Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Handbook

— Hymn Texts and Tunes —



Day of wrath  537

Dies irae, dies illa,

solvet saeclum in favilla

teste David cum Sibylla.


quantus tremor est futurus,

quando iudex est venturus,

cuncta stricte discussurus.


tuba mirum spargens sonum

per sepulcra regionum

coget omnes ante thronum.


mors stupebit et natura,

cum resurget creatura

iudicanti responsura.


liber scriptus proferetur,

in quo totum continetur,

unde mundus iudicetur.


iudex ergo cum sedebit,

quidquid latet, apparebit;

nil inultum remanebit.


quid sum miser tunc dicturus,

quem patronum rogaturus,

cum vix iustus sit securus?


rex tremendae maiestatis,

qui salvandos salvas gratis,

salva me, fons pietatis.


recordare, Iesu pie,

quod sum causa tuae viae;

ne me perdas illa die.


quaerens me sedisti lassus,

redemisti crucem passus;

tantus labor non sit cassus.


iuste iudex ultionis,

donum fac remissionis

ante diem rationis.


ingemisco tamquam reus,

culpa rubet vultus meus;

supplicanti parce, Deus.


qui Mariam absolvisti

et latronem exaudisti,

mihi quoque spem dedisti.


preces meae non sunt dignae;

sed tu bonus fac benigne

ne perenni cremer igne.


inter oves locum praesta,

et ab haedis me sequestra,

statuens in parte dextra.


confutatis maledictis,

flammis acribus addictis,

voca ma cum benedictis.


oro supplex et acclinis:

cor contritum quasi cinis;

gere curam mei finis.


lacrimosa dies illa,

qua resurget ex favilla

iudicandus homo reus, huic ergo parce, Deus.


pie Iesu Domine, dona eis requiem. Amen.


Dies irae dies illa!

Solvet faeclum in favillâ,

Teste David cum Sibyllâ.


Quantus tremor est futurus,

Quando Iudex est venturus,

Cuncta stricte discussurus.


Tuba mirum spargens sonum

Per sepulcra regionum,

Coget omnes ante thronum.


Mors stupebit, et natura,

Quum resurget creatura,

Iudicanti responsura.


Liber scriptus proferetur,

In quo totum continetur,

Unde mundus iudicetur.


Iudex ergo cum sedebit,

Quidquid latet, apparebit:

Nil inultum remanebit.


Quid sum, miser! tunc dicturus,

Quem patronum rogaturus,

Quum vix iustus sit securus?


Rex tremendae maiestatis,

Qui salvandos salvas gratis,

Salva me, fons pietatis!


Recordare, Iesu pie,

Quod sum causa tuae viae;

Ne me perdas illâ die!


Quaerens me, sedisti lassus,

Redemisti, crucem passus:

Tantus labor non sit cassus.


Iuste Iudex ultionis,

Donum fac remissionis

Ante diem rationis.


Ingemisco tanquam reus,

Culpâ rubet vultus meus;

Supplicanti parce, Deus!


Qui Mariam absolvisti,

Et latronem exauditi,

Mihi quoque spem dedisti.


Preces meae non sunt dignae,

Sed Tu bonus fac benigne

Ne perenni cremer igne!


Inter oves locum praesta,

Et ab haedis me sequestra,

Statuens in parb dextrâ.


Confutatis maledictis,

Flammis acribus addiatis,

Voca me cum benedictis!


Oro supplex et acclinis,

Cor contritum quasi cinis,

Gere curam mei finis.


Lacrimosa dies illa!

Qua resurget ex favillâ

Iudicandus homo reus;

Huic ergo parce, Deus!


Thomas de Celano, friend and biographer of Francis of Assisi, is generally credited with the authorship of this great medievel sequence, the opening lines of which are taken verbatim from the Vulgate version of Zeph. 1:15. Julian, writing of the general acceptance of this hymn, declares:


The hold which this sequence has had upon the minds of men of various nations and creeds has been very great. Goethe uses it, as is well known, in his Faust with great effect. It also furnishes a grand climax to Canto VI in Sir Walter Scott’s Lag of the Last Minstrel. It has been translated into many languages, in some of which the renderings are very numerous, those in German numbering about ninety and those in English about one hundred and sixty. In Great Britain and America no hymn-book of any note has appeared during the past hundred years without the “Dies Irae” being directly or in directly represented therein. Daniel, writing from a German standpoint, says:

“Even those to whom the hymns of the Latin Church are almost entirely unknown, certainly know this one; and if any one can be found so alien from human nature that they have no appreciation of sacred poetry, yet, as a matter of certainty, even they would give their minds to this hymn, of which every word is weighty, yes, even a thunderclap.”


From another standpoint, Archbishop Trench says:


“Nor is it hard to account for its popularity. The meter so grandly devised, of which I remember no other example, fitted though it has here shown itself for bringing out some of the noblest powers of the Latin language—the solemn effect of the triple rime, which has been likened to blow following blow of the hammer on the anvil, the confidence of the poet in the universal interest of his theme, a confidence which has made him set out his matter with so majestic and unadorned a plainness as at once to be intelligible to all,—these merits, with many more, have given the Dies Irae a foremost place among the masterpieces of sacred song.”—Sac. Lat. Poetry, 1874, p. 302.


The translation, one of many excellent ones, is by William J. Irons, slightly altered. It was first issued in the privately printed Introits and Hymns for Advent, issued, without date, very likely 1848, for the use of Margaret Street Chapel, London. Julian has this to say about the origin of the translation:


It is well known that the Revolution in Paris in 1848 led to many scenes of terror and shame. Foremost was the death of Monsigneur D. A. Affre, the Archbishop of Paris, who was shot on June 25 on the barricades of the Place de la Bastille whilst endeavoring to persuade the insurgents to cease firing, and was buried on July 7. As soon as it was safe to do so, his funeral sermon was preached in Notre Dame, accompanied by a religious service of the most solemn and impressive kind. Throughout the service the archbishop’s heart was exposed in a glass case in the choir, and at the appointed place the Dies Irae was sung by an immense body of priests. The terror of the times, the painful sense of bereavement which rested upon the minds of the people through the death of their archbishop, the exposed heart in the choir, the imposing ritual of the service, and the grand rendering of the Dies Irae by the priests gave to the occasion an unusual degree of impressiveness. Dr. Irons was present and was deeply moved by what he saw and heard. On retiring from the Church, he wrote out this tr. [translation] of the Dies Irae.

[Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

AMONG all the hymns from the Middle Ages, this Doomsday hymn, “Dies irae, dies illa,” wielded a most unique and extraordinary influence. It has stirred the souls of Christians throughout the world, and many authors have busied themselves with this hymn. A large number of translations have been made into German, English, and other languages.

Thomas of Celano lived during the first half of the thirteenth century. He was intimately associated with St. Francis of Assisi, the most remarkable personality of his time, whom he describes with an enthusiasm inspired by the deepest admiration and devotion. Among the prominent men of this century may be mentioned the theologians and hymn writers, Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura, Pope Innocent III, and the founders of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders. The cultural development of the period really culminated in Dante’s Divine Comedy, which was begun during the last year of the 13th century.

Celano was located in the northern part of the kingdom of Naples. The city was burned, and the inhabitants were compelled to flee during the violent controversies between the pope and the emperor. Only the church remained intact among the ruins. This was one of the childhood memories of Thomas. It was during that period, possibly, that the young man found his way to St. Francis of Assisi, who was to exert such an influence upon his life and whose co-laborer and biographer he became. Thomas of Celano was later chosen to go to Germany to take charge of the work at the cloisters of Maintz, Worms, and Cologne, and later throughout the whole province.

It is not known under what circumstances or at what time “Dies irae” was written—some think about 1220. The authorship has been variously ascribed to several: Gregory the Great, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventura, and others. Most authorities, however, are now agreed that Thomas of Celano is its author. The hymn was originally intended for use at the private devotions in the cloisters. During the latter part of the 13th century it was used in connection with the mass for the dead, and was regularly incorporated in the Catholic liturgy of the 14th century. The hymn was also used during the season of Lent. There is nothing in this hymn offensive to Lutheran Christians. It is truly Biblical throughout. It is the poor sinner seeking grace and mercy with God. It is Evangelical, emphasizing the free access to God’s throne of grace without the mediation of pope, church, or saint. It is recognized as the most sublime hymn of the Middle Ages. One hymnologist says: “The reason for its great power and influence over the minds of people which it has exerted also in literature and music may first of all be sought in the theme itself; its overwhelming grandeur; the holy sincerity and pathos of the author; and its lofty sentiment is further enhanced by the majestic meter with the triple rime.” Fr. von Meyer writes: “This strange poem, rather lacking in imagery, but profuse in feelings, strikes like a hammer with its mysterious triple rime upon the heart of man. I would not dwell under the same roof with the person who was so devoid of feelings that he could read and hear this hymn without fear and trembling.”

