182. Give Thanks to God, for Good Is He

1 Give thanks to God, for good is he:
his love abides forever.
To him all praise and glory be:
his mercy lasts forever.
His wondrous works with praise record:
his love abides forever.
The only God, the sovereign Lord:
his mercy lasts forever.

2 His wisdom made the heavens to be:
his love abides forever.
He spread the earth upon the sea:
his mercy lasts forever.
Praise him whose sun awakes the day:
his love abides forever.
The moon and stars his might display:
his mercy lasts forever.

3 He helped us in our deepest woes:
his love abides forever.
He ransomed us from all our foes:
his mercy lasts forever.
Each creature's need he will supply:
his love abides forever.
Give thanks to God, enthroned on high:
his mercy lasts forever.

Text Information
First Line: Give thanks to God, for good is he
Title: Give Thanks to God, for Good Is He
Meter: 87 87 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1982
Scripture: ;
Topic: Commitment & Dedication; King, God/Christ as; Alternative Harmonizations (5 more...)
Source: Psalter, 1912, alt.
Tune Information
Composer: Arthur S. Sullivan (1875)
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: E♭ Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 136:1-4
st. 2 = Ps. 136:5-9
st. 3 = Ps. 136:23-26

This hymn of thankful praise is based on sections from Psalm 136, the great litany psalm. The litany refrain is captured in two alternating phrases about God's love and mercy that endure forever. The versification dates from the 1912 Psalter. See PHH 136 for more information on Psalm 136.

Liturgical Use:
See PHH 136.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Arthur S. Sullivan (PHH 46) composed CONSTANCE for James G. Small's hymn text "I've Found a Friend, O Such a Friend"; the sentiment of that text explains the tune title. That text and tune were published in the Swedenborgian New Church Hymn Book (1874).

CONSTANCE is a solid Victorian tune with a fine climax in the melody of its final line. Though not specifically designed for the responsorial performance Psalm 136 requires, CONSTANCE can be performed in a dramatic manner that would please its operatically oriented composer. Organists could change registration or let the congregation sing unaccompanied on the refrain phrases. Or have one part of the congregation (or the choir or a good soloist) sing the first half of each line, and have everyone respond with the second half of each line, preferably by singing in parts. Emily R. Brink (PHH 158) composed the alternative harmonization in 1987 for the Psalter Hymnal.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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