359

Give Thanks to God, Who Hears Our Cries

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Voicing our thankfulness is the theme of this songs and the theme of Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2, which professes that God’s children can “live and die in the joy of this comfort,” when we know our sin and misery, know how we are set free in Christ, and especially know “how I am to thank God for such deliverance.”
 
Similarly, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86 leads us to confess that our whole lives will “show that we are thankful to God for his benefits.”
 
This spirit is reinforced by Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 6 with its personal profession, “We rejoice in the goodness of God...”
359

Give Thanks to God, Who Hears Our Cries

Additional Prayers

Good and loving God, in Jesus you know the paths your children walk
and all that can frighten and discourage us.
Make your presence real to us as we make our journey,
that at any time and in every circumstance
we may remember your blessings—and rejoice! Amen.
359

Give Thanks to God, Who Hears Our Cries

Tune Information

Name
MORNING SONG
Key
f minor
Meter
8.6.8.6.8.6

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

Performance option: all sing stanza 1; stanzas 2-5 sung by solo voices, bringing the congregation in to sing each final phrase beginning on the word “then”; all sing stanza 6.
359

Give Thanks to God, Who Hears Our Cries

Hymn Story/Background

MORNING SONG is a folk tune that has some resemblance to the traditional English tune for "Old King Cole." The tune appeared anonymously in Part II of John Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music (1813). In 1816 it was credited to "Mr. Dean," which some scholars believe was a misprinted reference to Elkanah K. Dare, a composer who contributed more than a dozen tunes to Wyeth's Repository. In the original harmonization the melody was in the tenor. The tune is also known as CONSOLATION (and KENTUCKY HARMONY), its title in Ananias Davisson's Kentucky Harmony (1816), where it was set to Isaac Watts' morning song, "Once More, My Soul, the Rising Day."
 
Jack Grotenhuis composed the harmonization in Tempe, Arizona, in late November 1983 (a few weeks before his death in a traffic accident). The Episcopal Hymnal 1982 provides two additional settings. The music is suitable for either unison singing (especially on st. 1, 5) or part singing (especially on st. 2-4). The tune requires a sense of two long phrases rather than four short ones.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Ruth Duck (b. 1947), is a professor of worship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Her powerful texts have emerged as the major part of the cutting edge of language that speaks of God in universal terms and in poetry that is as poignant as it is stoic. GIA Publications, Inc. has published fifty-eight of her texts in the collection Dancing in the Universe (G-3833). Seven of them are also set in octavo form. 

Before coming to Garrett in 1989, she served as pastor at United Church of Christ parishes in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. Her undergraduate work was done at Southwestern-at-Memphis University, which is now called Rhodes College. 

She holds two masters degrees—one from Chicago Theological Seminary and one from the University of Notre Dame. Her doctorate in theology was earned at Boston University. Her academic credentials are weighty ones and balance beautifully with her pastoral experience dealing with the everyday tasks as the spiritual leader of a parish community.

Composer Information

A printer by trade, J. Wyeth (b. Cambridge, MA, 1770; d. Philadelphia, PA, 1858) is important in the history of hymnody as a compiler and publisher of early shape-note tunebooks. He worked briefly in Santa Domingo but had to flee when a revolt occurred. In 1792 he settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he lived for much of the rest of his life. A Unitarian, he was coeditor for some thirty-five years of the Federalist newspaper Oracle of Dauphin, a prominent source of news and opinion. Not a musician himself, Wyeth published Repository of Sacred Music (1810) and, with the help of Methodist preacher and musician Elkanah Kelsay Dare, Repository of Music, Part Second (1813). Intended for Methodist and Baptist camp meetings, these tune books contained a number of anonymous folk tunes as well as music by a number of composers, including William Billings. The two volumes influenced the next generation of tunebooks, such as Southern Harmony, and a number of the folk tunes have survived as hymn tunes in various modern hymnals.
 
 
— Bert Polman

Jack Grotenhuis (b. 1983; d. 1983) studied music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, and the University of lowa, and taught music at Lynden Christian High School, Lynden, Washington, from 1979 to 1981. Like his father, Dale Grotenhuis, his main interest was in choral music, but he also loved jazz. He had almost completed his doctoral program in choral music at the University of Arizona when he died in a traffic accident.
— Bert Polman
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