572

Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

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.

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

Tune Information

Name
MIT FREUDEN ZART
Key
D Major
Meter
8.7.8.7.8.8.7

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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