Among the authors who have employed parts of this hymn, “Dies irae,” in their works may be mentioned Walter Scott in The Lay of the Last Minstrel (see No. 606). It also plays a part in the scenes of Goethe’s Faust, where the poet lets Gretchen faint from fear and anguish, as she hears this hymn sung in the cathedral church, and from that hour her personality is completely changed. Meinhold and Carlyle have also employed parts of this hymn in their works. It is self-evident that prominent musicians should have composed music for this hymn. “Dies irae” furnished the inspiration for Mozart’s immortal Requiem. It likewise prompted the two compositions by Palestrina for polyphonic choir steadily used in the great cathedrals of the Catholic church. Cherubini’s production based upon this hymn is also extensively used. The musical setting employed in The Lutheran Hymnary was rendered by Ludvig M. Lindeman, organist in Oslo, Norway, in 1883, upon the request of John Dahle, the author of the present history.

“Dies irae” has been rendered into the English language upwards of 160 times. Of these, about 100 have been rendered in America. There are about 100 translations into the German language. There are three versions in the Norwegian, namely, by W. A. Wexels; U. V. Koren, president of the Norwegian Lutheran Synod of America; and an excerpt containing 12 stanzas, based upon various translations, by Gustav Jensen for Ny Salmebok for den Norske Kirke (Vredens Dag ved Tidens Ende).

In the Swedish we have a very good rendering, possibly the latest; “Dagen kommer, Vredesdagen.” Concerning the English rendering found in The Lutheran Hymnary we submit the following information: William Josiah Irons, born 1812, died 1884, minister in England and doctor of theology, translated “Dies irae” in 1848. During this year of the revolution Dr. Irons resided in Paris. The archbishop, D. A. Affre, was shot and killed upon the barricade at the Bastille, while trying to persuade the rebels to cease firing. This took place on the 25th of June. On the 7th of July Irons was present at the memorial service conducted in the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was a most impressive service. The heart of the bishop was exhibited in a vessel in the chancel. The ritual, and especially “Dies irae,” sung by a large choir of priests, made a profound impression upon Irons. When he came back to his residence he wrote his translation of this hymn based upon the Latin text of the Paris Missal, and this is the most popular English version of this famous hymn. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Dayspring of eternity*  75

(See: Come, Thou bright and Morning-Star)


Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice  378

Nun freut euch, liebe Christen g’mein,

Und lasst uns fröhlich springen,

Dass wir getrost und all’ in ein

Mit Lust und Liebe singen,

Was Gott an uns gewendet hat,

Und seine süsse Wundertat;

Gar teu’r hat er’s erworben.


Dem Teufel ich gefangen lag,

Im Tod war ich verloren,

Mein’ Sünd’ mich quälte Nacht und Tag,

Darin ich war geboren.

Ich fiel auch immer tiefer drein,

Es war kein Gut’s am Leben mein,

Die Sünd’ hatt’ mich besessen.


Mein’ gute Werk’, die galten nicht,

Es war mit ihn’n verdorben;

Der frei’ Will’ hasste Gott’s Gericht,

Er war zum Gut’n erstorben.

Die Angst mich zu verzweifeln trieb,

Dass nichts denn Sterben bei mir blieb,

Zur Hölle musst’ ich sinken.


Da jammert’ Gott in Ewigkeit

Mein Elend übermassen,

Er dacht’ an sein’ Barmherzigkeit,

Er wollt’ mir helfen lassen;

Er wandt’ zu mir das Vaterherz,

Es war bei ihm fürwahr kein Scherz,

Er liess’s sein Bestes kosten.


Er sprach zu seinem lieben Sohn:

Die Zeit ist hier zu ‘rbarmen;

Fahr hin, mein’s Herzens werte Kron’,

Und sei das Heil dem Armen

Und hilf ihm aus der Sündennot,

Erwürg’ für ihn den bittern Tod

Und lass ihn mit dir leben!


Der Sohn dem Vater g’horsam ward,

Er kam zu mir auf Erden

Von einer Jungfrau rein und zart,

Er sollt’ mein Bruder werden.

Gar heimlich führt’ er sein’ Gewalt,

Er ging in meiner armen G’stalt,

Den Teufel wollt’ er fangen.


Er sprach zu mir: Halt dich an mich,

Es soll dir jetzt gelingen;

Ich geb’ mich selber ganz für dich,

Da will ich für dich ringen;

Denn ich bin dein, und du bist mein,

Und wo ich bleib’, da sollst du sein,

Uns soll der Feind nicht scheiden.


Vergiessen wird er mir mein Blut,

Dazu mein Leben rauben;

Das leid’ ich alles dir zugut.

Das halt mit festem Glauben!

Den Tod verschlingt das Leben mein,

Mein’ Unschuld trägt die Sünde dein:

Da bist du selig worden.


Gen Himmel zu dem Vater mein

Fahr’ ich von diesem Leben,

Da will ich sein der Meister dein,

Den Geist will ich dir geben.

Der dich in Trübnis trösten soll

Und lehren mich erkennen wohl

Und in der Wahrheit leiten.


Was ich getan hab’ und gelehrt,

Das sollst du tun und lehren,

Damit das Reich Gott’s werd’ gemehrt

Zu Lob und seinen Ehren,

Und hüt’ dich vor der Menschen G’satz.

Davon verdirbt der edle Schatz!

Das lass’ ich dir zur Letze.


THE year 1523 has been claimed to be the earliest publication date of this hymn, when it is said to have appeared on a leaflet together with the hymn “Es ist ein Heil uns kommen her,” by Speratus. In 1524 it was published in the Achtliederbuch, bearing the mark “Luther, 1523.” This reference, however, is not reliable, and no certain evidence has been found of its publication at an earlier date than that of the Erfurter Enchiridion, 1524. (Truttebul’s). Later on the hymn appeared in almost all the German hymn books. The hymnologist, Fr. Spitta, is evidently correct when he states that originally the hymn was not intended for a common song, but purely a lyric poem—a poetic expression of Luther’s personal joy and happiness after having passed through violent inner struggles and realizing that, while his penance and fasting and good works were of no avail, he could now, on the other hand, see himself fully justified by faith in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. It is therefore most likely that this poem was written during the period previous to the year 1517, while Luther still was filled with the first joy occasioned by the experience of release from the great burden of sin resting upon him. From this period we also have, in Luther’s sermons and letters, many expressions m this same vein, couched in the most intense and fervent terms. Thus, for instance, in the letter to his friend Spenlein, dated April, 1516: “Therefore, my dear brother, learn to know Jesus Christ as the Crucified One! Learn to sing praises unto Him! and as you despair concerning yourself, say unto the Lord: ‘Thou, O Lord Jesus, art my righteousness, but I am Thy sin. Thou hast taken my condition upon Thyself and given me Thine Thou hast taken upon Thyself what I was, and given me that which I was not’.” It is for the purpose of emphasizing his own personal happiness that he repeatedly employs the first person singular, “Ich,” “mich,” “mein,” except in the first stanza: “wir,” “uns,” “Christen G’mein.” It appears likely that this stanza was added or at least varied, when in 1523-24 he began the work of supplying German hymns for the congregations, and found that this hymn also might be suitable for that purpose. But the following stanzas were permitted to retain the more personal and intensive expressions “Ich,” “mich,” and “mein.” (Nutzhorn.) Luther calls this “A hymn of praise for the greatest blessings which God hath shown us in Christ Jesus.” Olearius calls this hymn an exceptionally comforting summary of the Evangelical faith; it includes all that the Holy Scriptures teach concerning God, concerning Christ, concerning our lost condition, and salvation by grace through the merits of Jesus Christ, as well as a firm assurance of a part in the Kingdom of Glory.

“Stanza 1 praises God for the victory vouchsafed through His Son; stanzas 2 and 3 describe man in his lost and sinful estate; stanzas 4 and 5 picture God’s wonderful compassion for the fallen, and the gift of His Son, as Redeemer; stanzas 6 to 8 describe the work of redemption; and 9-10 the sending of the Holy Ghost, whose influence is attended with benefit.” (Lambert, Luther’s Hymns.)

I have no doubt,” says Tileman Hesshusius, “that by this one hymn of Luther’s: ‘Nun freut euch lieben Christen g’mein,’ many hundred souls have been brought to a saving faith, who at an earlier date would not even hear Luther’s name mentioned. These spiritual songs have, in my opinion, exerted a powerful influence in spreading the Gospel.” Even as this hymn was a precious gem for the Evangelical congregation, it became a “thorn in the eye” of the Catholics. As an example of the latter may be mentioned that on Mid-Summer’s Day, 1557, some of the rulers gathered in Frankfurt am Main and wished to take part in an Evangelical service to be conducted in the church of St. Bartholomew. But as soon as the service opened a Catholic priest ascended the pulpit and began to interpret the Gospel according to his form of doctrine. The congregation became highly incensed and interrupted him by uniting in singing Luther’s famous hymn. The priest sought the help of the assembled rulers, but was refused, whereupon he left the church, and the service was continued.

