Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness

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1 Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness,
leave the gloomy haunts of sadness;
come into the daylight's splendour,
there with joy thy praises render
unto him whose grace unbounded
hath this wondrous banquet founded:
high o'er all the heavens he reigneth,
yet to dwell with thee he deigneth.

2 Now I sink before thee lowly,
filled with joy most deep and holy,
as with trembling awe and wonder
on thy mighty works I ponder:
how, by mystery surrounded,
depth no mortal ever sounded,
none may dare to pierce unbidden
secrets that with thee are hidden.

3 Sun, who all my life dost brighten,
light, who dost my soul enlighten,
joy, the sweetest heart e'er knoweth,
fount, whence all my being floweth,
at thy feet I cry, my Maker,
let me be a fit partaker
of this blessed food from heaven,
for our good, thy glory, given.

4 Jesus, Bread of Life, I pray thee,
let me gladly here obey thee;
never to my hurt invited,
be thy love with love requited:
from this banquet let me measure,
Lord, how vast and deep its treasure;
through the gifts thou here dost give me,
as thy guest in heaven receive me.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #440

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Author: Johann Franck

Franck, Johann, son of Johann Franck, advocate and councillor at Guben, Brandenburg, was born at Guben, June 1, 1618. After his father's death, in 1620, his uncle by marriage, the Town Judge, Adam Tielckau, adopted him and sent him for his education to the schools at Guben, Cottbus, Stettin and Thorn. On June 28, 1638, he matriculated as a student of law at the University of Königsberg, the only German university left undisturbed by the Thirty Years' War. Here his religious spirit, his love of nature, and his friendship with such men as Simon Dach and Heinrich Held, preserved him from sharing in the excesses of his fellow students. He returned to Guben at Easter, 1640, at the urgent request of his mother, who wished to have him near her in… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Isa. 61:10, Rev. 21:3
st. 2 = Rev. 3:20
st. 4 = Rev. 19:9

The first stanza of "Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele" by Johann Franck was published in Johann Crüger's Geistliche Kirchen-Melodien (1649). Crüger and C. Runge published the complete hymn in nine stanzas in their 1653 Gesangbuch. The hymn has since appeared in virtually all German hymnals and in many English language ones. The English text in the Psalter Hymnal is a revision of select stanzas from two translations by Catherine Winkworth (PHH 194), one published in her Lyra Germanica (2nd series, 1858) and the other in her Chorale Book far England (1863). Winkworth's first line read "Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness."

The dominant tone of this text is one of deep joy enhanced by a sense of awe. We express joy and praise for "this wondrous banquet" (st. 1), and we show reverence in receiving Christ (st. 2). Thankful for "heavenly food" and drink (st. 3), we rejoice in Christ's love for us and in its power to unite us (st. 4). Often considered the best and most popular of the Lutheran chorales for the Lord's Supper, this text, according to John Julian,

is an exhortation to the soul to arise and draw near to partake of the Heavenly Food and to meditate on the wonders of Heavenly Love; ending with a prayer for final reception at the Eternal Feast.
-A Dictionary of Hymnology (2nd ed., 1907), p. 1014

Johann Franck (b. Guben, Brandenburg, Germany, 1618; d. Guben, 1677) was a law Student at the University of Köningsberg and practiced law during the Thirty Years' War. He held several positions in civil service, including councillor and mayor of Guben. A significant poet, second only to Paul Gerhardt (PHH 331) in his day, Fran wrote some 110 hymns, many of which were published by his friend Johann Cruüer in various editions of the Praxis Pietatis melica. All were included in the first part of Franc Teutsche Gedichte bestehend im geistliche Sion (1672).

