden
Und was höckricht, gleich und schlecht;
Alle Menschen hier auf Erden
Sollen leben schlecht und recht;
Denn des Herren Herzlichkeit,
Offenbar zu dieser Zeit,
Macht, dass alles Fleisch kann sehen,
Wie, was Gott spricht, muss geschehen.
This hymn by Johann Olearius was originally written for the festival of St. John the Baptist and is based on Is. 40:1-8, the Epistle for that day. It appeared in the author’s Geistliche Singe-Kunst, Leipzig, 1671.
The translation is an altered form of Catherine Winkworth’s Chorale Book for England 1863. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]
Designated for John the Baptist’s Day, this hymn was printed in the author’s Geistliche Singe-Kunst, 1671, under the title Meditation upon the Text for the Day. The English translation is by Miss Winkworth. It was first published in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Commit whatever grieves thee* ◊ 208
(See: Thy way and all thy sorrows)
Creator of the starry height ◊ 108
AMBROSE has been mentioned as the author, but the Benedictine writers and other recognized investigators do not list this hymn among the hymns ascribed to Ambrose. The oldest manuscripts, of Bern and München, date from the ninth and tenth centuries. In England there are several manuscripts from the eleventh century. A revised version of the hymn is found in the Roman Breviary of 1532. “Creator of the starry height” has been extensively used as an evening hymn during Advent. There are as many as twenty-seven English versions. It was rendered into German during the twelfth century. In 1524 a revised German version was included in the Deutsche Evangelische Messe, and in this form it was taken up in several German hymnals. A Danish translation was published in Hans Tausön’s Salmebog, 1553; “O Stierners Skabere i Hiemmelske Huss.” A revised version of this appeared successively in Thomissøn’s, Kingo’s, and Pontoppidan’s hymn books. Grundtvig, in 1836-1837, gave a new rendering, “Stjernernes Skaber og Himmelens Drot.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]
Crown Him with many crowns ◊ 55
Matthew Bridges published the original of this hymn in his Hymns of the Heart, etc., 2d edition, 1851. The text, as in the Library of Religious Poetry, Schaff and Gilman, 1881, is in 12 four-line stanzas, of which Stanzas 1 to 6, 11, and 12 form Stanzas 1 to 3 and 5 (somewhat altered), as above. The omitted stanzas read:
1. Crown Him the Lord of peace!
Whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole that wars may cease,
Absorbed in prayer and praise.
2. His reign shall know no end;
And round his piercéd feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.
3. Crown Him the Lord of years.
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
5. Glassed in a sea of light
Whose everlasting waves
Reflect His form—the Infinite!
Who lives and loves and saves.
The fourth stanza of the hymn is an addition to the hymn by an unknown author. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]