The English translation of this hymn employed in The Lutheran Hymnary was rendered by R. Massie in his book, Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, 1854. It was first printed in Danish in Claus Mortensen’s hymnal of 1528. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Dearest Jesus! We are here  244

Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier,

Deinem Worte nachzuleben.

Dieses Kindlein kommt zu dir,

Weil du den Befehl gegeben,

Dass man sie zu Christo führe,

Denn das Himmelreich ist ihre.


Ja es schallet allermeist

Dieses Wort in unsern Ohren:

Wer durch Wasser und durch Geist

Nicht zuvor ist neugeboren,

Wird von dir nicht aufgenommen

Und in Gottes Reich nicht kommen.


Darum eilen wir zu dir.

Nimm das Pfand von unsern Armen,

Tritt mit deinem Glanz herfür

Und erzeige dein Erbarmen,

Dass es dein Kind hier auf Erden

Und im Himmel möge werden!


Hirte, nimm dein Schäflein an;

Haupt, mach es zu deinem Gliede;

Himmelsweg, zeig ihm die Bahn;

Friedefürst, schenk ihm den Frieden:

Weinstock, hilf, dass diese Rebe

Auch im Glauben dich umgebe!


Nun, wir legen an dein Herz,

Was vom Herzen ist gegangen;

Führ die Seufzer himmelwärts

Und efülle das Verlangen;

Ja, den Namen, den wir geben,

Schreib ins Lebensbuch zum Leben!


THIS baptismal hymn was first printed 1709, in Schmolck’s Heilige Flammen der himmlischgesinnten Seele, in andächtigem Gebet und Liedern angezündet. It was ordered to be sung by the sponsors as they brought the child to the church. The English version, by Miss Winkworth, was published in her Lyra Germanica in 1858, and in the Chorale Book for England, in 1863. It was sung at Windsor Castle in 1863 for the baptism of Princess Victoria of Hessen. There are eight English translations. Of the seven stanzas in the original, the fourth and fifth have generally been omitted. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Dearest Jesus, draw Thou near me  13


THIS hymn in The Lutheran Hymnary contains the last three stanzas of the famous Danish hymn, “Hører, Verdens Øer, hører.” The complete hymn contained 10 stanzas. It is based upon Is. 49: 1-6, the epistle lesson for St. John the Baptist’s Day. Since this holiday was abolished by a special ordinance October 26, 1770, the last three stanzas have been used at the beginning of the service. The English translation used in the Hymnary is by C. K. Solberg, 1908. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Death is dead, the true Life liveth!  346



Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness*  328

(See: Soul, adorn thyself with gladness)


Draw nigh and take the body of the Lord  314

Sancti, venite, corpus Christi sumite,

Sanctum bibentes, quo redempti sanguine.


Pro universis immolatus Dominus,

Ipse sacerdos exstitit et hostia.


Sanctorum eustos, rector quoque, Dominus,

Vibe perennis, largitur credentibus.


Caelestem panem dat esurientibus,

De fonte vivo praebet sitientibus.


Accedant omnes pura, mente creduli,

Sumant aeternam salutis custodiam.


Alpha et Omega, ipse Christus Dominus,

Venit venturus iudicare homines. Amen.


THE original of this communion hymn was found in an antiphonarium, written 680-691 in Bangor cloister, Down County, Ireland. It is now kept in the Ambrosian library of Milan, Italy. The printed text is found in Rambach’s and O. A. Daniel’s editions. It is thought that the hymn was sung especially when the priests partook of the communion. Dr. Neale, who has translated this hymn into English, says that it is characterized by marked piety and simplicity. It is one of the very oldest of our communion hymns. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Draw us to Thee  581

Zeuch uns nach dir,

So laufen wir

Mit herzlichem Verlangen

Hin, da du bist,

O Jesu Christ,

Aus dieser Welt gegangen.


Zeuch uns nach dir

In Liebsbegier

Ach reiss uns doch von hinnen,

So dürfen wir

Nicht länger hier

Den Kummerfaden spinnen.


Zeuch uns nach dir,

Herr Christ, ach führ

Uns deine Himmelsstege!

Wir irr’n sonst leicht

Und sind verscheucht

Vom rechten Lebenswege.


Zeuch uns nach dir,

So folgen wir

Dir nach in deinen Himmel,

Dass uns nicht mehr

Allhier beschwer’

Das böse Weltgetümmel.


Zeuch uns nach dir

Nur für und für

Und gib, dass wir nachfahren

Dir in dein Reich,

Und mach uns gleich

Den auserwählten Scharen!


Friedrich Funcke first published this hymn in the Lüneburg Stadt Gesang Buch, 1686. It is based on Solomon’s Song 1:4.

The translation is by August Crull. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

LANDSTAD and Skaar have erroneously ascribed this hymn to F. Fabricius. [The hymn had also previously been ascribed to Angelus Silesius (Scheffler), and to Ludomilia Elisabet, who have written hymns with a somewhat similar beginning.] “The words of the bride, in the Song of Solomon 1:4: ‘Draw me, we will run after thee’ are beautifully rendered in this hymn” (Skaar). It appeared first in the Lüneburg Stadt-Gesangbuch, 1686; was taken up by Freylinghausen in his Gesangbuch, 1705, and later in many Lutheran hymnals. The version which appeared in J. H. Schrader’s Vollständiges Gesangbuch, Töndern, 1731, was translated into Danish by H. A. Brorson and printed in Nogle Himmelfarts- og Pindse-Psalmer, Tøndern, 1734. It was taken up unchanged in Pontoppidan’s Hymnary, and later somewhat altered in Hauge’s and Landstad’s editions. … The Danish-Norwegian translation has been given a different meter and is sung to the melody, “O Hjertens Ve, og Sorg at se” (Landst. 336). Our English version is a free rendering by A. T. Russell (See No. 26). [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Eternal Son of God  68



The author of this hymn is unknown. The hymn is found is a Vatican manuscript from the eighth century, also in a ninth century manuscript in the library of Bern. It appears in three manuscripts and in one breviary from the eleventh century, kept in the British Museum. The hymn was translated into German by J. Rambach, and his version was again rendered into English by an unknown hand. The English version appeared first in The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, Columbus, Ohio, 1880. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Evening and morning  57

Die güldne Sonne,

Voll Freud und Wonne

Bringt unsern Grenzen

Mit ihrem Glänzen

Ein herzerquickendes,

Liebliches Licht.

Mein Haupt und Glieder,

Die lagen darnieder;

Aber nun steh ich,

Bin munter und fröhlich,

Schaue den Himmel

Mit meinem Gesicht.


2. Mein Auge schauet,

Was Gott gebauet

Zu seinen Ehren

Und uns zu lehren,

Wie sein Vermögen

Sei mächtig und groß

Und wo die Frommen

Dann sollen hinkommen,

Wann sie mit Frieden

Von hinnen geschieden

Aus dieser Erde

Vergänglichem Schoß.


3. Lasset uns singen,

Dem Schöpfer bringen

Güter und Gaben;

Was wir nur haben,

Alles sei Gottes

Zum Opfer gesetzt!

Die besten Güter

Sind unsre Gemüter;

Lieder der Frommen,

Von Herzen gekommen,

Sind Weihrauch, der ihn

Am meisten ergötzt.


4. Abend und Morgen

Sind seine Sorgen;

Segnen und mehren,

Unglück verwehren

Sind seine Werke

Und Taten allein.

Wann wir uns legen,

So ist er zugegen;

Wann wir aufstehen,

So läßt er aufgehen

Über uns seiner

Barmherzigkeit Schein.

5. Ich hab erhoben

Zu dir hoch droben

All meine Sinnen;

Laß mein Beginnen

Ohn allen Anstoß

Und glücklich ergehn.

Laster und Schande,

Des Seelenfeinds Bande,

Fallen und Tücke

Treib ferne zurücke;

Laß mich auf deinen

Geboten bestehn.


6. Laß mich mit Freuden

Ohn alles Neiden

Sehen den Segen,

Den Du wirst legen

In meines Bruders

Und Nächsten Haus.

Geiziges Brennen,

Unchristliches Rennen

Nach Gut mit Sünde,

Das tilge geschwinde

Aus meinem Herzen

Und wirf es hinaus.


7. Menschliches Wesen,

Was ist's? Gewesen!

In einer Stunde

Geht es zu Grunde,

Sobald die Lüfte

Des Todes dreinwehn.

Alles in allen

Muß brechen und fallen;

Himmel und Erden,

Die müssen das werden,

Was sie gewesen

Vor ihrem Bestehn.


8. Alles vergehet.

Gott aber stehet

Ohn alles Wanken;

Seine Gedanken,

Sein Wort und Wille

Hat ewigen Grund.

Sein Heil und Gnaden,

Die nehmen nicht Schaden,

Heilen im Herzen

Die tödlichen Schmerzen,

Halten uns zeitlich

Und ewig gesund.

9. Gott, meine Krone,

Vergib und schone!

