By the Babylonian Rivers

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Our songs and prayers include honesty before God in which we express the pain we experience over our own sins and failures, the difficulties in both our lives and others’ lives, and our laments at the suffering and brokenness that marks our world and our lives. We have assurance, says Belgic Confession, Article 26, that Christ, our intercessor, will hear us, “since he suffered, being tempted, he is also able to help those who are tempted.”


We are encouraged to approach the throne with boldness so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Belgic Confession, Article 26, based on Hebrews 4). “We grieve that the church…has become a broken communion in a broken world” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 40).

We also “lament that our abuse of creation has brought lasting damage to the world we have been given...” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 51). And we cry to God for those who suffer in our world, knowing “that God…is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged...” (Belhar Confession, Section 4).


By the Babylonian Rivers

Introductory/Framing Text

This heartrending lament of Psalm 137 found in stanzas 1-3 are balanced with the hope of stanza 4. May it be our prayer for all refugees, prisoners, and oppressed people.
— Global Songs for Worship

Additional Prayers

God of justice, we pray for all refugees and wanderers,
the abused and the tortured, the exiles of every land and people.
When loss and grief rob us of song,
may we entrust our hurts and hatreds to you,
the true and final judge of all. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org)

By the Babylonian Rivers

Tune Information

d minor



By the Babylonian Rivers

Hymn Story/Background

KAS DZIEDAJA is a rather reflective tune, almost haunting in its minor mode. It has a stunning octave rise at the beginning of the second long line. The tune is suitable for either unison or part singing. Accompany with modest organ tones or strings (guitars).
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Ewald Bash (b. 1924; d. 1994), was a Lutheran pastor in churches in southern Ohio and Cleveland before becoming a campus pastor in 1956 at Ohio State University. In 1960 he moved to Minneapolis to work in the Youth Deparment of the American Lutheran Church, where he published many resources, including short stories for youth, college and seminary students. He was also involved in the development of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, since “he wanted seminarians to learn what civil rights were all about.” Bash contributed song texts for Songs for Today, “an experiment in study and worship” edited by his friend John Ylvisaker.
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

Greg Scheer (b. 1966) has composed hundreds of pieces, songs and arrangements. His music is published by Augsburg Fortress, GIA, Abingdon Press, Worship Today, Faith Alive and in numerous hymnals. He has won commissions from the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Iowa Composers Forum, Linn-Mar High School String Orchestra, Chagall String Quartet and Northwestern College. His electronic piece, "Crossfade," was included on the CD ...from everlasting to everlasting... His string quartet "6" was featured on WQED in Pittsburgh and was also a winning composition in the 2000 Southeastern Composers' Symposium. His hymn "People of the Lord" won the Calvin09 hymn contest and was subsequently sung and published internationally.
— Greg Scheer

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