253. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

1 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is your health and salvation!
Come, all who hear; brothers and sisters, draw near,
join me in glad adoration!

2 Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things is wondrously reigning,
sheltering you under his wings, oh, so gently sustaining.
Have you not seen all that is needful has been
sent by his gracious ordaining?

3 Praise to the Lord, who will prosper your work and defend you;
surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend you.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do
as with his love he befriends you.

4 Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the amen sound from his people again.
Gladly forever adore him!

Text Information
First Line: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation
Title: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
Author: Joachim Neander (1680)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863, alt.)
Meter: 14 14 478
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ;
Topic: Doxologies; Sickness & Health; Opening of Worship (4 more...)
Tune Information
Composer (desc.): Craig S. Lang, 1891-1971
Meter: 14 14 478
Key: F Major
Source: Ernewerten Gesangbuch, Stalsund, 1665
Copyright: Descant © Novello and Co., Ltd.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st.1 = Ps. 103:1
st.2 = Ps. 17:8
st.3 = Ps. 23:6
st.4 = Ps. 106:48, Ps. 150:6

Loosely based on Psalm 103:1-6 and Psalm 150, with echoes from other psalms, this is a strong hymn of praise to our covenant God, who heals, provides for, and defends us. Let "all that has life and breath" sing praise to the Lord! According to the American hymnologist and composer Austin Lovelace, the exuberance of the text is matched by its "galloping dactylic rhythm."

Joachim Neander (PHH 244) wrote this German chorale of five stanzas and published it in his Glaub und Liebesubung (1680). Stanzas 1 through 3 in the Psalter Hymnal are a translation by Catherine Winkworth (PHH 194) of the original stanzas 1, 2, and 4; these are taken from her Chorale Book for England (1863). Stanza 4 in the Psalter Hymnal is an anonymous translation. Various modern-language alterations from other hymnals and editors are included in the text published in the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Many occasions in Christian worship, for praise to God is our “duty and delight” in all circumstances of life.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

LOBE DEN HERREN (not to be confused with LOBE DEN HERREN, O MEINE SEELE, 159) is originally from the Stralsund, Germany, Ander Theil des Erneuerten Gesangbuch, Part II (1665), where it was published with the text "Hast du denn, Liebster, dein Angesicht gänzlich verborgen." Neander altered the tune in 1680 to fit his own text, and his German incipit generated the name LOBE DEN HERREN. A magnificent tune in bar form (AAB), LOBE DEN HERREN is one of the finest and most popular tunes of the Lutheran repertoire. Bach used the tune in cantatas 57 and 137; a great variety of composers have created chorale preludes on it as well, testifying to the tune's enduring strength and usefulness.

The tune consists of two very long phrases at the beginning (probably the longest in all popular hymnody) matched by three shorter phrases at the end, with a well-positioned high note for climax. Sing it with rhythmic clarity, especially on the repeating melody notes. Use a strong full registration on the organ (with some bright mixtures and/or reeds); keep the rhythmic energy moving!

For festive occasions, use brass instruments and the descant composed by Craig S. Lang (b. Hastings, New Zealand, 1891; d. London, England, 1971). Lang was educated at Clifton College, Bristol, England, and earned his D.Mus. at the Royal College of Music in London. Throughout his life he was an organist and a music educator as well as a composer of organ, piano, and choral works. Lang was also music editor of The Public School Hymn Book (1949). He named many of his hymn tunes after Cornish villages.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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