572

Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

Full Text

1 Sing praise to God who reigns above,
the God of all creation,
the God of power, the God of love,
the God of our salvation.
My soul with comfort rich he fills,
and every grief he gently stills:
to God all praise and glory!

2 What God’s almighty power has made,
in mercy he is keeping;
by morning glow or evening shade
his eye is never sleeping.
And where he rules in kingly might,
there all is just and all is right:
to God all praise and glory!

3 The Lord is never far away,
but through all grief distressing,
an ever-present help and stay,
our peace, and joy, and blessing;
as with a mother's tender hand
God gently leads the chosen band:
to God all praise and glory!

4 We sought the Lord in our distress;
O God, in mercy hear us.
Our Savior saw our helplessness
and came with peace to cheer us.
For this we thank and praise the Lord,
who is by one and all adored:
to God all praise and glory!

5 Let all who name Christ's holy name
give God the praise and glory.
Let all who know his power proclaim
aloud the wondrous story.
Cast every idol from its throne;
the Lord is God, and he alone:
to God all praise and glory!

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The text was published in his Christliches Gedenckbüchlein (1675) with the heading "Hymn of Thanksgiving" and with a reference to Deuteronomy 32:3: "I will proclaim the name of the Lord; O praise the greatness of our God!"
 
 
The text is an expansion in hymn form of the Old Testament theme found in the psalms: "God is great, and God is good!" As we sing, we affirm his power in creation, his love in redemption, his mercy toward his people, and the comfort he gives to those in grief. He is truly God, steadfast in mercy and abounding in love. For all these blessings we offer "to God all praise and glory!"
 
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.

572

Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

Call to Worship

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
—Psalm 103:1-5, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to an inhabited town;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
he led them by a straight way,
until they reached an inhabited town.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
For he satisfies the thirsty,
and the hungry he fills with good things.
—Psalm 107:1-9, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

Those who love me, I will deliver, says the Lord;
I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honor them
and show them my salvation.
Receive the good news of the gospel:
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
—based on Psalm 91:14-15, NRSV
 
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers. The pattern provides a suggested text
for the opening and closing of each part of the prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of
thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
Lord of heaven and earth,
we praise and thank you for upholding and ruling all creation
by your eternal providence:
for your sustaining hand in creation . . .
for providing leaders in government . . .
for church leaders . . .
for the way in which you have worked in this church . . .
for the riches you have lavished upon each one of us . . .
and for the great gift of your Son, through whom we are redeemed.
As our sovereign God holding our world and our lives in your hands,
we intercede on behalf of
the nations of the world . . .
those whom you have put in government . . .
our community and those who serve in it . . .
your church, that it may expand your kingdom, especially in . . .
We ask that your powerful hands may be evident in the lives of . . .
And in all circumstances may we have the faith
to hold on to your promise that you will work things out for our good,
even when we see no good.
We pray this in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God,
to whom belongs the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
572

Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

Tune Information

Name
MIT FREUDEN ZART
Key
D Major
Meter
8.7.8.7.8.8.7

Recordings

572

Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

Hymn Story/Background

A Pietist who eventually left the Lutheran Church to become a Moravian, Johann J. Schütz wrote this “Hymn of Thanksgiving” in the style of the Old Testament praise psalms.
 
The text is an expansion in hymn form of the Old Testament theme found in the psalms: "God is great, and God is good!" As we sing, we affirm his power in creation, his love in redemption, his mercy toward his people, and the comfort he gives to those in grief. He is truly God, steadfast in mercy and abounding in love. For all these blessings we offer "to God all praise and glory!"
 
MIT FREUDEN ZART has some similarities to the French chanson "Une pastourelle gentille" (published by Pierre Attaingnant in 1529) and to GENEVAN 138. The tune was published in the Bohemian Brethren hymnal Kirchengesänge (1566) with Vetter's text "Mit Freuden zart su dieser Fahrt."
 
Splendid music for a great text, this rounded bar form tune (AABA) is one of the great hymn tunes of the Reformation. Sing the outer stanzas in unison and the middle ones in harmony, although the final phrase, "to God all praise and glory," could be sung consistently in unison.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Johann J. Schütz (b. Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, 1640; d. Frankfurt-am-Main, 1690) wrote the original German text in nine stanzas, which began, "Sei Lob und Ehr' dem hochsten Gut." The text was published in his Christliches Gedenckbüchlein (1675) with the heading "Hymn of Thanksgiving" and with a reference to Deuteronomy 32:3: "I will proclaim the name of the Lord; O praise the greatness of our God!"
 
Trained at Tübingen, Schütz practiced law in Frankfurt his entire professional life. He was a close friend of Philipp Jakob Spener, the major force in the Pietist movement in Germany. The Pietists criticized the formalism of the Lutheran Church, stressed conversion and personal piety, and became famous for their prayer meetings and orphanages. Schütz was among the Pietists who left the Lutheran Church in 1686 to join the Moravians. His hymn texts were published in Christliche Gedenckbüchlein (1675) and Christliche Leuensregeln (1677), but only his "Sing Praise to God" is found today in English-language hymnals.
— Bert Polman

The translation by Francis Elizabeth Cox (b. Oxford, England, 1812; d. Headington, England, 1897) was published in Orby Shipley's Lyra Eucharistica and in Cox's Hymns from the German (both 1864). Cox wrote a number of original hymns, but few of these have survived; instead she is known for her translations of German hymns into English. She translated about eighty texts, many of which were published in her 1864 collection. Her choice of hymns was often determined by her friend, Baron Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador to England. Cox and Catherine Winkworth are regarded as the best translators of German chorales into English.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Heinrich Reimann (b. Rengersdorf, Silesia, 1850; d. Berlin, Germany, 1906) was a German musicologist, organist, and composer. He studied at the University of Breslau, and was awarded a degree in classical philology in 1875. He then studied organ with Silesian composer and organist Moritz Brosig, and in 1886 changed his career to that of organist, choral conductor, and composer. He was appointed the official organist for the Berlin Philharmonic, and in 1895, was appointed organist at the Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. Reimann was also an organ teacher for many years. 
— Laura de Jong
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