337

Lord, You Have Searched Me

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

A versification of much of Psalm 139, "LORD, You Have Searched Me" comes from the 1912 Psalter; Marie J. Post (PHH 5) modi­fied it in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal. Stanzas 1 and 5, following verses 1 and 23-24 of the biblical text, frame the entire psalm. See PHH 139 for further commentary on Psalm 139.
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Stanzas 3 and 4 of this song express the wonder of knowing the creator God. In a similar way, Belgic Confession, Article 12 says in a spirit of awe: “God has given all creatures their being, form and appearance and their various functions for serving their Creator.”
 
Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 10 testifies that we are “made in God’s image to live in loving communion with our Maker...”
 
Later, Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 44 confesses: “…life is a gift from God…” that we receive “thankfully with reverence for the Creator.”

Additional Prayers

Almighty God, creator of all things, you know each of us so intimately
that no thought in our minds or cell in our bodies is hid from your eyes.
Secure in the loving embrace of our brother, Jesus Christ,
we open our hearts and lives to your searching gaze. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
FEDERAL STREET
Key
E♭ Major
Meter
8.8.8.8

Hymn Story/Background

A versification of much of Psalm 139, "LORD, You Have Searched Me" comes from the 1912 Psalter; Marie J. Post modi­fied it in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal 1987. Stanzas 1 and 5, following verses 1 and 23-24 of the biblical text, frame the entire psalm.
 
Henry Kemble Oliver composed FEDERAL STREET in 1832, possibly as an imitation of earlier psalm tunes in long meter. He took it to a music class taught by Lowell Mason (who may have contributed to the harmony); Mason published it in his Boston Academy Collection of Church Music (1836).The tune name refers to the street in Boston where Oliver's boyhood church stood, and to the street in Salem where Oliver's wife, Sally, was “reared, wooed, won, and married.”
 
While the text in this song often consists of two long lines, this tune unfortunately insists on four phrases. Trained choirs can easily couple the short phrases into the longer units the text calls for, but congregations may need persistent help from the organist or choir to complete the longer lines. Sing this tune in harmony.
— The Hymnal 1940 Companion

Author Information

The 1912 Psalter was the first ecumenical psalter published in the United States and the most widely used metrical psalter of the twentieth century in North America.  The United Presbyterian Church invited all other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations to join them in the effort to provide a new versifications of the psalms; six Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America joined in the effort in revising the 1887 Psalter (whose texts actually dated back to the 1871 Book of Psalms; the 1887 edition had added music to the texts.).  The 1912 Psalter included all the psalms in 413 settings, eight doxologies, and the three Lukan canticles (Song of Mary, Song of Zechariah, and Song of Simeon).
 
While attending Dutch church services as a child, Marie W. (Tuinstra) Post (b. Jenison, MI, 1919; d. Grand Rapids, MI, 1990) was first introduced to the Genevan psalms, which influenced her later writings. She attended Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she studied with Henry Zylstra. From 1940 to 1942 she taught at the Muskegon Christian Junior High School. For over thirty years Post wrote poetry for the Grand Rapids Press and various church periodicals. She gave many readings of her poetry in churches and schools and has been published in a number of journals and poetry anthologies. Two important collections of her poems are I Never Visited an Artist Before (1977) and the posthumous Sandals, Sails, and Saints (1993). A member of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee, Post was a significant contribu­tor to its array of original texts and paraphrases.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) was educated at Harvard and Dartmouth. He taught in the public schools of Salem (1818-1842) and was superintendent of the Atlantic Cotton Mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts (1848-1858). His civic service included being mayor of Lawrence (1859­1861) and Salem (1877-1880), state treasurer (1861-1865), and organizer of the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics and Labor (1867-1873). Oliver was organist at several churches, including Park Street Congregational Church in Boston, North Church in Salem, and the Unitarian Church in Lawrence. A founder of the Mozart Association and several choral societies in Salem, he published his hymn tunes in Hymn and Psalm Tunes (1860) and Original Hymn Tunes (1875).
— Bert Polman
General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Capo:
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

This is a preview of your FlexScore.