Laß meine Schulden

In Gnad' und Hulden

Aus deinen Augen

Sein abgewandt.

Sonst, Herr, regiere

Mich, lenke und führe,

Wie dir's gefället;

Ich habe gestellet

Alles in deine

Beliebung und Hand.


10. Willst du mir geben,

Womit mein Leben

Ich kann ernähren,

So laß mich höhren

Allzeit im Herzen

Dies heilige Wort:

Gott ist das Größte,

Das Schönste und Beste;

Gott ist das Süßte

Und Allergewißte,

Aus allen Schätzen

Der edelste Hort.


11. Willst Du mich kränken,

Mit Galle tränken,

Und soll von Plagen

Ich auch was tragen,

Wohlan, so mach es,

Wie dir es beliebt.

Was gut und tüchtig,

Was schädlich und nichtig

Meinem Gebeine,

Das weißt du alleine,

Hast niemals einen

Zu bitter betrübt.


12. Kreuz und Elende,

Das nimmt ein Ende;

Nach Meeresbrausen

Und Windessausen

Leuchtet der Sonne

Erwünschtes Gesicht.

Freude die Fülle

Und selige Stille

Darf ich erwarten

Im himmlischen Garten;

Dahin sind meine

Gedanken gericht't.


Str.1 Die güldene Sonne bringt Leben und Wonne, die Finsternis weicht. Der Morgen sich zeiget, die Röte aufsteiget, der Monde verbleicht.

Str.2 Nun sollen wir loben den Höchsten dort oben, daß er uns die Nacht hat wollen behüten vor Schrecken und Wüten der höllischen Macht.

Str.3 Kommt, lasset uns singen, die Stimmen erschwingen, zu danken dem Herrn. Ei bittet und flehet, daß er uns beistehet und weiche nicht fern.

Str.4 Es sei ihm gegeben mein Leben und Streben, mein Gehen und Stehn. Er gebe mir Gaben zu meinem Vorhaben, laß richtig mich gehn.

Str.5 In meinem Studieren wird er mich wohl führen und bleiben bei mir, wird schärfen die Sinnen zu meinem Beginnen und öffnen die Tür.


Faith is a living power from heaven  361



O Christenmensch, merk wie sich’s hält.” Thus began the original hymn of 18 verses, published by Wackernagel. A cento of this hymn is found in Versuch, written by the hymnologist Bunsen. Here the hymn begins with the third stanza, which has been changed to “Der Glaub’ ist ein lebend’ge Kraft.” This cento contains stanzas 3, 8, 11, 12, 16, and 18 of the original. This was translated by Miss Winkworth for her Lyra Germanica, 1858, and later published also in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. Bunsen characterizes this hymn as “a beautiful confession of true faith.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Farewell I gladly bid thee  535

Valet will ich dir geben,

Du arge, falsche Welt

Dein sündlich, böses Leben

Durchaus mir nicht gefällt.

Im Himmel ist gut wohnen,

Hinauf steht mein’ Begier,

Da wird Gott ewig lohnen

Dem, der ihm dient allhier.


Rat mir nach deinem Herzen,

O Jesu, Gottes Sohn!

Soll ich hier dulden Schmerzen,

Hilf mir, Herr Christ, davon!

Verkürz mir alles Leiden,

Stärk meinen blöden Mut,

Lass mich selig abscheiden,

Setz mich in dein Erbgut!


In meines Herzens Grunde

Dein Nam’ und Kreuz allein

Funkelt all’ Zeit und Stunde,

Drauf kann ich fröhlich sein.

Erschein mir in dem Bilde

Zu Trost in meiner Not,

Wie du, Herr Christ, so milde

Dich hast geblut’t zu Tod!


Verbirg mein’ Seel’ aus Gnaden

In deiner offnen Seit’

Rück sie aus allem Schaden

Zu deiner Herzlichkeit!

Der ist wohl hier gewesen

Der kommt ins Himmelsschloss;

Der ist ewig genesen,

Der bleibt in deinem Schoss.


Schreib meinen Nam’n aufs beste

Ins Buch des Lebens ein

Und bind mein’ Seel’ fein feste

Ins schöne Bündelein

Der’r, die im Himmel grünen

Und vor dir leben frei,

So will ich ewig rühmen,

Dass dein Herz treue sei.


Valerius Herberger first published this hymn on a broadsheet, entitled “A devout prayer with which the Evangelical citizens of Frawenstadt in the autumn of the year 1613 moved the heart of God the Lord so that He mercifully laid down His sharp rod of wrath under which nearly two thousand fell on sleep. And also a hymn of consolation in which a pious heart bids farewell (Valet) to this world. Both composed by Valerius Herberger, preacher at Kripplein Christi.” Leipzig, 1614.

The title of the hymn itself is: “The Farewell (Valet) of Valerius Herberger that he gave to this world in the autumn of the year 1613, when he every hour saw death before his eyes, but mercifully and also as wonderfully as the three men in the furnace at Babylon was nevertheless spared.”

The hymn in its original form is an acrostic on his name as follows: VALE (1) R (2) I (3) U (4) S (5). It is a favorite hymn in many circles.

The translation is an altered form of that by Catherine Winkworth in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Father most holy, merciful, and tender  436

O Pater sancte, mitis atque pie,

O Iesu Christe, Fili venerande,

Paracliteque Spiritus o alme,

Deus aeterne,


Trinitas sancta unitasque firma,

Deitas vera, bonitas immensa,

Lux angelorum, salus orphanorum,

Spesque cunctorum,


Serviunt tibi cunta, quae creasti;

Te tuae cunctae laudant creaturae;

Nos quoque tibi psallimus devoti;

Tu nos exaudi.


Gloria tibi, omnipotens Deus,

Trinus et unus, magnus et excelcus;

Te decet hymnus, honor, laus, et decus

Nunc et in aevum. Amen.


This Trinity hymn of unknown authorship is dated c. 900. It was an office hymn for that feast in the Sarum, York, Aberdeen, Old Roman (Venice, 1478), and other breviaries. In its external form it is a sapphic, but its rhythm is not the classical one.

The translation is by Percy Dearmer and was made for the English Hymnal, 1906. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

IN the British Museum there are two manuscripts which contain this hymn to the Trinity, from the 11th century. It was printed in many breviaries (Sarum, York, Aberdeen, Venice, and others). The printed text is also found in the works of Mone, Daniel, and Cardinal Newman’s Hymni Ecclesiae. G. M. Dreves found it in a manuscript from the 10th century. There are 8 English translations. The one of the latest date is by Rev. Percy Dearmer, 1906—the version used in The Lutheran Hymnary. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Father, Son, and Holy Ghost  509


THIS confirmation hymn was first printed in the Döring’s Christliches Haus-Gesangbuch, Elberfeld, 1821. “Vater, Sohn, und Heilger Geist,” has fifteen stanzas in groups, in different meters, arranged as follows: 1-3, hymn of prayer for the children, to be sung by the congregation; 4-7, to be sung by the parents and teachers; 8-13, prayer to be sung by the children; 14-15 to be sung by the congregation. Our present translation of stanzas 1-3 is by J. S. Stallybrass, 1859. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Father, we praise Thee  76



Father, we thank Thee who hast planted*  312



Father, who the light this day  14

The author of this cento is Julia Anne Elliott. In 1835 her husband published Psalms and Hymns for Public, Private, and Social Worship, to which she contributed eleven hymns, at first anonymously; her initials were added in 1839. This hymn was among them. Originally it was published in seven stanzas. Our hymn is made up of Stanzas 3, 4, and 5. Mrs. Elliott strangely confused the seventh day on which the Creator rested and the first day of the week, the Christian Sunday. This error was altered by an unknown hand. We give the original version for the sake of comparison:


1. Hall, thou bright and sacred morn,

Risen with gladness in thy beams!

Light, which not of earth is born,

From thy dawn in glory streams:

Airs of heaven are breathed around.

And each place is holy ground.


2. Sad and weary were our way.

Fainting oft beneath our load,

But for thee thou blessed day,

Resting-place on life’s rough road!

Here flow forth the streams of grace;

Strengthened hence, we run our race.


3. Great Creator! who this day

From Thy perfect work didst rest;

By the souls that own Thy sway

Hallowed be its hours and blest;

Cares of earth aside be thrown,

This day given to heaven alone!


4. Savior! who this day didst break

The dark prison of the tomb,

Bid my slumbering soul awake,

Shine through all its sin and gloom;

Let me, from my bonds set free,

Rise from sin and live to thee!


5. Blessed Spirit! Comforter!

Sent this day from Christ on high;

Lord, on me Thy gifts confer,

Cleanse, illumine, sanctify!

All Thine influence shed abroad,

Lead me to the truth of God!


6. Soon, too soon, the sweet repose

Of this day of God will cease;

Soon this glimpse of heaven will close,

Vanish soon the hours of peace;

Soon return the toil, the strife,

All the weariness of life.


7. But the rest which yet remains

For Thy people, Lord, above

Knows nor change nor fears nor pains,

Endless as their Savior’s love.

