141. O LORD, Come Quickly; Hear Me Pray

Text Information
First Line: O LORD, come quickly; hear me pray
Title: O LORD, Come Quickly; Hear Me Pray
Versifier: Marie J. Post (1985)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: LM
Topic: Laments; Evening
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: Henry Baker (1854)
Meter: LM
Incipit: 33351 22355 54234 22222
Key: E♭ Major

Text Information:

A prayer asking for God's help to keep the psalmist from joining the evil ways of the wicked.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4
st. 3 = v. 5a
st. 4 = vv. 5b-7
st. 5 = vv. 8-10

Beginning with a plea that God hear his prayer (st. 1), the psalmist asks the LORD to keep him from yielding to wicked people's enticements to join them in their evil deeds (st. 2; see Prov. 1:10-19). It is better to suffer chastisement that turns from sinful ways than to enjoy the momentary fruits of wickedness (st. 3). They are a trap that can lead only to destruction (st. 4). Keep me from these ensnaring enticements, 0 LORD, says the psalmist, to preserve me from certain death (st. 5). Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified Psalm 141 in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Psalm 141 serves especially well to conclude an evening service. In churches that have a history of daily prayer services, this psalm is traditionally sung during evening prayer.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Henry Baker (b. Nuneham, Oxfordshire, England, 1835; d. Wimbledon, England, 1910; not to be confused with Henry W. Baker) was educated as a civil engineer at Winchester and Cooper's Hill and was active in railroad building in India. In 1867 he completed a music degree at Exeter College, Oxford, England. Baker composed QUEBEC in 1854 when he was a student at Exeter. In 1861 the London Penny Post advertised for a suitable tune for John Keble's text "Sun of My Soul." Baker's tune was among the many that were submitted, but without his knowledge–a friend who had seen QUEBEC shortly after Baker had written it submitted the tune anonymously. QUEBEC was selected and was published in Rev. John Grey's Hymnal for the Use of the English Church (1866). Many of Baker's hymn tunes were published in Garrett Horder's Worship Songs (1905).

A serviceable long-meter tune, QUEBEC proves that a limited soprano range is not a handicap in a well-crafted hymn tune. The tune title's reference to the Canadian city and province is unknown. Also known as HESPERUS, QUEBEC shares similarities with MARYTON (573), PENTECOST (212), and especially ST. CRISPIN (276)–to name just three of the "generic" late-nineteenth-century British hymn tunes. For best results, sing the harmony parts.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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