274

O God, Who Gives to Humankind

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Not many songs or confessional readings address the matter of learning and education. This is a golden opportunity to reinforce the testimony of Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 47 that “…we foster schools and teaching in which God’s truth shines in all learning.”

Additional Prayers

Optional prayer for teachers and learners
We bless you, Lord, for the privilege of growing in grace and knowledge.
Help us to be hungry for your truth, and to mature as your dearly loved children.
Keep us faithful, and save us from false and distorted teaching.
By your Spirit, lead us into all truth
in the name of Jesus, the way, the truth, and life. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
GERMANY
Key
G Major or modal
Meter
8.8.8.8

Recordings

Hymn Story/Background

Edward Burns is known for two hymns, both published in Hymns for Today’s Church (1982, 1987) by the Jubliate Group, a group of evangelically-minded Anglican clergy who sparked a movement to provide new psalms and hymns in more contemporary language and music that would connect with young people.
Emily Brink
 
William Gardiner first published GERMANY as a setting for the text "As a Shepherd Gently Leads Us" in his Sacred Melodies (vol. 2, 1815), in which he attributed it to Ludwig van Beethoven. The last phrase of this tune resembles a part of the first theme of the Allegretto movement of Beethoven's Piano Trio, Op. 7, No.2. The first phrase is from the opening of the aria “Possenti Numi” in Mozart's The Magic Flute. The tune is also known by the names BEETHOVEN, FULDA, WALTON, or GARDINER. Sing GERMANY briskly to get the sense of two long lines rather than four shorter, choppy ones. Antiphony is helpful for singing the entire psalm.
— Emily Brink

William Gardiner first published GERMANY as a setting for the text "As a Shepherd Gently Leads Us" in his Sacred Melodies (vol. 2, 1815), in which he attributed it to Ludwig van Beethoven. The last phrase of this tune resembles a part of the first theme of the Allegretto movement of Beethoven's Piano Trio, Op. 7, No.2. The first phrase is from the opening of the aria “Possenti Numi” in Mozart's The Magic Flute. The tune is also known by the names BEETHOVEN, FULDA, WALTON, or GARDINER. Sing GERMANY briskly to get the sense of two long lines rather than four shorter, choppy ones. Antiphony is helpful for singing the entire psalm.
— Bert Polman

The tune GERMANY is most often fitted with a very basic four-part harmonization. I created the 3-4 voice arrangement specifically for the text “When Evening Comes and Shadows Flee.” As I sang the text to the unaccompanied unison tune, the melodic line took on a richer folk quality. The new harmonization is designed to encourage a prayerful voicing of the text. The ascending three-note phrase in the tenor line is intended to allow the singer’s prayers to “…rise as incense” (Psalm 141:2).
— Paul Detterman

Author Information

Edward Joseph Burns (b. 1938) lived all his life in Lancashire, except for attending Liverpool University and Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University. He was ordained in the Church of England and became vicar of Christ Church, Fulwood beginning in 1975. He is known especially for two hymns, “We Have a Gospel to Proclaim” and “O God, Who Gives to Humankind.” The first was written in response to the Blackburn Diocean “Call to Mission” in 1968 and is one of the most popular hymns to come from the evangelical movement of that time; it was the first hymn in 100 Hymns for Today (1969). 

Composer Information

The son of an English hosiery manufacturer, William Gardiner (b. Leicester, England, 1770; d. Leicester, 1853) took up his father's trade in addition to writing about music, composing, and editing. Having met Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven on his business travels, Gardiner then proceeded to help popularize their compositions, especially Beethoven's, in England. He recorded his memories of various musicians in Music and Friends (3 volumes, 1838-1853). In the first two volumes of Sacred Melodies (1812, 1815), Gardiner turned melodies from composers such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven into hymn tunes in an attempt to rejuvenate the singing of psalms. His work became an important model for American editors like Lowell Mason (see Mason's Boston Handel and Haydn Collection, 1822), and later hymnbook editors often turned to Gardiner as a source of tunes derived from classical music.
— Bert Polman

Paul Detterman is currently the Executive Director of Presbyterians for Renewal and the Fellowship of Presbyterians. He has his bachelor’s degree in Sacred Music from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master of Church Music from Concordia University and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Boston University School of Theology. Detterman is a composer of choral, solo, handbells, and organ music. He has served the Church as a Director of Music and a Pastor, and is a frequent preacher, worship leader, and conference/retreat speaker. He has published numerous works on worship, and was a contributing consultant for Lift Up Your Hearts. 
— Laura de Jong
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.