22 October 2007

Around the Great Bell...

...in Saint Paul's tower are inscribed the words:

Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr!

Those are the first words of the hymn that most often stood in for the Gloria in Excelsis in the old Lutheran service.  It's with great joy that we'll sing that hymn as the Gloria this coming Sunday.  The LSB does not indicate who is responsible for updating the words, but kudos to whomever did it.  I love this new translation:

All glory be to God on high
And thanks for all His favor;
No harm can touch or terrify
A child of God forever.
God shows His good and gracious will
And grants His peace, the world to fill -
All strife at last has ended.

We praise and laud and worship You;
We give You thanks forever,
O Father, for Your rule is true
And just and changes never.
With boundless pow'r, Your mighty reign
Fulfills whatever You ordain.
Lord, grant us ev'ry blessing!

O Jesus Christ, the only Son
Begotten of the Father,
Your saving death has made us one
With God and with each other.
O Lamb of God, to You on high
In our distress we sinners cry,
Have mercy on us, amen!

O Holy Spirit, our delight,
And source of consolation,
Protect us from the devil's might
Through Jesus, our salvation,
Who by His death upon a tree
Has rescued us from misery:
To this we hold forever.  

This text strikes me as much nearer to the German, and it really captures the jubilation which inspired the tune.  Both text and tune were written by Nicholas Decius in the 16th century.


WM Cwirla said...

This one is in my top five. A marvelous piece of hymnody!

William Weedon said...

Mine, too, William. And it is really marvelous in the John Benke festival setting (which we'll be using on Sunday).

Anonymous said...

My beloved Lutheran grandparents loved to sing the classic Lutheran hymns (in German, of course).

I still miss them very, very much. They were true icons of Lutheran grace-fulness in every sense of the word.

Anonymous said...

A few changes in the words? Oh please tell me the music stays the same!