All Creatures of our God and King

Full Text

1 All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing:,
alleluia, alleluia!
O burning sun with golden beam,
and shining moon with silver gleam,
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

2 O rushing wind so wild and strong,
white clouds that sail in heaven along,
alleluia, alleluia!
New rising dawn in praise rejoice;
you lights of evening find a voice:
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

3 Cool flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for your Lord to hear:
alleluia, alleluia!
Fierce fire, so masterful and bright,
providing us with warmth and light.
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

4 Earth ever fertile, day by day
bring forth your blessings on our way;
alleluia, alleluia!
All flowers and fruits that is you grow,
let the his glory also show;
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

5 All you who are of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part;
alleluia, alleluia!
All you who pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care;
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

6 Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
alleluia, alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Source: Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #551

Paraphraser: William H. Draper

Draper, William Henry, M.A., son of Henry and Lucy Mary Draper, was born at Kenilworth, Dec. 19, 1855, and educated at Keble College, Oxford; B.A. in honours, M.A. 1880. Ordained in 1880, he was Curate of St. Mary's, Shrewsbury; Vicar of Alfreton; of the Abbey Church, Shrewsbury; and since 1899 Rector of Adel, Leeds. Mr. Draper's hymns in common use include the following:— 1. Come forth, ye sick and poor. [Harvest.] Written in 1001 and printed in the Guardian, Sept. 18, 1901. In 1905 it was given, somewhat altered, in The Council School Hymn Book, No. 132. It was also published by Novello & Co., with Music by J. H. Maunder. 2. From homes of quiet peace. [In Time of War.] Published by Novello & Co. in their series of Hymns in… Go to person page >

Author: St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi (Italian: San Francesco d'Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, but nicknamed Francesco ("the Frenchman") by his father, 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares. Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Francis' father was Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant. Francis lived the high-spirited life typic… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: All creatures of our God and King
Title: All Creatures of our God and King
Latin Title: Cantico di fratre sole
Author: St. Francis of Assisi (1225)
Paraphraser: William H. Draper
Meter: with refrain
Source: Laudato, si, mi Signor
Place of Origin: San Damiano, Italy
Language: English
Refrain First Line: O praise Him, O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Liturgical Use: Opening Hymns


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Job 12:7-10, Ps. 148:3
st. 2 = Ps. 148:8
st. 4 = Ps. 148:9
st. 5 = Ps. 148:11-13

Virtually blind and unable to endure daylight, St. Francis (b, Assisi, Italy, c. 1182; d. Assisi, 1226) wrote this nature hymn during the summer of 1225 in the seclusion of a hut near San Damiano, Italy. The text is a meditation on Psalm 145 (although it also reflects Psalm 148 as well as the Canticle of the Three Young Men in the Furnace-an apocryphal addition to Dan. 3). Originally in Italian ("Laudato sia Dio mio Signore"), the text is known as the "Song of All Creatures" and as the "Canticle of the Sun."

St. Francis of Assisi is universally known for preaching to the birds and urging them to praise God. But his whole life was one of service to God and humanity. The son of a wealthy cloth merchant, Francis led a carefree, adventurous life as a youth, but after an illness and a pilgrimage to Rome in 1205, he voluntarily began a traveling life of poverty. He restored run-down chapels and shrines, preached, sang devotional "laudi spirituali" (adapted from Italian folk songs), and helped the poor and the lepers. Other young men joined him, and Francis founded the order named after him; the Franciscans were approved by the Pope in 1210. Legends about Francis abound, and various stories, prayers, and visions are attributed to him.

William H. Draper (b. Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England, 1855; d. Clifton, Bristol, England, 1933) translated–or rather paraphrased–the text (which appears in virtually all English hymnals) for a children's Whitsuntide (Pentecost) Festival in Leeds, England, around 1910. Originally in seven stanzas, Draper's translation was published with the tune LASST UNS ERFREUEN in the Public School Hymn Book (1919). The modernized version in the Psalter Hymnal omits the original stanza 6 (about death) and combines the original stanzas 5 and 7 into one (now st. 5).

Educated at Cheltenham College and Keble College, Oxford, England, Draper was ordained in the Church of England in 1880. He served at least six churches during his lifetime, including the Temple Church in London (1919-1930). He is known for his sixty translations of Latin, Greek, and German hymns, many published in The Victoria Book of Hymns (1897) and Hymns for Holy Week (1899).

"All Creatures" is a catalog text that enumerates various features of the creation and summons all to praise the Lord with their "alleluias." Although not found in the original text, the "alleluias" make splendid sense and are necessary for the tune. Repeating the words "O praise him" each stanza emphasizes the cosmic praise of all creation: the sun and moon (st. 1); wind, clouds, and light (st. 2); water and fire (st. 3); the earth and its produce (st. 4); all creatures (st. 5).

Liturgical Use:
Many occasions as a strong opening hymn of praise; a congregational call to worship; springtime prayer services for crops/industry and for harvest thanksgiving (especially st. 4); festive processionals (use a concertato arrangement with brass and choral parts).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



LASST UNS ERFREUEN derives its opening line and several other melodic ideas from GENEVAN 68 (68). The tune was first published with the Easter text "Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr" in the Jesuit hymnal Ausserlesene Catlwlische Geistliche Kirchengesänge (Cologne, 1623). LASST UNS ERFREUEN appeared…

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