77. I Cried Out to God to Help Me

Text Information
First Line: I cried out to God to help me
Title: I Cried Out to God to Help Me
Versifier: Helen Otte (1985)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 88 77 D
Scripture: Psalm 77
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: Egypt; Deliverance; Doubt (5 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: GENEVAN 77
Harmonizer: Claude Goudimel (1564)
Meter: 88 77 D
Key: g minor
Source: Genevan Psalter, 1551

Text Information:

Faith's bewilderment and recovery in the face of great distress.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-4
st. 2 = vv. 5-9
st. 3 = vv. 10-15
st. 4 = vv. 16-20

In this psalm, as in many others, remembrance of God's saving deeds in the Exodus restores peace to the troubled soul. Psalm 77 begins with a vivid description of the believer's struggle with unanswered prayer in a time of distress (st. 1). The psalmist is bewildered and his personal faith is shaken over God's seeming failure to respond (st. 2). But in reflecting on the mighty deeds through which the LORD saved Israel from slavery in Egypt, the psalmist finds bewilderment put to rest (st. 3-4). Thus Christians find renewed hope in God's saving deeds in Christ. Helen Otte (PHH 17) versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Evening worship; remembrance of the Exodus; situations in which this psalm of comfort may encourage people in distress.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

GENEVAN 77 was first published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter as a setting for Psalm 86. It was set to Psalm 77 in the 1562 edition. Claude Goudimel (PHH 6) composed the harmonization in 1564. GENEVAN 77's many repeated phrases make it memorable; it is in Hypo-Dorian mode. The plaintive character of this music is well suited to the psalm text but must not become mournful. Sing stanzas 1 and 2 quietly and stanzas 3 and 4 with increasing strength and volume.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
More media are available on the tune authority page.