Oh, may every Sabbath here

Bring us to that rest more near! [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Fear and love thy God and Lord  510


THIS hymn was originally printed together with another spiritual song, about the year 1608, under the following title: “Tvende aandelige andægtige Sange, Odense Byes, mine gunstige gode geistlige og verdslige Øvrigheder med deres Menigheder til et ydmygt Taknemmeligheds Tegn, udi denne Forms Bekostning dediceret af B. Pedersen, K. ibidem” (Kannik sammesteds). The author served as canon or minister in Odense or in some city in the district of Fyen. According to a resolution of the church, the fourth stanza of this hymn was to be sung after Baptism, and the fifth stanza before Communion. It has been extensively used in the parochial schools of the church and as a closing hymn on confirmation day. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Feed Thy children, God most holy  599

Speis uns, o Gott, deine Kinder,

Tröste die betrübten Sünder,

Sprich den Segen zu den Gaben,

Die wir jetzund vor uns haben,

Dass sie uns zu diesem Leben

Stärke, Kraft und Nahrung geben,

Bis wir endlich mtt den Frommen

Zu der Himmelsmehlzeit kommen!


This grace for before meals, by Johann Heermann, first appeared in his prayer-book Geistlisher Poetischer Erquikstunden, etc., Nürnberg, 1656, without Lines 7 and 8. These were added later by an unknown hand and appeared in the Halberstadter Gesangbuch, 1712. This table-prayer became a general favorite in German circles. It was frequently sung before the meal.

The composite translation was prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal and is based largely on the translation in the Australian Lutheran Hymn-Book, 1925. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Fight the good fight  249

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where-unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6: 12). This hymn, which is very extensively used, was first published in Monsell’s Hymns of Love and Praise, 1863. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Fling out the banner  504


Flung to the heedless winds  556

Die Asche will nicht lassen ab,

Sie stäubt in allen Landen;

Hier hilft kein Bach, Loch, Grub’ noch Grab;

Sie macht den Feind zuschanden.

Die er im Leben durch den Mord

Zu schweigen hat gedrungen,

Die muss er tot an allem Ort

Mit aller Stimm’ und Zungen

Gar fröhlich lassen singen.


This hymn is from Martin Luther’s first poetical production of which we have any record, his “Ein neues Lied wir heben an.” It was a ballad written in 1523 to commemorate the martyrdom of two young Augustinian monks, Heinrich Voes and Johann Esch, who had been condemned to death and burned at the stake in Brussels on June 30, 1523, because of their Lutheran faith. It first appeared in part in Eyn Enchiridion Erfurt, 1524; Stanzas 9 and 10 were added in Gegstliche gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg, 1524. Richard Massie, in his Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, gives us this version of the ballad:


1. By help of God I fain would tell

A new and wondrous story

And sing a marvel that befell

To His great praise and glory.

At Brussels, in the Netherlands,

He hath His banner lifted,

To show His wonders by the hands

Of two youths highly gifted

With rich and heavenly graces.


2. One of these youths was called John,

And Henry was the other,

Rich in the grace of God was one,

A Christian true his brother.

For God’s dear Word they shed their blood

And from the world departed

Like bold and pious sons of God;

Faithful and lion-hearted,

They won the crown of martyrs.


3. The old Arch-fiend did them immure,

To terrify them seeking:

They bade them God’s dear Word abjure

And fain would stop their speaking.

From Louvain many Sophists came,

Versed deeply in the schools,

And met together at the game.

The Spirit made them fools;

They could not but be losers.


4. Now sweet, now harsher tones they tried,

In artifice abounding;

The youths did firm as rocks abide,

The Sophists all confounding.

The enemy waxed fierce in hate,

And for their life-blood thirsted;

He fumed and chafed that one so great

Should by two babes be worsted

And straightway sought to burn them.


5. Their monkish garb from them they take

And gown of ordination;

The youths a cheerful Amen spake

And showed no hesitation.

They thanked their God that by His aid

They now had been denuded

Of Satan’s mock and masquerade,

Whereby he had deluded

The world with false pretenses.


6. Thus by the power of grace they were

True priests of God’s own making

Who offered up themselves e’en there,

Christ’s holy orders taking.

Dead to the world, they cast aside

Hypocrisy’s sour leaven,

That, penitent and justified,

They might go clean to heaven

And leave all monkish follies.


7. They then were told that they must read

A note which was dictated;

They straightway wrote their faith and creed

And not one jot abated.

Now mark their heresy! “We must

In God be firm believers’

In mortal men not put our trust,

For they are all deceivers”;

For this they must be burned.


8. Two fires were lit, the youths were brought,

But all were seized with wonder

To see them set the flames at naught

And stood as struck with thunder.

With joy they came in sight of all

And sang aloud God’s praises;

The Sophists’ courage waxèd small

Before such wondrous traces

Of God’s almighty finger.


9. The scandal they repent and would

Right gladly gloss it over.

They dare not boast their deed of blood,

But seek the stain to cover;

They feel the shame within their breast

And charge therewith each other;

But now the Spirit cannot rest,

For Abel ‘gainst his brother

Doth cry aloud for vengeance.


10. Their ashes never cease to cry.

The fires are ever flaming,

Their dust throughout the world doth fly,

Their murderers’ shame proclaiming.

The voices, which with cruel hands

They put to silence living,

Are heard, though dead, throughout all lands

Their testimony giving

And loud hosannas singing.


11. From lies to lies they still proceed

And feign forthwith a story

To color o’er the murderous deed:

Their conscience pricks them sorely.

These saints of God e’en after death

They slandered and asserted

The youths had with their latest breath

Confessed and been converted,

Their heresy renouncing.


12. Then let them still go on and lie,

They cannot win a blessing;

And let us thank God heartily,

His Word again possessing.

Summer is even at our door,

The winter now hath vanished,

The tender flowerets spring once more,

And He who winter banished

Will send a happy summer.


V. Ein neues Lied wir heben an.

By help of God I fain would tell.


A Song of the Two Christian Martyrs burnt at Brussels by

the Sophists of Louvain in the year MDXXII [July 1, 1523].


MELODY, 1525. _Harmony by_ M. PRAETORIUS, 1610.


1. By help of God I fain would tell

A new and wondrous story,

And sing a marvel that befell

To his great praise and glory.

At Brussels in the Netherlands

He hath his banner lifted,

To show his wonders by the hands

Of two youths, highly gifted

With rich and heavenly graces.


2. One of these youths was called John,

And Henry was the other;

Rich in the grace of God was one,

A Christian true his brother.

For God's dear Word they shed their blood,

And from the world departed

Like bold and pious sons of God;

Faithful and lion-hearted,

They won the crown of martyrs.


3. The old Arch-fiend did them immure,

To terrify them seeking;

They bade them God's dear Word abjure,

And fain would stop their speaking.

From Louvain many Sophists came,

Deep versed in human learning,

God's Spirit foiled them at their game

Their pride to folly turning.

They could not but be losers.


4. They spake them fair, they spake them foul,

Their sharp devices trying.

Like rocks stood firm each brave young soul

The Sophists' art defying.

The enemy waxed fierce in hate,

And for their life-blood thirsted;

He fumed and chafed that one so great

Should by two babes be worsted,

And straightway sought to burn them.


5. Their monkish garb from them they take,

And gown of ordination;

The youths a cheerful Amen spake,

And showed no hesitation.

They thanked their God that by his aid

They now had been denuded

Of Satan's mock and masquerade,

Whereby he had deluded

The world with false pretences.


6. Thus by the power of grace they were

True priests of God's own making,

Who offered up themselves e'en there,

Christ's holy orders taking;

Dead to the world, they cast aside

Hypocrisy's sour leaven,

That penitent and justified

They might go clean to heaven,

And leave all monkish follies.


7. They then were told that they must read

A note which was dictated;

They straightway wrote their fate and creed,

And not one jot abated.

Now mark their heresy! "We must

In God be firm believers;

In mortal men not put our trust,

For they are all deceivers;"

For this they must be burned!


8. Two fires were lit; the youths were brought,

But all were seized with wonder

To see them set the flames at naught,

And stood as struck with thunder.

With joy they came in sight of all,

And sang aloud God's praises;

The Sophists' courage waxed small

Before such wondrous traces

Of God's almighty finger.


9. The scandal they repent, and would

Right gladly gloss it over;

They dare not boast their deed of blood,

But seek the stain to cover.

They feel the shame within their breast,

And charge therewith each other;

But now the Spirit cannot rest,

For Abel 'gainst his brother

Doth cry aloud for vengeance.


10. Their ashes will not rest; would-wide

They fly through every nation.

No cave nor grave, no turn nor tide,

Can hide th'abomination.

The voices which with cruel hands

They put to silence living,

Are heard, though dead, throughout all lands

Their testimony giving,

And loud hosannas singing.


11. From lies to lies they still proceed,

And feign forthwith a story

To color o'er the murderous deed;

Their conscience pricks them sorely.

