The Ten Commandments

My soul, recall with reverent wonder

Versifier: Dewey Westra
Published in 3 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI
Representative text cannot be shown for this hymn due to copyright.

Versifier: Dewey Westra

Dewey D. Westra (b. Holland, MI, 1899; d. Wyoming, MI, 1979) was a dedicated educator, writer, and musician who faithfully served the Christian Reformed Church. He attended Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Wayne State University in Detroit. In the 1920s and 30s he was a Christian school Principal in Byron Center and Detroit, Michigan. During the 1940s he was involved in various ventures, including becoming a diesel instructor for the Ford Motor Company. After 1947 he became a principal again, serving at Christian schools in Sioux Center, Iowa; Randolph, Wisconsin; and Walker, Michigan. Westra wrote poetry in English, Dutch, and Frisian, and translated poetry into English from Dutch and Frisian. He arranged many songs and composed… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: My soul, recall with reverent wonder
Title: The Ten Commandments
Versifier: Dewey Westra
Source: Psalter Hymnal, 1987, rev.
Language: English
Copyright: © 1987, CRC Publications


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ex. 20:1; 19:18-19
st. 2 = Ex. 20:2-3
st. 3 = Ex. 20:4-6
st. 4 = Ex. 20:7
st. 5 = Ex. 20:8-11
st. 6 = Ex. 20:12
st. 7 = Ex. 20:13-16
st. 8 = Ex. 20:17

The Decalogue is given in Exodus 20: 1-17 (also Deut. 5:6¬-21). These Ten Commandments summarize the covenant stipulations to be obeyed by God's people; Deuteronomy makes very clear that God's commandments are the people's principal obligations in their covenant with the LORD God. In the New Testament, Jesus clearly regards them that way as well (Matt. 5:21, 27; 19:17-19; Mark 10:19; Luke

John Calvin prescribed the singing of the Decalogue in his Strasbourg liturgy (1545) as a rule of thanksgiving following the confession of sin. It had the same role in the Dutch Reformed tradition, in which the Decalogue was one of the very few non-psalm texts set to music. In translating the one hundred and fifty Psalms from Dutch to English, Dewey Westra (PHH 98) also provided translations for the Decalogue and for the New Testament canticles. This translation is from Het boek der psalmen (1773), which was reprinted as late as 1942 by Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. There were also nine stanzas in the original Dutch. Westra's versification (revised) was first published in the Psalter Hymnal Supplement (1974).

Liturgical Use:
May be sung as part of the confession of sin–often done with responsorial or antiphonal singing of the Decalogue and the Kyrie (see 258, transposed to F major) with brief organ interludes. Because use of the Decalogue as a rule of thanksgiving is one of the strengths of the Reformed tradition, however, it may well be sung after the confession of sin as a commitment to godly living–which is how stanza 9 directs our use of the commandments.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



LES COMMANDEMENS (French for "the commandments"), a rich and graceful tune in the Hypo-Ionian mode (major), was used in the Genevan Psalter (1547) for the Decalogue and for Psalm 140, and later in British psalters and in the Lutheran tradition. The first setting in the Psalter Hymnal derives from Cl…

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #153
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)


Instances (1 - 3 of 3)
Text InfoTune InfoScoreAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #153

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #724

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #174

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