445. Our Faithful God

Text Information
First Line: Our faithful God makes plans which cannot fail
Title: Our Faithful God
Author: Hendrik Pierson (1904)
Translator: Stanley Wiersma (1974)
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: Romans 8:30; Colossians 1:9; Romans 8; Colossians 1
Topic: Illumination; King, God/Christ as; Society/Social Concerns (4 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: Translation ©1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: Christian Gregor (1784)
Key: C Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Rom. 8:30
st. 3 = Col. 1:9

Dutch pastor Hendrik Pierson (b. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1834; d. Groningen, the Netherlands, 1923) wrote the original text “God is getrouw, zijn plannen falen niet”, and published it in Vluchtheuvel Gezangen (1904), which he compiled for the Vluchtheuvel Church in Zetten. It was also published in the Psalmen en Gezangen (1938) of the Dutch Hervormde Kerk and then brought to North America by Dutch-Canadian immigrants after World War II. Stanley M. Wiersma's (PHH 25) translation was first published in the Psalter Hymnal Supplement in 1974.

The three stanzas display a Trinitarian pattern: stanza 1 is about God's providence; stanza 2, Christ's victorious rule; stanza 3, the Spirit's leading of the church. Together the stanzas portray a powerful vision of God's providence as a doctrine that brings comfort to Christians.

Pierson not only served as a pastor in Heinenoord and Hertogenbosch, he was also director of the Heldring Institute in Zetten, which operated halfway houses and schools for girls and young women. He was a leader in various social movements in the Netherlands, especially militating against legalized prostitution. In his life and work he maintained a fine balance between theology, worship, and the diaconal work of the church. Pierson wrote a number of hymns.

Liturgical Use:
Worship that focuses on God's providence or the Trinity; ordination/commissioning services; church dedications and anniversaries; new ventures in church ministries.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Christian Gregor, Moravian minister and musician (b. Dirsdorf, Silesia 1723; d. Berthelsdorf, near Herrnhut, Saxony, 1801), wrote GREGOR'S 112TH METRE as a setting for "Er wird es tun, der fromme treue Gott" and published it in his Choralbuch in 1784 (hymn no. 112). That hymnal was a supplement to the 1778 Gesangbuch der evangelische Brueder-Gemeinen. Dutch musician Leonard J. Mens (1879-1960) prepared the harmonization for the Psalmen en Gezangen (1938), where this tune was set to Pierson's text.

The tune has bar form shape (AAB) common in many chorales. The melody also; has a sensitive balance between stepwise motion and larger, dramatic intervals. Sing in harmony and use a firm, bright organ registration.

Gregor became uncomfortable as a Protestant in predominantly Roman Catholic Silesia, and he joined the Moravian settlement in Herrnhut in 1742. There his many gifts came to expression: he became a noted spiritual leader, church musician, and hymnal editor. He traveled to Moravian communities and mission outposts in Europe and the United States, served as organist for the Moravians in Zeist, the Netherlands (1749-1753), and became a Moravian bishop in Herrnhut in 1789. The principal editor, of the Moravian Gesangbuch (1778), Gregor supplied some three hundred of his own texts as well as adaptations to its contents of 1,750 hymns. He also compiled a tunebook for that hymnal, entitled Choralbuch (1784), in which a number of tunes are also attributed to him.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)