17 June 2007

Heermann Hymn

Among the great treasures of the Lutheran chorales are the hymns of Johann Heermann. This is one of my favorites.

O God, my faithful God,
True fountain ever flowing,
Without whom nothing is,
All perfect gifts bestowing:
Give me a healthy frame,
And may I have within
A conscience free from blame,
A soul unstained by sin.

Grant me the strength to do
With ready heart and willing
Whatever You command,
My calling here fulfilling;
That I do what I should,
While trusting You to bless
The outcome for my good,
For You must give success.

Keep me from saying words
That latter need recalling;
Guard me lest idle speech
May from my lips be falling;
But when within my place
I must and ought to speak,
Then to my words give grace
Lest I offend the weak.

Lord, let me win my foes
With kindly words and actions
And let me find good friends
For counsel and correction.
Help me, as You have taught,
To love both great and small
And by Your Spirit’s might
To live in peace with all.

Let me depart this life
Confiding in my Savior;
By grace receive my soul
That it may live forever;
And let my body have
A quiet resting place
Within a Christian grave;
And let it sleep in peace.

And on that final day
When all the dead are waking,
Stretch out Your mighty hand,
My deathly slumber breaking.
Then let me hear Your voice,
Redeem this earthly frame,
And bid me to rejoice
With those who love Your name.
LSB 696:1-6


Fr John W Fenton said...

It's a shame that most American Lutheran hymnals, including the newly produced LSB, have opted to set this text to "O Gott, du frommer Gott [Zwei Melodie]" rather than the sturdier "O Gott, du frommer Gott [Eins Melodie]." See hymn #301 in the 1988 ELKG published by SELK.

The first melody is commonly used by organ recitalists. Regrettably, it seems to be disappearing from the American organ scene.

William Weedon said...

Fr. John,

I looked i up. I confess myself totally unfamiliar with the first melody. It is quite beautiful, however. Thanks for pointing it out!

Fr John W Fenton said...

Fr William,

Ask our mutual friend, Jon, about Eins Melodie. I'm sure he's familiar with it. So is Paul, but I can't (and won't) vouch for George and Ringo. :)