Praise to God in the Highest!

Representative Text

1 Praise to God in the highest!
Bless us, O Father:
praise to you!
Guide and prosper the nations,
rulers, and peoples:
praise to you!

2 May the truth in its beauty
flourish triumphant:
praise to you!
May the mills bring us bread, for
food and for giving:
praise to you!

3 May the good be obeyed and
evil be conquered:
praise to you!
Give us laughter, and set us
daily rejoicing:
praise to you!

4 Peace on earth and goodwill be
ever among us:
praise to you!
Amen, alleluia,

Source: Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #595

Translator: Percy Dearmer

Dearmer, Percy, M.A., son of Thomas Dearmer, was born in London, Feb. 27, 1867, and educated at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A. 1890, M.A. 1896). He was ordained D. 1891, P. 1892, and has been since 1901 Vicar of S. Mary the Virgin, Primrose Hill, London. He has been Secretary of the London Branch of the Christian Social Union since 1891, and is the author of The Parson's Handbook, 1st edition, 1899, and other works. He was one of the compilers of the English Hymnal, 1906, acting as Secretary and Editor, and contributed to it ten translations (38, 95, 150, 160, 165, 180, 215, 237, 352, 628) and portions of two others (242, 329), with the following originals:— 1. A brighter dawn is breaking. Easter. Suggested by… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Praise to God in the highest
Title: Praise to God in the Highest!
Translator: Percy Dearmer (1928)
Meter: 7.5.3 D
Source: Russian, 19th cent
Language: English


Scripture References:
st. 2 = Ps. 126:2-3

Originally a Russian folk carol ("Slava Bogu na nebye"), this text was published by Yakushkin in 1815; it exists with many variants in Russian music collections. The English version of the selected stanzas included in the Psalter Hymnal was taken from a translation by A. F. D. in the Oxford Book of Carols (1928). According to editors at Oxford University Press, A. F. D. stood for Percy Dearmer (b. Kilburn, Middlesex, England, 1867; d. London, England, 1936), one of three editors of that hymnbook. Bert Polman added the final "alleluias" to complete this setting for the Psalter Hymnal.

Though Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov called this a Christmas hymn (note st. 4 with its reference to Luke 2: 14), the stanzas function as a general hymn of prayer suitable for all seasons of the year. Framed by a tone of praise to God and a recurring refrain, “Praise to you,” the stanzas petition God for the blessings of guidance (st. 1), truthfulness and daily food (st. 2), goodness and rejoicing (st. 3), and peace (st. 4).

Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, England, Dearmer was ordained in the Church of England in 1892. He served a number of churches and was a Red Cross chaplain in Serbia, where his first wife died. Dearmer also lectured in England and abroad (including the United States) and from 1919-1936 was professor of ecclesiastical art at King's College, London. Dearmer had many interests, and he published books on a wide ran of topics-church history, faith healing, fasting, and art. But he is especially noted for contribution to liturgy and church music. Along with others he edited The English Hymnal (1906), Songs of Praise (1925, enlarged 1931), and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928). He also wrote a hymnal handbook, Songs of Praise Discussed (1933), produced original hymns, and translated hymns from Latin and other languages into English.

Liturgical Use:
Because of its similarities in theme to the Lord's Prayer, as part of the spoken and sung prayers in many worship services, including Christmas Day.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



A favorite Russian folk tune, SLAVA BOGU was used by several famous composers in their works. Ludwig van Beethoven incorporated the melody into the trio of his second Rasumovsky String Quartet (Op. 59), Rimsky-Korsakov used it in his cantata Slava, and Modest Mussorgsky employed the tune in the coro…

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Instances (1 - 1 of 1)
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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #595

Include 2 pre-1979 instances
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