Let All Things Now Living

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Employing Old Testament images, the text calls forth praise from all creatures and directs that praise to God the Creator. We praise God because he made us and provides for us (st. 1); we join our praise to that of the entire universe in a song of “hosanna and praise” (st. 2).

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

This song beautifully merges God’s creative work, his providential guidance of all, and our response of trust and thanksgiving. Each of these themes is amplified clearly in the confessions. Singing can be meaningfully coupled with a reading of Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 10, Questions and Answers 27-28: “The almighty and ever present power of God…upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty—all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand…nothing can separate us from his (God’s) love.”

Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 9 claims that God made this “a world of color, beauty and variety...,” a theme which is picked up throughout this song. The universe is a beautiful book to make us ponder the “invisible things of God” (Belgic Confession, Article 2).


Let All Things Now Living

Call to Worship

A text especially mindful of children
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
God made the bright, warm sunshine and the freezing-cold snow.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
God made the little tiny flowers and the great big pine trees.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
God made the peaceful ponds and the crashing waves.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
God made the cornfields and the rocky mountains.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
God made the creeping caterpillars and kicking kangaroos.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
God made you, and God made me.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Come, let us praise God for making all things good!
The Worship Sourcebook, A.1.2.4
— The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition (http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/420021/the-worship-sourcebook.aspx)

O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
He is mindful of his covenant forever,
of the word that he commanded,
for a thousand generations.
—Psalm 105:1-3, 7-8, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

How magnificent for us to ponder, triune God of grace,
how your Word spoke creation into being,
how your Spirit breathed life into every living creature.
Receive now our praise in concert
with the symphony of praise
and saints and angels in heaven—
all offered through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The Worship Sourcebook, A.1.4.4
— The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition (http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/420021/the-worship-sourcebook.aspx)

Creator God,
we praise you for this world.
As we continue to learn more of the vastness of your cosmos
and the smallest particles of each atom,
we stand in awe that you created all things
in a great harmonious design.
Open our eyes and ears that we may take delight
in the beauty and variety of sky and sea,
of desert and mountain, of plants and flowers,
of birds and fish, of creatures large and small,
and of humankind, the crown of your creation.
We praise you for the world you made, maintain,
and give to us to care for and enjoy. Amen.
The Worship Sourcebook, A.1.4.13
— The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition (http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/420021/the-worship-sourcebook.aspx)

Loving God,
you created heaven and earth out of nothing.
You uphold and rule heaven and earth
by your eternal counsel and providence.
We give you praise, almighty God.
God of eternity,
you not only created each of us,
but you sustain and form each of us
with your Holy Spirit.
We worship you, Creator God.
You provide whatever we need for body and soul.
You guide us and guard us.
We trust in you, God, our Maker; Jesus, our Mediator;
Holy Spirit, our Comforter.
As we turn toward the promise of a new year,
allow us to look back and to look ahead,
to see the places in the past
where your promises have upheld us,
and to look to an unknown future
with confidence and trust in you.
In the strong name of Christ we pray. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Let us give thanks to the Lord for the people he has given us.
For parents and grandparents, for sons and daughters,
for brothers and sisters, for husband and wife,
for all those who reflect to us the human dimension of your love,
we give you thanks, O Lord.
For neighbors and colleagues, for friends both far away and nearby—
for all those who share the joys and sorrows of our daily lives,
we give you thanks, O Lord.
For those who serve us in restaurants, in repair shops, in stores,
in schools, in hospitals—
for all those who make our lives more comfortable,
we give you thanks, O Lord.
For the family of God, for the church universal,
and for those who worship with us and minister to us in this church,
we give you thanks, O Lord.
For those who are weak and destitute,
for those who need protection and support,
for those who need healing and nurturing,
for all those to whom we minister,
we give you thanks, O Lord. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 1:19]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


God, our Creator, you made the sun and the stars.
You drew up the hills and the mountains.
You formed us and breathed life into us.
You saved us and guide us.
In our arrogance, we turn from you.
We think that we can handle the concerns of our lives on our own.
We want to do things our way in our time,
and too often, we forget that you hold all things, including us.
Forgive our pride and stubbornness.
Teach us dependence on you
through our Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
— Carrie Steenwyk


