Hymnary Friends,

Please pardon this brief interruption, and please consider a gift today to support the work of Hymnary.org. Here's why.

Each month half a million people visit this website for free access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet. But this project does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue. Twice a year we hold a fund drive, and these drives are critical to our future.

So if you benefit from Hymnary.org, would you consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

Click the Donate button below to be taken to a secure giving site. Or you can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary.org team, our thanks.
Harry Plantinga

O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Representative Text

1 Our God, our Help in ages past,
our Hope for years to come,
our Shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal Home.

2 Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is Thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.

3 Before the hills in order stood
or earth received its frame,
from everlasting Thou art God,
to endless years the same.

4 A thousand ages in Thy sight
are like an ev'ning gone,
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

5 Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
bears all its sons away;
they fly forgotten, as a dream
dies at the op'ning day.

6 Our God, our Help in ages past,
our Hope for years to come,
be Thou our Guide while life shall last,
and our eternal Home!

Source: Hymns to the Living God #303

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Our God, our help in ages past
Title: O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Author: Isaac Watts (1719)
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Scripture References: st. 1 = Ps. 90:1 st. 2 = Ps. 90:1 st. 3 = Ps. 90:2 st. 4 = Ps. 90:4 st. 5 = Ps. 90:5 st. 6 = Ps. 90:1 Considered one of the finest paraphrases written by Isaac Watts (PHH 155), "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" expresses a strong note of assurance, promise, and hope in the LORD as recorded in the first part of Psalm 90, even though the entire psalm has a recurring theme of lament. Watts wrote the paraphrase in nine stanzas around 1714 and first published the text in his Psalms of David (1719). The Psalter Hymnal includes the most well-known stanzas. The first line, originally "Our God, our help … ," was changed to "O God, our help… “by John Wesley in his Collection of Psalms and Hymns. (1738). For further commentary on this psalm see PHH 90. Liturgical Use: Because it has great stature in the British Commonwealth and virtually serves as a second national anthem, "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" is suitable for various civic occasions in addition to its more common. See also PHH 90. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook ===================== Our God, our help in ages past. I. Watts. [Ps. xc.] this is the first part of his C.M. rendering of Ps. xc, in 9 stanzas of 4 lines, which appeared in his Psalms of David, &c., 1719, p. 229, and entitled “Man Frail, and God Eternal.” This version of Ps. xc. Has come down to modern collections in the following forms:-- (1) The original, in a few instances in full, but oftener in an abbreviated form of stanzas i., ii., iii., v., vii., and ix. (2) The altered text by J. Wesley, first published in his Collection of Psalms & Hymns, 1737, where it begins, “O God, our help,” &c. In this text alterations are introduced in stanzas i., ii., vi., and vii. This arrangement in 7 stanzas was included in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 39, and has been retained in all subsequent editions of that collection. A collation of any hymnal with the original and these changes by J. Wesley, will shew that in nearly every case the stanzas taken are i., ii., iii., v., vii., ix., and the alterations, if any, are by J. Wesley. In Bigg’s Annotated Hymns Ancient &Modern, 1867, a rendering into Latin by C. S. Calverley, 1866, “Auxilium quondam, nunc spes,” is given of the Hymns Ancient & Modern text, which is the original, with J. Wesley’s “O God” for “Our God.” (3) A curious arrangement of Watts with Tate & Brady was given by Toplady in his Psalms & Hymns, 1776, No. 308, in 10 stanzas of 4 lines. This cento is unknown to modern collections. (4) In Stowell’s Manchester Collection, 1831, Ps. xc. is composed of stanzas i., ii., from this version by Watts; and iii.-v. by another hand. It is repeated in the 1877 edition by his son. It is a most unequal cento, with a grand opening and a most feeble finish. Of Watts’s original it would be difficult to write too highly. It is undoubtedly one of his finest compostions, and his best paraphrase. In the commonly accepted form of six stanzas it is seen to the fullest advantage, the omitted portions being unequal to the rest, and impede the otherwise grandly sustained flow of thought. It has been rendered into many languages, and its use is universal. Original text in modern editions of Watts. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Tune

ST. ANNE

Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft (PHH 149), possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Suppleme…

Go to tune page >


Timeline

Media

You have access to this FlexScore.
Download:
General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Capo:
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

Questions? Check out the FAQ

A separate copy of this score must be purchased for each choir member. If this score will be projected or included in a bulletin, usage must be reported to a licensing agent (e.g. CCLI, OneLicense, etc).