Liturgical Use:
Lord's Supper–probably most effective during distribution of the bread and wine.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



Johann Crüger (PHH 42) composed SCHMÜCKE DICH for Franck's text and first published the tune as a setting for Franck's first stanza in Geistliche Kirchen-Melodien. The tune name is the incipit of the original German text. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used this tune in his Cantata 180; he and many other…

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Instances (1 - 100 of 101)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #280
American Lutheran Hymnal #48TextPage Scan
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #440Text
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #153
Australian Hymn Book #424
Book of Hymns for the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin and Other States #d55
Book of Hymns for the joint Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and other states #d51
Chorale Book for England, The #a2Text
Chorale Book for England, The #93TextPage Scan
Christ in Song #590Page Scan
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #311TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #78Text
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #295
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #146TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book with Tunes #432
Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #182TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #432TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal #269TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran hymnal: with music #269TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #328TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnbook (Lutheran Conference of Missouri and Other States) #d70
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #514Text InfoAudio
Hymn Book for the use of Evangelical Lutheran Schools and Congregations #d24
Hymn Book: for the use of Evangelical Lutheran schools and congregations #61TextPage Scan
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #339TextPage Scan
Hymnal and Order of Service: for churches and Sunday-schools #224aTextPage Scan
Hymnal and Order of Service: for churches and Sunday-schools #224bTextPage Scan
Hymnal for Church and Home. 4th ed. #d33
Hymnal for Church, School and Home #d27
Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #d58
Hymnal for Colleges and Schools. 3rd ed. #d59
Hymnal for Evangelical Lutheran Missions #99Page Scan
Hymnal of the Evangelical Church. Word ed. #d140
Hymnal: A Worship Book #473
Hymnal: for churches and Sunday-schools of the Augustana Synod #224Page Scan
Hymnbook for Christian Worship #310
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #257
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Revised #393
Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #606
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #400Text
Hymns for Worship #d41
Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches of America #494
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #108
In Excelsis: hymns with tunes for Christian worship #659Page Scan
Inter-Church Hymnal #d73
Offices of Worship and Hymns: with tunes, 3rd ed., revised and enlarged #423Page Scan
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #506TextPage Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Blue) #423
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #305Text InfoTune InfoScoreAudio
Rejoice in the Lord #536TextPage Scan
Selected Hymns in Large Type #d16
Service Book and Hymnal of the Lutheran Church in America #262TextPage Scan
Small Church Music #1410Audio
Songs of Light, the Bruderhof Songbook #97
Songs of praise : enlarged edition #267
Songs of the Church #d47
The Book of Common Praise: being the hymn book of The Church of England in Canada (revised 1938) #240
The Book of Praise #353
The Catholic Hymnal and Service Book. Organ ed. #d34
The Catholic Hymnal and Service Book. Pew ed. #d35
The Chapel Choir #d3
The Chapel Hymnal #d47
The Chapel Hymnal #d44
The Chapel Hymnal with Tunes #d39
The Concordia Hymnal. Rev. #d71
The Concordia Hymnal: a Hymnal for Church, School and Home. Rev. 1st word ed. #d70
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #563
The Cyber Hymnal #1201TextScoreAudio
The English Hymnal #306
The Evangelical Hymnal with Tunes #447Page Scan
The Harvard University Hymn Book #d54
The Harvard University Hymn Book #d59
The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada #333
The Hymnal : authorized by the General Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church #d92
The Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America 1940 #210Page Scan
The Hymnal of the United Church of Christ #d57
The Hymnary of the United Church of Canada #221
The Liturgy and the Office of Worship and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church #423Page Scan
The Lutheran Hymnal #305TextPage Scan
The Lutheran Hymnary #149TextPage Scan
The Mennonite Hymnary, published by the Board of Publication of the General Conference of the Mennonite Church of North America #552
The Methodist Hymnal, Official Hymnal of the Methodist Church #d113
The Milton Hymnal #d34
The New Century Hymnal #334
The New Christian Hymnal #426TextPage Scan
The New English Hymnal #280TextPage Scan
The Oxford American Hymnal for Schools and Colleges #d72
The Pioneer Hymnal #d240
The Selah Song Book (Das Sela Gesangbuch) #d119
The Selah Song Book. Word ed. #d76
The St. Cecilia Hymnal. 4th ed. #d28
The United Methodist Hymnal #612TextFlexscoreAudio
The Worshipbook: Services and Hymns #351TextPage Scan
The Youth Hymnary #d36
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #503
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #421TextPage Scan
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #463Text
Wartburg Hymnal: for church, school and home #253TextPage Scan
Worship and Hymns for All Occasions #d55
Worship in Song #d58
Exclude 74 pre-1979 instances