These saints of God e'en after death

They slandered, and asserted

The youths had with their latest breath

Confessed and been converted,

Their heresy renouncing.


12. Then let them still go on and lie,

They cannot win a blessing;

And let us thank God heartily,

His Word again possessing.

Summer is even at our door,

The winter now has vanished,

The tender flowerets spring once more,

And he, who winter banished,

Will send a happy summer.


1. Ein neues Lied wir heben an,

Das walt' Gott unser Herre,

Zu singen was Gott hat gethan

Zu seinem Lob und Ehre.

Zu Bruessel in dem Niederland

Wohl durch zween junge Knaben

Hat er sein Wunder g'macht bekannt,

Die er mit seinen Gaben

So reichlich hat gezieret.


2. Der Erst' recht wohl Johannes heisst,

So reich an Gottes Hulden;

Sein Bruder Heinrich nach dem Geist,

Ein rechter Christ ohn' Schulden.

Von dieser Welt geschieden sind,

Sie ha'n die Kron' erworben,

Recht wie die frommen Gottes Kind

Fuer sein Wort sind gestorben,

Sein' Maert'rer sind sie worden.


3. Der alte Feind sie fangen liess,

Erschreckt sie lang mit Draeuen,

Das Wort Gott man sie lenken hiess,

Mit List auch wollt' sie taeuben,

Von Loewen der Sophisten viel,

Mit ihrer Kunst verloren,

Versammelt er zu diesem Spiel;

Der Geist sie macht zu Thoren,

Sie konnten nichts gewinnen.


4. Sie sungen suess, sie sungen sau'r,

Versuchten manche Listen;

Die Knaben standen wie ein' Mau'r,

Veracht'ten die Sophisten.

Den alten Feind das sehr verdross,

Dass er war ueberwunden

Von solchen Jungen, er so gross;

Er ward voll Zorn von Stunden,

Gedacht' sie zu verbrennen.


5. Sie raubten ihn'n das Klosterkleid,

Die Weih' sie ihn'n auch nahmen;

Die Knaben waren des bereit,

Sie sprachen froehlich: Amen!

Sie dankten ihrem Vater, Gott,

Dass sie los sollten werden

Des Teufels Larvenspiel und Spott,

Darin durch falsche Berden

Die Welt er gar betreuget.


6. Da schickt Gott durch sein Gnad' also,

Dass sie recht Priester worden:

Sich selbst ihm mussten opfern da

Und geh'n im Christen Orden,

Der Welt ganz abgestorben sein,

Die Heuchelei ablegen,

Zum Himmel kommen frei und rein,

Die Moencherei ausfegen

Und Menschen Tand hie lassen.


7. Man schrieb ihn'n fuer ein Brieflein klein,

Das hiess man sie selbst lesen,

Die Stueck' sie zeigten alle drein,

Was ihr Glaub' war gewesen.

Der huechste Irrthum dieser war:

Man muss allein Gott glauben,

Der Mensch leugt und treugt immerdar,

Dem soll man nichts vertrauen;

Dess mussten sie verbrennen.


8. Zwei grosse Feur sie zuend'ten an,

Die Knaben sie her brachten,

Es nahm gross Wunder Jedermann,

Dass sie solch' Pein veracht'ten,

Mit Freuden sie sich gaben drein,

Mit Gottes Lob und Singen,

Der Muth ward den Sophisten klein

Fuer diesen neuen Dingen,

Da sich Gott liess so merken.


9. Der Schimpf sie nun gereuet hat,

Sie wollten's gern schoen machen;

Sie thuern nicht ruehmen sich der That

Sie bergen fast die Sachen,

Die Schand' im Herzen beisset sie

Und klagen's ihr'n Genossen,

Doch kann der Geist nicht schweigen hie:

Des Habels Blut vergossen,

Es muss den Kain melden.


10. Die Aschen will nicht lassen ab,

Sie staeubt in allen Landen;

Hie hilft kein Bach, Loch, Grub' noch Grab,

Sie macht den Feind zu Schanden.

Die er im Leben durch den Mord

Zu schweigen hat gedrungen,

Die muss er todt an allem Ort

Mit aller Stimm' und Zungen

Gar froehlich lassen singen.


11. Noch lassen sie ihr Luegen nicht,

Den grossen Mord zu schmuecken,

Sie gehen fuer ein falsch Gedicht,

Ihr G'wissen thut sie druecken,

Die Heil'gen Gott's auch nach dem Tod

Von ihn'n gelaestert werden,

Sie sagen: in der lessten Noth

Die Knaben noch auf Erden

Sich sollen ha'n umkehret.


12. Die lass man luegen immerhin,

Sie haben's keinen Frommen,

Wir sollen danken Gott darin,

Sein Wort ist wiederkommen.

Der Sommer ist hart fuer der Thuer

Der Winter ist vergangen,

Die zarten Bluemlein geh'n herfuer:

Der das hat angefangen,

Der wird es wohl vollenden.


This hymn is a paraphrase of Stanza 10. It appeared in D’Aubigne’s History of the Reformation, Philadelphia, 1843, and is attributed to John Alexander Messenger. Schaff and Gilman, in Library of Religious Poetry, ascribe the translation to William Johnson Fox (1786-1864). We have not been able to verify this. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


For all the saints  554

William Walsham How first published this hymn in Hymn for Saints’ Day, and Other Hymns, 1864, in eleven stanzas. Originally the author had written “For all Thy saints,” but altered the line later. The omitted stanzas are 3, 4, and 5, which read:


3. For the apostles’ glorious company

Who, bearing forth the cross o’er land and sea,

Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee.


4. For the evangelists, by whose pure word

Like fourfold stream, the garden of the Lord

Is fair and fruitful, be my name adored.


5. For martyrs who with rapture-kindled eye

Saw the bright crown descending from the sky

And, dying, grasped it, Thee we glorify.


The author’s sequence of stanzas has been changed in the text. The last stanza preceded Stanza 6. Thus the hymn originally closed with Stanza 7. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


For me to live is Jesus  473

Christus, der ist mein Leben,

Sterben ist mein Gewinn,

Dem tu’ ich mich ergeben,

Mit Freud’ fahr’ ich dahin.


Mit Freud’ fahr lch von dannen

Zu Christ, dem Bruder mein,

Dass ich mög’ zu ihm kommen

Und ewig bei ihm sein.


Nun hab’ ich überwunden

Krenz, Leiden, Angst und Not,

Durch sein’ heilig’ fünf Wunden

Bin ich versöhnt mit Gott.


Wenn meine Kräfte brechen,

Mein Atem schwer geht aus

Und kann kein Wort mehr sprechen:

Herr, nimm mein Seufzen auf!


Wenn mein Herz und Gedanken

Vergehen wie ein Licht,

Das hin und her muss wanken,

Wenn ihm die Flamm’ gebricht:


Alsdann fein sanft und stille,

Herr, lass mich schlafen ein

Nach deinem Rat und Willen.

Wenn kommt mein Stündelein,


Und lass mich an dir kleben

Wie eine Klett’ am Kleid

Und ewig bei dir leben

In Himmelswonn’ und -freud’!


Amen, das wirst du, Christe,

Verleihen gnädiglich!

Mit deinem Geist mich rüste,

Dass ich fahr’ seliglich!


This hymn, by an unknown author, first appeared in seven stanzas in Vulpius’s Ein schön geistlich Gesangbuch, etc., Jena, 1609; then, in a slightly altered form, with an eighth stanza, in Christliches Gesangbüchlein, Hamburg, 1612. This eighth stanza, however, a doxology, is not the same as the eighth above. We have not been able to trace the time or the authorship of this stanza.

The hymn has long been a favorite. The translation, except Stanza 8 by an unknown writer, is by Catherine Winkworth, slightly altered, included in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

THE oldest known source for this hymn is the collection Ein schön geistlich Gesangbuch, etc., durch Melchiorem Vulpium (Melchior Vulpius) Jena, 1609. The original contained 7 stanzas. Besides this Wackernagel also mentions another version of 8 stanzas found in Christliches Gesangbüchlein, Hamburg, 1612. Simon Graff, who published it in his devotional book of 1636, was accepted as its author. But Graff was only six years old when the hymn book published by Vulpius appeared. In a funeral sermon published in Eisleben, 1620, it is mentioned that Anna, the wife of Count Heinrich von Stolberg, sang (composed) this hymn, and this may also be said to be in harmony with the title of the hymn as given in the Erfurter Gesangbuch, 1648: Einer Gräfflichen Matron Sterblied. (Skaar.) A. J. Rambach and other hymnologists are of the opinion that Anna Stolberg has composed this hymn about 1600. But this has never been settled. The hymn has, however, been a source of great comfort to many in the time of death. H. A. Brorson has rendered two translations, both found in Troens rare Klenodie. One of these, the present version, entered into Landstad’s Hymnal (Landstad, No. 625). The present English translation was rendered by Miss Winkworth for her Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


For the beauty of the earth  463

THIS hymn was contributed to the second edition of O. Shepley’s Lyra Eucharistica, 1864, in 8 stanzas, to be used as a communion hymn. It is not usually found in its full form, but the four or five stanza form is extensively used for Rower services and as a children’s hymn, according to J. Julian. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


For thee, O dear, dear country*  534

(See: The world is very evil)


Forever with the Lord  552

THEN we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them (the dead in Christ, v. 16) be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:17).

