Praise the LORD! Sing Hallelujah

Full Text

1 Praise the LORD! Sing hallelujah!
Come, our great Redeemer praise.
I will sing the glorious praises
of my God through all my days.
Put no confidence in princes,
nor on human help depend.
They shall die, to dust returning;
all their thoughts and plans shall end.

2 Happy are the ones professing
Jacob's God to be their aid.
They are blest whose hope of blessing
on the LORD their God is stayed.
Heaven and earth the LORD created,
seas and all that they contain.
He delivers from oppression;
righteousness he will maintain.

3 Food he daily gives the hungry,
sets the mourning prisoner free,
raises those bowed down with anguish,
makes the sightless eyes to see.
God our Savior loves the righteous,
and the stranger he befriends,
helps the orphan and the widow,
judgment on the wicked sends.

4 Praise the LORD! Sing hallelujah!
Come, our great Redeemer praise.
I will sing the glorious praises
of my God through all my days.
Over all God reigns forever;
through all ages he is King.
Unto him, your God, O Zion,
joyful hallelujahs sing.

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Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

In a world with many threats and enemies, we find hope and security in his fatherly care. Both Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism put significant focus on the Providence of God and the care God provides for us. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 professes that he “will provide whatever I need for body and soul” and that we are “completely in his hand.” In Belgic Confession, Article 13 professes that he “watches over us with fatherly care.”


Praise the LORD! Sing Hallelujah

Additional Prayers

Blessed are you, Lord our God.
You uphold the cause of the oppressed.
You give food to the hungry.
You lift up those who are bowed down.
You set prisoners free.
[Add other phrases as appropriate.]
Blessed are those whose help is in your name.
Blessed are those who put their trust in you.
— Lift Up Your Hearts (http://www.liftupyourheartshymnal.org)

Sovereign God,
when confronted by would-be messiahs promising prosperity and peace,
grant us your wisdom and discernment.
Help us to place our confidence in no one but you.
You are our only Savior and our only Lord. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org)

Praise the LORD! Sing Hallelujah

Hymn Story/Background

Psalm 146 begins and ends as a hymn of praise. But the main body of the psalm exhorts God's people to put their trust wholly in the LORD. Human beings, whatever standing they may have in the world, are but frail mortals (st. 1); God is the almighty Creator of heaven and earth. Blessed are those who rely upon this Creator God, who delivers the oppressed (st. 2), provides for the needy, and protects the weak. The LORD loves the righteous (st. 3) and reigns as Zion's God forever; let his name be praised (st. 4). The versification of Psalm 146 is altered from that in The Book of Psalms (1871), a text-only psalter that was later published with music in 1887.
RIPLEY, composed in 1839, comes from the prolific pen of Lowell Mason, the great American promoter and publisher of school, choral, and congregational music. The tune title, assigned later, presumably honors George Ripley (1802-1889), the famous New York literary critic and transcendentalist. RIPLEY is a classically shaped rounded bar form (AABA) in which the third line provides the contrast and climax to the other lines. It is an energetic tune that calls for jubilant singing in parts and, on festive occasions, the use of brass (probably in E-flat major).
— Bert Polman

Author Information

The Psalter 1887 was the Psalter of the United Presbyterian Church of North America with music; the texts were the same as 1871 Book of Psalms. The preface says:
The endeavor of the Committee has been to search the field of sacred music and to select only that which has highest merit and best adaptation to the sentiment and to congregational use. Tunes which have received the widest acceptance by the Church at large have been given the preference. Many of the tunes in the Psalter have been retained. Some have been transferred to other selections. Two hundred and twenty-one tunes have been added. They are all of acknowledged merit and it is believed will find general acceptance. For convenience in use each selection is numbered, and the number corresponds with the number of the page.
In 1890, the True Reformed Protestant Dutch Church joined the Christian Reformed Church, becoming what we know now as Classis Hackensack. This group of congregations adopted the 1887 Psalter, also adding 190 hymns grouped according to the fifty-two Lord’s Days of the Heidelberg Catechism, becoming one of two groups in the Christian Reformed Church singing hymns as well as Psalms in worship. 
— Rebecca Hoeksema Snippe

Composer Information

As a child, Lowell Mason (b. Medfield, MA, 1792; d. Orange, NJ, 1872) learned to play every musical instrument available to him. He bought music books and attended a singing school when he was thirteen, and soon began teaching singing schools and directing a church choir. In 1812 he moved to Savannah, Georgia, where he helped to establish the firm Stebbins and Mason, which sold musical instruments in addition to dry goods. Mason also adapted, composed, and harmonized tunes for The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music (1821). This collection was widely used and resulted in public demand for Mason to lead the music at singing schools, concerts, and Sunday school conventions. He moved to Boston in 1827 to become the music director in three churches; later he became the choir director of the Bowdoin Street Church. In 1833 Mason helped to found the Boston Academy of Music, which was instrumental in introducing music education to the Boston public schools in 1838. An advocate of Pestalozzi's educational principles (an inductive teaching method), Mason frequently lectured in England and the United States. A major force in musical education in the United States and in the promotion of European models of church music (as opposed to the southern folk-hymn tradition), Mason also encouraged the change from exclusive psalm singing to the singing of hymns in the churches. In association with Thomas Hastings, George Webb, and others, Mason compiled some eighty hymnals and collections, includ­ing The Juvenile Psalmist (1829), Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (1832), and, most importantly, Carmina Sacra (1841, revised 1852). Mason composed over eleven hun­dred original hymn tunes and arranged another five hundred, mainly from European sources. He derived most of his tune names from the Old Testament.
— Bert Polman
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