Here are words you may trust,
words that merit full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
To all who confess their sins and resolve to lead a new life,
he says, “Your sins are forgiven.”
He also says, “Follow me.”
Now to the one who rules all worlds,
immortal, invisible, the only God,
be honor and glory forever and ever.
—based on 1 Timothy 1:15, 17
The Worship Sourcebook, 2.4.3
— The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition (http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/420021/the-worship-sourcebook.aspx)

The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting
to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
—Psalm 103:6-18, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


May our great God, the source of all good things,
shower you with his abundant blessings
so that your hearts overflow with endless gratitude.
The Worship Sourcebook, C.9.2.3
— The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition (http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/420021/the-worship-sourcebook.aspx)

Additional Prayers

For the earth and the gift of good land,
we give thanks, O Lord.
For the anticipation of a new growing season,
we give thanks, O Lord.
For those who labor on the farm and in the marketplace,
we give thanks, O Lord.
For the abundance of food and the opportunities to share,
we give thanks, O Lord.
For the delight of eating and the challenge of self-denial,
we give thanks, O Lord.
O God, our help, we lift up our hearts for the needs of your people:
to those who continue to be burdened with financial problems,
give strength, O Lord.
To those who have lost their land or livelihood,
who have experienced the pain of displacement,
give hope, O Lord.
To those serving people who are troubled and discouraged,
give wisdom, O Lord.
To those who are strong and have prospered,
give humility, O Lord.
To those seeking to be open to your gifts and calling,
give us grace to be patient in suffering
and sensitive to the pain of others.
Help us to be faithful to that which you have committed to us
so that we may realize your kingdom where we are.
Through Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray,
saying, “Our Father . . .”
[Reformed Worship 14:39]
The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd edition, A.4.4.6

An Acclamation
Let all things now living
a song of thanksgiving triumphantly raise.
Let the hills and the mountains sing.
Let the rivers and fountains sing.
Let the pillar of fire sing.
Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving triumphantly raise. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Lord, you make a pink flower from a gray seed,
an ear from a kernel,
a carrot from a seed the size of a pinhead,
an oak tree from an acorn.
You have programmed your soil to provide food for your plants,
wooden trees to make apples, feathered hens to lay eggs,
grass-eating cows to give milk.
And you, grand Creator, you have us take care of your grand creation.
In your mercy, Lord, send rain to water our crops and gardens.
Let your sun shine on our fields so that seeds will produce abundantly,
so that vines and stalks and trees will hang heavy with fruit and grain.
And Lord, let your grace be as rich to our cattle as it is to us;
let it keep our hogs free of disease,
our hens laying eggs, and our cows giving milk.
May our animals be fertile;
may our lambs and calves and pigs frolic in your green pastures
so that even in their play we may see your grace.
Help us to live on your good earth—
preserving and caring for the life and soil you bless,
ever thankful that for our good
you gave your laws of nature and your law of love.
Help us for our good and your glory to see those laws as you see them
and as the psalmist saw them—as good and perfect, pleasant to think about.
And Lord, teach us to share the abundance you have given us,
never gloating in our excess
but always giving our first bushels to feed the hungry in your name.
Enlighten our hearts, Lord,
so that our thank-yous ever rise in a crescendo to your throne.
See and hear us through the blood of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 14:39]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Almighty and ever present God,
you uphold heaven and earth and all creatures.
All things come from your generous hand:
You send the nourishing rain, the refreshing wind,
the warming sun, the blustering snow.
You make buds appear, flowers bloom,
fruit grow, and harvests mature.
Through each day of our lives,
whether in sickness or health,
prosperity or poverty, joy or sorrow,
you are in control.
Help us to be patient when things go against us,
thankful when things go well,
and always confident that nothing
could ever separate us from your love.
For your unending faithfulness, we thank and praise you.
To you be glory, now and forever. Amen.
—based on Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A’s 27-28
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Let All Things Now Living

