We ask for donations here just twice a year, and this is one of those times. So, before you hit the "close" button on this box, would you consider a donation to keep Hymnary.org going? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

Last month, our Hymnary website had almost 1 million visitors from around the world: people like you who love hymns. To serve our users well takes money, and we have limited sources of revenue. This fund drive is one such source.

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, or you can click the Donate button below. From the entire Hymnary.org team, our grateful thanks.

Wie soll ich dich empfangen

Representative Text

1 Wie soll ich dich empfangen,
und wie begegn' ich dir,
O aller Welt Verlangen,
o meiner Seelen Zier?
O Jesu, Jesu, setze
mir selbst die Fackel bei,
damit, was dich ergötze,
mir kund und wissend sei.

2 Dein Zion streut dir Palmen
und grüne Zweige hin,
und ich will dir in Psalmen
ermuntern meinen Sinn:
mein Herze soll dir grünen
in stetem Lob und Preis
und deinem Namen dienen,
so gut ich kann und weiß.

3 Was hast du unterlassen
zu meiner Trost und Freud',
als Leib und Seele saßen
in ihrem größten Leid?
Als mir das Reich genommen,
da Fried' und Freude lacht,
da bist du, mein Heil, kommen
und hast mich froh gemacht.

5 Nichts, nichts hat dich getrieben
zu mir vom Himmelszelt,
als dein geliebte Lieben,
damit du alle Welt
in ihren tausend Plagen
und großen Jammerlast,
die kein Mund aus kann sagen,
so fest umfangen hast.

6 Das schreib dir in dein Herze,
du hochbetrübtes Heer,
bei denen Gram und Schmerze
sich häuft je mehr und mehr;
Seid unverzagt! Ihr habet
die Hilfe vor dir Tür:
der eure Herzen labet
und tröstet, steht allhier.

10 Er kommt zum Weltgerichte,
zum Fluch dem, der ihm flucht;
mit Gnad' und süßem Lichte
dem, der ihn liebt und sucht.
Ach komm, ach komm, o Sonne.
und hol' uns allzumal
zum ew'gen Licht und Wonne
in deinen Freudensaal!

Source: Kleines Gesang- und Gebetbuch #11

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Wie soll ich dich empfangen
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Language: German
Copyright: Public Domain


Wie soil ich dich empfangen? P. Gerhardt. [Advent.] First published in the Crüger-Runge Gesang-Buch, 1653, No. 77, in 10 stanzaa of 8 lines, reprinted in Wackernagel's edition of Gerhardt's Geistliche Lieder, No. 3, Bachmann's edition, No. 22, and the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 21. It is founded on St. Matt. xxi. 1-9, the Gospel for the first Sunday in Advent. The allusions in stanzas vi.-ix. would suggest that it was written during the Thirty Years' War. It is one of Gerhardt's finest productions, and is probably the best German Advent hymn. Translated as:—
1. How shall I meet my Saviour. In full, by J. C. Jacobi, in his Psalmodia Germanica, 1722, p. 3 (1732, p. 3, slightly altered). Included in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754, and repeated, altered, in later editions (1886, No. 33). Varying centos under the original first line, but from the Moravian text, are found in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, Dr. Pagenstecher's Collection, 1864, Latrobe's Psalms & Hymns, 1841, and Bishop Kyle's Collection, 1860. Other forms are (see also No. 3):—
(1) We go to meet Thee, Saviour (stanza i. alt.), in Reid's Praise Book, 1872, mainly from the Moravian Hymn Book, 1801.
(2) Love caused Thine Incarnation (stanza v. alt.), in Walker's Collection, 1855, and Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, from the Moravian Hymn Book, 1801.
2. Oh, how shall I receive Thee. A good translated of stanzas i., ii., vii., viii., x., by A. T. Russell, as No. 36 in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851. Repeated in Kennedy, 1863, and the People's Hymnal, 1867; and abridged in J. L. Porter's Collection, 1876, Hymns & Songs of Praise, N. Y., 1874, Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884, &c.
3. Oh! how shall I receive Thee. This is No. 5 in the edition, 1857, of Mercer's Church Psalm & Hymn Book. Stanzas i., ii., are based on Russell, and stanzas iii.-v. (representing iv.-vi.), are based on Jacobi, as altered in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1801. Slightly altered in Mercer, 1859, and thence in the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1868; and (omitting translated of stanza iv.) in Mercer's Oxford edition, 1864.
4. Ah I Lord, how shall I meet Thee. A translated of stanzas i., ii., v., vi., viii., x., by Miss Winkworth, in her Chorale Book for England, 1863, No. 21.
5. Say with what salutations. In full, by J. Kelly, in his P. Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, 1867, p. 10; repeated, abridged, in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.
Other translations are: (1) "Lord, how shall I be meeting," by Dr. J. W. Alexander, in Schaff’s Kirchenfreund, 1850, p. 176, and in his Christ in Song, 1869, p. 20, and his own Breaking Crucible, 1861, p. 11. (2) “How shall I meet Thee? How my heart," by Miss Winkmorth, 1855, p. 7. (3) "How shall I come to meet Thee," by Miss Manington, 1863, p. 65. (4) "Lord, how shall I receive Thee," by B. Massie, 1864, p. 93. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


ST. THEODULPH (Teschner)

Now often named ST. THEODULPH because of its association with this text, the tune is also known, especially in organ literature, as VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN. It was composed by Melchior Teschner (b. Fraustadt [now Wschowa, Poland], Silesia, 1584; d. Oberpritschen, near Fraustadt, 1635) for "Valet wi…

Go to tune page >


Johann Crüger composed WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN for Gerhardt's text and published the tune in 1653; the tune name is the German incipit of Gerhardt's text. Enhancing a sense of personal and communal meditation, the tune gives reflective support to this text. The tune is in isorhythmic form (all…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #13583
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

Glaubenslieder #435


The Cyber Hymnal #13583

Include 97 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.