This hymn was published in The amethyst, in 1835, and was divided into two parts, one part containing 9 and the other 13 four-lined stanzas. In 1841 it was repeated in his poetical works, and it was also included in his Original Hymns, which appeared in 1853.—This extract from the original hymn consists of stanzas one to four of the first part, and stanzas five to eight of the second part. The composer says that he has received more acknowledgment of thanks and expressions of gratitude for this than for any other hymn he has composed, with the single exception of hymn No. 361, which treats of prayer. Earl Cain, Lord High Chancellor of England, called this his favorite hymn; it was sung at his funeral in 1885.


Forth in Thy name  506


From all that dwell below the skies  16

Isaac Watts published this paraphrase of Psalm 117 (the shortest chapter in the Bible) in his Psalms of David Imitated, 1719. Two stanzas were added by an unknown poet and first published, c. 1780, in A Pocket Hymn-Book designed as a constant Companion for the pious collected from various authors. (York, England, Robert Spence, Publisher.) John Wesley reprinted these two stanzas in his own Pocket Hymn-Book, 1786. It is possible that these stanzas are by John Wesley himself or by his brother, Charles Wesley. It may be, however, that Spence himself wrote them for his collection, published five or six years before John Wesley’s. These are the added stanzas:


Your lofty themes, ye mortals, bring;

In songs of praise divinely sing;

The great salvation loud proclaim

And shout for joy the Savior’s name.


In every land begin the song;

To every land the strains belong;

In cheerful sounds all voices raise

And fill the world with loudest praise.


Because of the majestic beauty and simplicity of the stanzas by Watts the hymn was retained in its original form, except that the “alleluias” were added for the sake of the tune. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


From all Thy saints in warfare  558

AND I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them” (Rev. 14:13).

This is the most popular hymn written by this author. It was printed in his Hymns for Saints’ Day and Other Hymns by a Layman, 1864. It has found a place in many hymn books. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


From depths of woe I cry to Thee*  452

(See: Out of the depths I cry to Thee)


From east to west  267

A solis ortus cardine

Ad usque terrae limitem,

Christum canamus principem

Natum Maria virgine.


Beatus auctor saeculi

Servile corpus induit,

Ut carne carnem liberans,

Ne perderet, quod condidit.


Clausa puellae viscera

Caelestis intrat gratia;

Venter puellae baiulat

Secreta, quae non noverat.


Enixa est puerpera,

Quem Gabriel praedixerat,

Quem matris alvo gestiens

Clausus Iohannes senserat.


Faeno iacere pertulit,

Praesege non abhorruit,

Parvoque lacte pastus est,

Per quem nec ales esurit.


Gaudet chorus caelestium,

Et angeli canunt Deum,

Palamque fit pastoribus

Pastor, creator oronium.


Gloria tibi, Domine,

Qui natus es de virgine,

Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu,

In sempiterna saecula. Amen.


This hymn is part of a longer poem by Coelius Sedulius, written in the first half of the fifth century, in twenty-three stanzas, entitled “Paean Alphabeticus de Christo,” a song of praise to Christ written according to the letters of the alphabet. It presents a devout picture of the life of our Lord in verse. Martin Luther published a German translation of this hymn in Eyn Enchiridion, Erfurt, 1524, as follows:


1. Christum wir sollen loben schon,

Der reinen Magd Marien Sohn,

Soweit die liebe Sonne leucht’t

Und an aller Welt Ende reicht.


2. Der selig’ Schöpfer aller Ding’

Zog an ein’s Knechtes Leib gering,

Dass er das Fleisch durchs Fleisch erwürb’

Und sein Geschöpf nicht all’s verdürb’.


3. Die göttlich’ Gnad’ vom Himmel gross

Sich in die keusche Mutter goss;

Ein Mägdlein trug ein heimlich Pfand,

Das der Natur war unbekannt.


4. Das züchtig’ Haus des Herzens zart

Gar bald ein Tempel Gottes ward;

Die kein Mann rühret noch erkannt,

Von Gottes Wort man schwanger fand.


5. Die edle Mutter hat gebor’n

Den Gabriel verhiess zuvorn,

Den Sankt Johann’s mit Springen zeigt’,

Da er noch lag im Mutterleib.


6. Er lag im Heu mit Armut gross,

Die Krippe hart ihn nicht verdross;

Es ward ein’ kleine Milch sein’ Speis’,

Der nie kein Vöglein hungern liess.


7. Des Himmels Chör’ sich freuen drob,

Und die Engel singen Gott Lob;

Den armen Hirten wird vermeld’t

Der Hirt und Schöpfer aller Welt.


8. Lob, Ehr’ und Dank sei dir gesagt,

Christ, gebor’n von der reinen Magd,

Mit Vater und dem Heil’gen Geist

Von nun an bis in Ewigkeit!


Here is an altered form of Richard Massie’s translation in Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, 1854.


Now praise we Christ, the Holy One,

The blessed Virgin Mary’s Son,

Far as the glorious sun doth shine,

E’en to the world’s remote confine.


He who Himself all things did make

A servant’s form vouchsafed to take

That He as man mankind might win

And save His creatures from their sin.


The grace and power of God the Lord

Upon the mother was outpoured;

A virgin pure and undefiled

In wondrous wise conceived a child.


The holy maid became the abode

And temple of the living God,

And she, who knew not man, was blest

With God’s own Word made manifest.


The noble mother bore a Son,-

For so did Gabriel’s promise run,-

Whom John confessed and leaped with joy

Ere yet the mother knew her boy.


Upon a manger filled with hay

In poverty content He lay;

With milk was fed the Lord of all,

Who feeds the ravens when they call.


The heavenly choirs rejoice and raise

Their voice to God in songs of praise.

To humble shepherds is proclaimed

The Shepherd who the world hath framed.


All honor unto Christ be paid,

Pure Offspring of the favored maid,

With Father and with Holy Ghost,

Till time in endless time be lost. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

PAEAN Alphabeticus de Christo (A song of triumph concerning Christ, according to the letters of the alphabet) as follows: first stanza, “A A solis ortus cardine”; second stanza, “Beatus auctor saeculi”; third stanza, “Clause puella viscera”; etc. Two hymns have been made from this poem, one with the above mentioned title, the other, beginning: “Hostis Herodis Impie.” Both have been translated by Luther: “Christum wir sollen loben schon,” and “Was fürchtst du Feind Herodes sehr.” The complete text, dating from the 8th century, is found in a manuscript in the British Museum and also in many editions of the works of Sedulius. There are seven English translations of Luther’s version of the first part, and about twelve renderings based upon the Latin original. The present translation is by Rev. J. Ellerton, 1870, somewhat altered. The first Danish translation was made by Claus Mortensen, 1528, and later it was also translated by Søren Poulsøn Judichær (Gotlænder), author and minister in Slangerup. The hymn was, however, omitted from the American edition of Landstad’s Hymn Book.. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


From eternity, O God  220

Gott, du hast in deinem Sohn

Mich von Ewigkeit erwählet.

Sende nun von deinem Thron,

Was noch meinem Heile fehlet,

Und gib mir des Geistes Gaben,

Sodann werd’ ich alles haben.


Ach, ich bin lebendig tot

Und zum Guten ganz verloren!

Heil’ger Geist, mein Herr und Gott,

Mache du mich neugeboren!

Denn das Fleisch ist mein Verderben

Und kann nicht den Himmel erben.


Treibe weg die finstre Nacht

Meiner irrigen Gedanken!

Dämpfe das, was Gott veracht’t,

Halte die Vernunft in Schranken,

Dass ich anders nicht als gerne

Selbst von dir die Weisheit lerne.


Schaffe mir ein reines Herz,

Dass ich stets an Gott gedenke

Und mich oft mit Reu’ und Schmerz

Uber meine Sünden kränke;

Doch nach den betrübten Stunden

Führe mich in Jesu Wunden!


Pflanze mich daselbst in ihn

Als ein Glied an seinem Leibe,

Und wenn ich sein eigen bin,

Hilf mir, dass ich es auch bleibe!

Er sei Stock und ich die Rebe,

Dass ich ganz in Jesu lebe.


Hierzu bitt’ ich diese drei:

Glauben, Hoffnung und die Liebe.

Steh auch sonst mir also bei,

Dass kein Teufel mich betrübe!

Gib mir Demut, Fried’ und Freude

Und auch Sanftmut, wenn ich leide!


Hilf mir reden recht und wohl,

Auch zuweilen gar nichts sagen;

Hilf mir beten, wie ich soll,

Hilf mir auch mein Kreuze tragen!

