545

Praise Is Your Right, O God, in Zion

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Psalm 65's praise of God's goodness ranges across the spectrum of his mercies: God forgives the people's sins so that they may enjoy sweet communion with him at the temple (st. 1); stills the turbu­lence of the nations so that his people are secure in their land (st. 2); blesses the promised land with a taste of Eden (st. 3). The range of these reflections and the power and beauty of their imagery make this psalm one of the most beloved in the psalter.
 
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The God who was active in providing his Son for our redemption, has also been active in the course of history and in the lives of his people. His activity in the course of history began when he created all things. Belgic Confession, Article 12 teaches that God, “when it seemed good to him, created heaven and earth and all other creatures from nothing, by the Word—that is to say, by the Son.” In addition, “God created human beings from the dust of the earth and made and formed them in his image and likeness.”
 
His activity also includes his constant care for all he has created. “…He watches over us with fatherly care, sustaining all creatures under his lordship” (Belgic Confession, Article 13). Additionally, God reveals himself by this “creation, preservation and government of the universe, since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book...” (Belgic Confession, Article 2).
 

We also believe that God’s mighty acts are revealed “in the unfolding of covenant history…witnessing to the news that Our World Belongs to God and he loves it deeply” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 33). Primary among these actions in the unfolding of covenant history is “the long road of redemption to reclaim the lost as his people and the world as his kingdom” (paragraph 18). As God’s people observe his work in their lives and in history they respond with praise and adoration.

545

Praise Is Your Right, O God, in Zion

Additional Prayers

Author of all beauty, source of all wonder,
you make the mountains sing for joy and the trees clap their hands with glee.
Inspire us to join with all creation in jubilant praise and thanksgiving
through our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom and through whom all things have their being.
Amen.
545

Praise Is Your Right, O God, in Zion

Tune Information

Name
GENEVAN 65
Key
e minor or modal
Meter
9.6.9.6. D

Musical Suggestion

Genevan 65 is a good psalm tune for congregations who think they don't really like singing Genevan melodies. It is one of the more easily singable of these tunes, with its straightforward rhythm and a narrow range suitable for all voices. The tune has no rhythmic complexities such as syncopations, hemiolas, or changing meters, and most of the melody falls within the range of a fifth, "e" to "b."
 
The structure is also very simple: lines one and two are exactly the same, and lines three and four, though melodi-cally different, are rhythmically the same. In line three, the leap of the fifth that characterized the first two lines is replaced by mostly stepwise movement. In addition, there is a change to the relative major key and rhythmically the pace quickens. The resulting effect is one of a gentle crescendo: images of blossoming and bearing fruit come to mind. Repeating the rhythm but not the melody in line four provides a wonderful and very effective synthesis: the minor mode of lines one and two returns, but this time with the more active rhythmic pattern of line three.
 
In short, this Genevan tune, though in a minor mode, is a sturdy and a wonderful expression of "serious mirth"—the kind of deep joy you feel when you are moved by a glorious sunrise, or an abundant harvest, or any other expression of God's goodness and glory, especially in nature.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 28)
— Jan Overduin
545

Praise Is Your Right, O God, in Zion

Hymn Story/Background

Psalm 65's praise of God's goodness ranges across the spectrum of his mercies: God forgives the people's sins so that they may enjoy sweet communion with him at the temple (st. 1); stills the turbulence of the nations so that his people are secure in their land (st. 2); blesses the promised land with a taste of Eden (st. 3). The range of these reflections and the power and beauty of their imagery make this psalm one of the most beloved in the psalter. Stanley Wiersma versified Psalm 65 in 1980 for the Psalter Hymnal 1987.
 
GENEVAN 65 appears twice in the Genevan Psalter. It was originally composed to accompany Psalm 72 in the 1551 edition of that psalter and was later matched with Theodore de Beze's versification of Psalm 65 in the 1554 edition. Composed in Aeolian (minor), this tune consists of four long phrases in bar form (AABC) unified by similar melodic and rhythmic patterns. Dale Grotenhuis wrote the harmonization in 1985. Because Psalm 65 is a joyful psalm, it calls for jubilant singing, brisk accompaniment, and a moderate tempo.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Stanley Marvin Wiersma (b. Orange City, IA, 1930; d. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1986) was a poet and professor of English at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1959 until his sudden death in 1986. He attended Calvin as an under­graduate and received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1959. His love for the Genevan psalms is reflected in the two books of poetry for which he is most widely known: Purpaleanie and Other Permutations (1978) and Style and Class (1982), both written under the pseudonym Sietze Buning. He also wrote More Than the Ear Discovers: God in the Plays of Christopher Fry and translated many Dutch poems and hymn texts into English, including the children's hymns published in All Will Be New (1982).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

The Genevan Psalter is the major gift of the Reformed branch of the Reformation to the song of the church. John Calvin (1509-1564) first experienced congregational singing of the psalms in Strasbourg when serving as a pastor of French exiles there, and when returning to Geneva in 1541 he finally persuaded the city council to permit congregational singing, which they had banned entirely under the influence of Ulrich Zwingli. Just two months after returning to Geneva, Calvin wrote in his Ecclesiastical Ordinances: "It will be good to introduce ecclesiastical songs, the better to incite the people to pray to and praise God. For a beginning the little children are to be taught; then with time all the church will be able to follow." Calvin set about overseeing the development of several metrical psalms with melodies, rather than the hymns, or chorales, of the Lutheran tradition, and also in contrast to the published psalters with texts only that followed in England and Scotland. The emerging Genevan Psalter was published in instalments until completed in 1562, including the 150 psalms, the Ten Commandments and the Song of Simeon. He employed the best French poets and composers to prepare metrical settings rather than continuing to chant the psalms, since poetry in meter was the popular form of the day—and also the choice for the Lutheran chorale.
 
The publication event was the largest in publishing history until then; twenty-four printers in Geneva alone, plus presses in Paris, Lyons, and elsewhere produced more than 27,000 copies in the first two years; more than 100,000 copies were available in over thirty editions. The Genevan Psalter was extremely popular, and almost immediately translated into Dutch, Hungarian, and German. Due to the intense persecution of the French Huguenots in the 16th century, the center of activity of the Reformed branch of the Reformation moved away from France and especially to the Netherlands, and from there to Indonesia, South Africa, and North America. The most recent translation (2004) of the entire psalter is into Japanese. The most recent English translation of the entire Genevan Psalter is available with melodies from the Canadian Reformed Book of Praise, available at http://www.canrc.org/?page=23 .
Calvin’s goal was to provide a distinct tune for every psalm, so that each psalm would have its own identity. Every tune would then bring to mind a particular psalm. The psalter didn’t quite reach this goal: it contains 125 different tunes. Today, only a few of those Genevan tunes are in wide use, among them the psalm tune most widely known around the world, often identified as OLD HUNDRETH, or simply, “The Doxology.” 
— Emily Brink

Dale Grotenhuis (b. Cedar Grove, WI, 1931; d. Jenison, Mi, August 17, 2012) was a member of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee, and was professor of music and director of choral music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, from 1960 until he retired in 1994 to concentrate on composition. Educated at Calvin College; Michigan State University, Lansing; and Ohio State University, Columbus; he combined teaching with composition throughout his career and was a widely published composer of choral music. He also directed the Dordt choir in a large number of recordings, including many psalm arrangements found in the 1959 edition of the Psalter Hymnal.
— Bert Polman
General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Capo:
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

Questions? Check out the FAQ
This is a preview of your FlexScore.