Tune Information

F Major
Meter D


Recommended External Arrangements/Resources

Cherwien, David. Triptych on The Ash Grove. Augsburg 11-10971 [1999] (M-D)
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ. bk. 3 Ludwig O-10 [1986]
Instrument and Organ
 Burkhardt, Michael. Let All Things Now Living. Morningstar MS-20-844-2E [organ and brass quartet]
Alternate Harmonizations for Organ
Cherwien, David. Triptych on The Ash Grove. Augsburg 11-10971 [1999] (M-D)
Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ. bk. 3 GIA G-6755 [1986]
Fedak, Alfred V. 25 More Harmonizations. Selah 160-729 [1998]
Hobby, Robert A. Let All Things Now Living. Morningstar MSM-10-602-2E
Rawsthorne, Noel. More Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew [1996] (revised)
Alternate Harmonizations for Piano
Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008] (E-M; with optional handbells)
Recommended Service Music Resources:
Carlson, J. Bert. A New Look at the Old. Augsburg 11-11009 [1999] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Triptych on The Ash Grove. Augsburg 11-10971 [1999] (M-D)
Held, Wilbur. Those Wonderful Welsh. set 2 Morningstar MSM-10-842 [1992] (adaptable for piano, E)
Kosche, Kenneth. Musica Sacra: Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ vol. 2. Concordia 97-7015 [2003] (E-M)
Schulz, Christine. Variations on The Ash Grove. Morningstar MSM-10-708 [1995] (M)
Stoldt, Frank. Five Hymn Settings. Morningstar MSM-10-931 [1988] (E-M)
Larkin, Michael. Be Thou My Vision. Morningstar MSM-15-832 [2004] (E-M)
Lund, Emily. Let All Things Now Living. Adoro AMP-70 [2010] (E-M)
Moklebust, Cathy. Let All Things Now Living. Chorister’s Guild CGB-170 [1995] (3-5 octaves, D)
Morris, Hart. Ash Grove. Beckenhorst HB303 [3-5 octaves level 3+]
Instrument and Organ
Callahan, Charles. A Thanksgiving Prelude for Flute and Organ. Morningstar MSM-20-660
— Norma de Waal Malefyt

Additional External Arrangements/Resources

Congregational Singing Resources:
Burkhardt, Michael. Easy Hymn Settings General set 1.  Morningstar MSM-10-815 [1996]
Alternate Harmonizations for Organ
Proulx, Richard. Hymn Intonations Preludes & Free Harmonizations. Vol. VIII Selah 160-728 [1996]
Alternate Harmonizations for Piano
Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]
Service Music Resources:
Maynard, Lynette. Songs for All Seasons. Vol. 2 AugsburgFortress ISBN 0-8006-7786-2 [2005] (E-M)
Organ, Anne Krentz. Reflections on HymnTunes for Holy Communion. AugsburgFortress ISBN 9780800654979
Instrument and Organ
Blair, Dallas. Hymn Introductions and Descants for Trumpet and Organ – set 2. Morningstar MSM-20-702 (M)
Instrument and Piano
Albrecht, Mark. Three for Piano and Sax. AugsburgFortress ISBN 97808000657970 [1998]
— Norma de Waal Malefyt

Let All Things Now Living

Hymn Story/Background

Katherine K. Davis wrote this text for the tune ASH GROVE in the 1920s. The text was first published as an anthem and descant setting in 1939 (by E. C. Schirmer) under the name John Cowley, one of her pseudonyms. (Davis wrote “The Little Drummer Boy,” 1941, as well as many other songs under this and other pseudonyms.)
Employing Old Testament images, the text calls forth praise from all creatures and directs that praise to God the Creator. We praise God because he made us and provides for us (st. 1); we join our praise to that of the entire universe in a song of “hosanna and praise” (st. 2).
ASH GROVE first appeared in print in the collection Bardic Museum compiled by Edward Jones and published in London in 1802. It has been suggested that the tune is similar to a melody found in the Beggar's Opera (1728), an opera that includes many arrangements of well-known folk tunes. ASH GROVE is, however, a harp tune rather than a folk song, and its associations in Wales are entirely secular.
Katherine K. Davis related that she found this tune in the Book of National Songs, a pamphlet published by Novello. She wrote the harmonization and a descant for the tune and published them with her text in 1939 (see above). Since that time the hymn has been a favorite of many church choirs and congregations.
ASH GROVE is a classic rounded bar form (AABA). Sing in harmony and add the descant at stanza 2, perhaps also with instruments like flutes or recorders.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Katherine Kennicott Davis (b. St. Joseph, MA, 1892; d. Concord, MA, 1980) studied at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she was also a teaching assistant in music. From 1921 to 1929 she taught singing and piano in private schools in Concord, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After 1929 she devoted herself largely to music composition. She wrote some eight hundred pieces, most of which were choral (often writing under several pseudonyms). One of her most popular songs is "The Little Drummer Boy," originally called "Carol of the Drum" (1941). Her other publications include the folk operetta Cinderella (1933) and Songs of Freedom (1948).
— Bert Polman

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