Wenn es Zeit ist, hilf mir sterben

Und dabei den Himmel erben!


Caspar Neumann wrote this hymn for Whitsunday, in eight stanzas. It appeared in the Silesian Vollkommen Kirchen Gesangbuch, Breslau and Liegnitz, 1711. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


From God shall naught divide me  465

Von Gott will ich nicht lassen,

Denn er lässt nicht von mir,

Führt mich auf rechter Strassen,

Da ich sonst irrte sehr,

Reichet mir seine Hand.

Den Abend wie den Morgen

Tut er mich wohl versorgen,

Sei, wo ich woll’, im Land.


Wenn sich der Menschen Hulde

Und Wohltat all’ verkehrt,

So find’t sich Gott gar balde,

Sein’ Macht und Gnad’ bewährt,

Hilfet aus aller Not,

Errett’t von Sünd’ und Schanden,

Von Ketten und von Banden,

Und wenn’s auch wär’ der Tod.


Auf ihn will ich vertrauen

In meiner schweren Zeit;

Es kann mich nicht gereuen.

Er wendet alles Leid.

Ihm sei es heimgestellt;

Mein Leib, mein’ Seel’, mein Leben

Sei Gott dem Herrn ergeben,

Er mach’s, wie’s ihm gefällt!


Lobt ihn mit Herz und Munde,

Welch’s er uns beldes schenkt!

Das ist ein’ sel’ge Stunde,

Darin man sein gedenkt.

Sonst verdirbt alle Zeit,

Die wir zubring’n auf Erden;

Wir soUen selig werden

Und bleib’n in Ewigkeit.


Mag uns die Welt entgehen

Mit ihrer stolzen Pracht,

Nicht Ruhm, nicht Gut bestehen,

Die einst wir gross geacht’t,

Mag man uns nach dem Tod

Tief in die Erd’ begraben:

Wenn wir geschlafen haben,

Wird uns erwecken Gott.


Darum, ob ich schon dulde

Hier Widerwärtigkeit,

Wie ich’s auch wohl verschulde,

Kommt doch die Ewigkeit,

Die aller Freuden voll;

Dieselb’ ohn’ alles Ende,

Dieweil ich Christum kenne,

Mir widerfahren soll.


Ludwig Helmbold wrote this hymn, c. 1563, in nine stanzas. Koch relates its origin thus:


In 1563, while Helmbold was conrector of the Gymnasium at Erfurt, a pestilence broke out, during which about 4,000 of the inhabitants died. As all who could fled from the place, Dr. Pancratius Helbich, rector of the university (with whom Helmbold had formed a special friendship and whose wife was godmother of his eldest daughter), was about to do so, leaving behind him Helmbold and his family. Gloomy forebodings filled the hearts of the parting mothers. To console them and nerve them for parting, Helmbold composed this hymn on Ps.73:23.


The hymn was first published as a broadsheet and dedicated to Dr. Helbich’s wife. It is Helmbold’s finest hymn. The cento omits Stanzas 4, 7, and 9.

The translation is an altered form of that by Catherine Winkworth in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

I AM continually with thee” (Psalm 73:23). This hymn was written especially for Regina Helbich of Erfurt, in 1563, when the pestilence was raging in the city, and people were leaving in great numbers. Dr. P. Helbich, professor of medicine, and his wife, who were sponsors at the Baptism of Helmbold’s daughter, left the city. Helmbold wrote this hymn to comfort and encourage them in the moment of parting from their friends. This is Helmbold’s most popular hymn. In the old hymn books it is called The Companion of True Christians. Dr. Schubert says: “I have learned to sing this hymn with deep emotion, as I, in my earlier years, had to follow a course which to me seemed dark, through anguish and sorrow, but which my God caused to become a way of great blessing.” An old man was once asked) what his daily prayer was. He answered: “My prayer every morning and evening; my prayer at every meal is the third stanza of the hymn, ‘From God shall naught divide me.’ From my early youth these words have been my daily prayer to God, and I have always fared well; I have never lacked either earthly and temporal or spiritual and heavenly things.”—The hymn was translated into Danish by Hans Ravn in 1615. The present English translation is by Miss Catherine Winkworth. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


From heaven above  123-124

Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her,

Ich bring’ euch gute neue Mär,

Der guten Mär bring’ ich so viel.

Davon ich sing’n und sagen will.


Euch ist ein Kindlein heut’ gebor’n

Von einer Jungfrau auserkor’n,

Ein Kindelein, so zart und fein.

Das soll eur’ Freud’ und Wonne sein.


Es ist der Herr Christ, unser Gott,

Der will euch führ’n aus aller Not,

Er will eu’r Heiland selber sein,

Von allen Sünden machen rein.


Er bringt euch alle Seligkeit,

Die Gott der Vater hat bereit,

Dass ihr mit uns im Himmelreich

Sollt leben nun und ewiglich.


So merket nun das Zelchen recht,

Die Krippe, Windelein so schlecht,

Da findet ihr das Kind gelegt,

Das alle Welt erhält und trägt.


Des lasst uns alle fröhlich sein

Und mit den Hirten gehn hinein,

Zu sehn, was Gott uns hat beschert,

Mit seinem lieben Sohn verehrt.


Merk auf, mein Herz, und sieh dorthin!

Was liegt dort in dem Krippelein?

Wer ist das schöne Kindelein?

Es ist das liebe Jesulein.


Bis willekomm, du edler Gast!

Den Sünder nicht verschmähet hast

Und kommst ins Elend her zu mir,

Wie soll ich immer danken dir?


Ach Herr, du Schöpfer aller Ding’,

Wie bist du worden so gering,

Dass du da liegst auf dürrem Gras,

Davon ein Rind und Esel asz!


Und wär’ die Welt vielmal so weit,

Von Edelstein und Gold bereit’t,

So wär’ sie doch dir viel zu klein,

Zu sein ein enges Wiegelein.


Der Sammet und die Seide dein,

Das ist grob Heu und Windelein

Darauf du König gross und reich

Herprangst, als wär’s dein Himmelreich.


Das hat also gefallen dir,

Die Wahrheit anzuzeigen mir:

Wie aller Welt Macht, Ehr’ und Gut

Vor dir nichts gilt, nichts hilft noch tut.


Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein,

Mach dir ein rein, sanft Bettelein,

Zu ruhen in mein’s Herzens Schrein,

Dass ich nimmer vergesse dein!


Davon ich allzeit fröhlich sei,

Zu springen, singen immer frei

Das rechte Susaninne schon,

Mit Herzenslust den süssen Ton.


Lob, Ehr’ sei Gott im höchsten Thron,

Der uns schenkt seinen ein’gen Sohn!

Des freuen sich der Engel Schar

Und singen uns solch neues Jahr.


(Ein Kinderlied auf die Weinachten, vom Kindlein Jesu.)

(A Christmas hymn of the Christ-Child, for Christmas Eve.)

THIS hymn is based upon the second chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke. It is intended as a Christmas hymn for children (Kinderlied). Luther here used as a pattern a folksong for children. He made use of the beginning of this, which may be seen from a comparison with the following stanza.

Ich kom aus fremden lande her und bring euch viel der neuen Mär; der neuen Mär bring ich so viel, mer dann ich euch hier sagen will.

“The first five stanzas contain the message of the angel; the two following lead us to the manger, to the Christ-child, and in the presence of the wonderful child are intoned in seven strophes greeting and praise, thanksgiving and prayer” (Wackernagel). It was Luther’s custom to arrange a festival for his family every Christmas Eve. Upon these occasions many a comforting word was sung and spoken, and for one of these festivals Luther composed this hymn for his children. The hymn appeared in print in 1535 and hence it was possibly written the previous year. The hymn soon gained universal favor and has become one of the most popular Christmas hymns. It has also been used at death beds. When the minister, Samuel Auerbach, of Schenkenberg, shortly before his death had received the Lord’s Supper, he folded his hands, and, with eyes uplifted towards heaven, he repeated the eighth stanza:

Welcome to earth, Thou noble guest, Through whom the sinful world is blest! Thou com’st to share our misery, What can we render, Lord, to Thee!

“God’s eternal Son came down from heaven to the world and has shared our misery, as we sing in this hymn. Divers and pearl-fishers often go to the bottom of the sea to hunt for pearls; likewise miners often go many fathoms into the earth to dig for gold, silver, and other precious metals, because these things are counted of value among men. How highly must not then the human soul be prized in heaven, since the Lord Jesus Christ for our sakes did not spare Himself, but willingly humiliated Himself to such an extent and stepped down into this sea of human misery” (Chr. Scriver). The oldest Danish version of this hymn is by Hans Tausøn, Bishop of Ribe (d. 1561). (Notes on Luther may be found under No. 29.) [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]



Bethany Lutheran College, located in Mankato, Minnesota, provides Christian higher education in a challenging academic environment where personal mentoring guides students to pursue knowledge, truth, and discernment for productive and fulfilling lives.