Our Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

"Our Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth" is a concise and yet rhymed metrical two-stanza versification of Matthew 6:9­-13


Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

God’s children are taught to think of the Lord’s Prayer as the model for prayer. Belgic Confession, Article 26 teaches us that “we call on the heavenly Father through Christ, our only Mediator, as we are taught by the Lords’ Prayer...” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 45, Question and Answer 118 teaches that we should pray for “everything we need, spiritually and physically, as embraced in the prayer Christ our Lord himself taught us” and then spends seven Lord’s Days expounding on the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. 


Our Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Thanksgiving
We do see signs, O God.
We see signs that one day your kingdom will come in its fullness.
Thank you, God.
Missionary doctors risk their lives to heal the sick.
Thank you, God.
Lovers of justice inspire other lovers of justice.
Thank you, God.
Hard hearts become tender under the breath of your Spirit.
Thank you, God.
We do see signs, O God, and we would like to see more signs,
all to your glory. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

A Prayer of Confession
Gracious God, we have ignored you.
Forgive us our debts.
We have made room for temptation.
Forgive us our debts.
We have elevated other gods to a place beside you.
Forgive us our debts.
We have not reveled in your power and glory.
Forgive us our debts, O God, and correct our path for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Our Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth

Tune Information

c minor

Our Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth

Hymn Story/Background

This setting of the Lord's Prayer is a concise and yet rhymed metrical two-stanza versification of Matthew 6:9-13. Henry J. de Jong prepared the versification in 1982; it was first sung at First Christian Reformed Church, Toronto, Ontario.
Martin Luther's versification of the Lord's Prayer was set to this tune in Valentin Schumann's hymnal, Geistliche Lieder (1539); the tune, whose composer remains unknown, had some earlier use. The tune name derives from Luther's German incipit: “Vater unser im Himmelreich….” Because VATER UNSER found later use in British and Scottish psalters as a setting for Psalm 112, it acquired the alternate title OLD 112TH in some hymnals.
Johann S. Bach provided this harmonization in his St. John Passion (1724), and also in Cantatas 90, 101, and 102, among others. Bach also wrote organ preludes on the melody. Felix Mendelssohn arranged a famous organ treatment on this tune in his Sixth Organ Sonata. One of the classic chorales, VATER UNSER features phrases grouped into three long lines. 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Henry J. de Jong (b. Sarnia, ON, Canada, 1956) studied harpsichord and voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto; church music at the Sweelinck Conservatory, Amsterdam; and aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto. He worked in layout and design at the Knight Publishing Company in St. Catharines, Ontario, and has worked for various construction companies since. From 1991 to the present, de Jong has owned his own renovation company, H. James Company, and has also done part-time web-development work. De Jong remains passionate about church music and worship, and is currently the curator of worshipanew.net, a website for the sharing of worship resources from around the globe. De Jong lives in St. Catharines with his wife, Wendy; the couple have three adult children. 
— Laura de Jong

Composer Information

Johann Sebastian Bach (b. Eisenach, Germany, 1685; d. Leipzig, Germany, 1750) came from a family of musicians. He learned to play violin, organ, and harpsichord from his father and his older brother, Johann Christoph. Bach's early career developed in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen, particularly at the court of Duke Wilhelm Ernst in Weimar. During this period he composed cantatas and most of his large organ works. In 1717 Bach became director of music for Prince Leopold in Anhalt-Cathen, for whom he composed much of his instrumental music-orchestral suites and concertos as well as The Well-Tempered Clavier. In 1723 he was appointed cantor of the Thomas Schule at Leipzig and director at St. Thomas and St. Nicholas churches and at the University of Leipzig. During that time he wrote his large choral works, 165 cantatas, and more compositions for organ and harpsichord. Although Bach's contribution to church music was immense and his stature as the finest composer of the Baroque era unparal­leled, he composed no hymn tunes for congregational use. He did, however, harmo­nize many German chorales, which he used extensively in his cantatas, oratorios, and organ works. These harmonizations were published posthumously by his son Carl Phillip Emmanuel as 371 Vierstimmige Choralgesiinge.
— Bert Polman
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