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All Praise to You, My God, This Night

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

At the end of the day, the child of God who trusts in his fatherly care (see Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 and Belgic Confession, Article 13) can ask for forgiveness, be at rest, and expect new strength.
 
Because of this, the child of God who trust in God’s fatherly care can give praise to all three members of the Trinity (Belgic Confession, Article 8).

Assurance

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
Why my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Tune Information

Name
TALLIS CANON
Meter
8.8.8.8

Hymn Story/Background

Anglican bishop Thomas Ken wrote a group of three hymns for morning, evening, and midnight devotions for the students at Winchester College; this is the evening hymn. Ken suggested that the students sing these hymns "in your chamber devoutly." Although an unauthorized pamphlet version of the evening hymn appeared in 1692, the text was first published in Henry Playford's Harmonia Sacra (1693). Ken published the text in his Manual of Prayers (1695 ed.) and revised it for his 1709 edition. That edition is the source of the Psalter Hymnal 1987 version which presents a modernized text of four of the original twelve stanzas (st. 1, 2, 4, and 12). Some hymnals begin the text with these words: "Glory to Thee, my God, this night," a line from Ken's 1695 publication. Typical of the piety of Ken's day, the original stanza 3 read:
 
Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed;
Teach me to die, that so I may
Rise glorious at the awful day.
 
The oldest and most popular of the traditional English evening hymns, "All Praise to You" has standard features of an evening hymn: thanksgiving for the day that is past (st. 1), penitence for sin committed (st. 2), prayer for peaceful sleep (st. 3), and confidence in God's care and keeping (st. 1-3). The final stanza (st. 4) has become the most famous doxology in the English language (964 and 965 in Lift Up Your Hearts).
 
TALLIS CANON is one of nine tunes Thomas Tallis contributed to Matthew Parker's Psalter (around 1561). There it was used as a setting for Psalm 67. In the original tune the melody began in the tenor, followed by the soprano, and featured repeated phrases. Thomas Ravenscroft published the tune, with the repeat­ phrases omitted, in his Whole Book of Psalmes (1621). The Ravenscroft version is the setting that virtually all modern hymnals use for this text.
 
TALLIS CANON is a round most congregations can easily sing in two parts, especially when women sing the first part and men sing the second. The congregation could also sing the hymn as a four-part round (each entry at four beats). Try also to sing unaccom­panied (organists could sound the first phrase of each entry and then sing along).
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Thomas Ken (b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1637; d. Longleat, Wiltshire, England, 1711) studied at Winchester College, Hart Hall, and New College, Oxford, England. Ordained in the Church of England in 1662, he served variously as pastor, chaplain at Winchester College (1669-1679), chaplain to Princess (later Queen) Mary in The Hague, and bishop of Bath and Wells (1685-1691). He was a man of conscience and independent mind who did not shirk from confrontations with royalty. When King Charles II came to visit and and independent mind who did not shirk from confrontations with royalty. When King Charles II came to visit Winchester, he took along his mistress, the famous actress Nell Gwynne. Ken was asked to provide lodging for her. The story is told that Ken quickly declared his house under repair and had a builder take off the roof! He later was dismissed from the court at The Hague when he protested a case of immorality. Then, later in 1688, Bishop Ken refused to read King James II's Declaration of Indulgence in the churches, which granted greater religious freedom in England, and he was briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London. A few years later he refused to swear allegiance to King William, and he lost his bishopric.
 
Ken wrote many hymns, which were published posthumously in 1721 and repub­lished in 1868 as Bishop Ken s Christian Year, or Hymns and Poems for the Holy Days and Festivals of the Church. But he is best known for his morning, evening, and midnight hymns, each of which have as their final stanza the famous doxology “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow.”
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Thomas Tallis (b. Leicestershire [?], England, c. 1505; d. Greenwich, Kent, England 1585) was one of the few Tudor musicians who served during the reigns of Henry VIII: Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth I and managed to remain in the good favor of both Catholic and Protestant monarchs. He was court organist and composer from 1543 until his death, composing music for Roman Catholic masses and Anglican liturgies (depending on the monarch). With William Byrd, Tallis also enjoyed a long-term monopoly on music printing. Prior to his court connections Tallis had served at Waltham Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral. He composed mostly church music, including Latin motets, English anthems, settings of the liturgy, magnificats, and two sets of lamentations. His most extensive contrapuntal work was the choral composition, "Spem in alium," a work in forty parts for eight five-voice choirs. He also provided nine modal psalm tunes for Matthew Parker's Psalter (c. 1561).
— Bert Polman