This is a preview of your FlexScore.
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #74
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
The Cyber Hymnal #4892
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #170
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
Timeless Truths #118
  • O_God_Our_Help_in_Ages_Past.pdf (PDF)
  • O_God_Our_Help_in_Ages_Past.xml (XML)
The United Methodist Hymnal #117
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
Worship and Rejoice #84

Instances

Instances (1 - 87 of 87)

A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #205

TextPage Scan

African American Heritage Hymnal #170

Ambassador Hymnal #50

Text

Ancient and Modern #746

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #547

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Baptist Hymnal 1991 #74

Baptist Hymnal 2008 #122

Catholic Book of Worship III #644

TextFlexscorePage Scan

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #566

TextPage Scan

Chalice Hymnal #67

Text

Christian Worship #441

Church Family Worship #50

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #537

TextPage Scan

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #161

Common Praise (1998) #528

Page Scan

Common Praise #537

Community of Christ Sings #16

TextPage Scan

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #494

Complete Mission Praise #498

TextPage Scan

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #160

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Evangelical Lutheran Worship #632

Gather (3rd ed.) #688

TextPage Scan

Gather Comprehensive #614

Page Scan

Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #588

Text InfoTextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Glory to God #687

TextFlexscore

Hymnal 1982 #680

Hymnal #328

Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #99

Hymns and Psalms #358

Text

Hymns for a Pilgrim People #1

Text

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #37

TextPage Scan

Hymns of Faith #48

TextPage Scan

Hymns of Promise #3

Hymns of the Saints #200

Text Info

Hymns of the Saints #200b

Hymns of Truth & Light #80

Hymns Old and New #366

TextPage Scan

Hymns to the Living God #303

Text

Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #560

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Lift Up Your Hearts #405

TextPage Scan

Lutheran Service Book #733

TextPage Scan

Lutheran Worship #180

TextPage Scan

Moravian Book of Worship #461

Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #577

Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #32

TextFlexscorePage Scan

Presbyterian Hymnal #210

Psalms for All Seasons #90B

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs #20

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs #21

Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #170

Rejoice Hymns #24

TextPage Scan

Rejoice in the Lord #1

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #103

Sing Glory #542

TextPage Scan

Sing Joyfully #67

Singing the Faith #132

Audio

Small Church Music #222

Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #122

The Baptist Hymnal #66

The Book of Hymns (A fresh anthology of favourite hymns) #208

Text

The Celebration Hymnal #686

The Christian Life Hymnal #28

The Covenant Hymnal #422

The Covenant Hymnal #824

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #4892

The Greenwood Harmony (2nd ed.) #11

TextPage Scan

The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #52

TextPage Scan

The New Century Hymnal #25

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #417

The New National Baptist Hymnal #19

Text

The Song Book of the Salvation Army #13

TextFlexscoreAudio

The United Methodist Hymnal #117

The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #293

The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #294

Text

The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #295

The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #296

TextFlexscorePage Scan

The Worshiping Church #78

TextScoreAudio

Timeless Truths #118

Text

Together in Song #47

TextFlexscorePage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #30

Page Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #222

Text

Voices United #806

Text

Worship (3rd ed.) #579

Worship (4th ed.) #689

TextScoreFlexscoreAudio

Worship and Rejoice #84

TextAudio

Worship in Song #21

生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #49

Include 1004 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us



Advertisements