O LORD, You Are My Light

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Christology of the song, “O LORD, You Are My Light” is carefully based on the content of the Apostles’ Creed, and the firmness of the convictions here echo the words of Belgic Confession, Article 20, that God gave “his Son to die, by a most perfect love, and [raised] him to life for our justification, in order that by him we might have immortality and eternal life.” “When [his] benefits are made ours, they are more than enough to absolve us of our sins…(Additionally,) the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith that embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, and makes him its own, and no longer looks for anything apart from him” (Belgic Confession, Article 22).

Additional Prayers

Light of the world, shine in our darkness.
Savior of the world, come into our hearts.
There is much we should fear if we faced this day alone.
But you, O Lord, are with us; thanks be to God! Amen.

A Prayer for Relief from Fear
O God, when we are young we are afraid of the dark. When we are old we are afraid of helplessness. When we are guilty we are afraid of exposure. When we are unemployed we are afraid of poverty. So many fears, such little help till we turn back to you, O God, who alone can secure us from fear. In Jesus’ name, do secure us from fear, we pray. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

F Major or modal
Meter with repeat

Hymn Story/Background

This setting of Psalm 27:1-6 expresses great confidence in God's protection of his people, a confidence that leads the psalmist to bring “joyful offerings” (st. 4) to the LORD. The first stanza (originally “Jehovah is my light”) was first published in The Book of Psalms (1871), a text-only psalter that was later published with music in 1887. Stanzas 2-4 (altered) are from the 1912 Psalter, which in turn had altered the 1871 text.
The tune’s title, RHOSYMEDRE was derived from the Welsh parish where Edwards was pastor for some years after 1843. In Wales this tune is associated with Easter and is thought of as a jubilant hymn tune. Outside of Wales, however, it often receives a more devotional treatment.
RHOSYMEDRE is characterized by mainly stepwise motion and by repeated tones. It is a bar form tune (AAB). Sing this fine harmonization in parts. Use firm accompaniment, and play at a moderate pace.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

The Psalter 1887 was the Psalter of the United Presbyterian Church of North America with music; the texts were the same as 1871 Book of Psalms. The preface says:
The endeavor of the Committee has been to search the field of sacred music and to select only that which has highest merit and best adaptation to the sentiment and to congregational use. Tunes which have received the widest acceptance by the Church at large have been given the preference. Many of the tunes in the Psalter have been retained. Some have been transferred to other selections. Two hundred and twenty-one tunes have been added. They are all of acknowledged merit and it is believed will find general acceptance. For convenience in use each selection is numbered, and the number corresponds with the number of the page.
In 1890, the True Reformed Protestant Dutch Church joined the Christian Reformed Church, becoming what we know now as Classis Hackensack. This group of congregations adopted the 1887 Psalter, also adding 190 hymns grouped according to the fifty-two Lord’s Days of the Heidelberg Catechism, becoming one of two groups in the Christian Reformed Church singing hymns as well as Psalms in worship. 
— Rebecca Hoeksema

The 1912 Psalter was the first ecumenical psalter published in the United States and the most widely used metrical psalter of the twentieth century in North America.  The United Presbyterian Church invited all other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations to join them in the effort to provide a new versifications of the psalms; six Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America joined in the effort in revising the 1887 Psalter (whose texts actually dated back to the 1871 Book of Psalms; the 1887 edition had added music to the texts.).  The 1912 Psalter included all the psalms in 413 settings, eight doxologies, and the three Lukan canticles (Song of Mary, Song of Zechariah, and Song of Simeon).
— Bert Polman and Jack Reiffer

Composer Information

John David Edwards (b. Penderlwyngoch, Cardiganshire, Wales, 1805; d. Llanddoget, Denbighshire, North Wales, 1885) was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, England, and ordained an Anglican priest in 1833. He served parishes in Rhosymedre and Llanddoget and published a collection of hymn tunes, Original Sacred Music (2 vols., 1836, 1843), for use in Anglican churches in Wales.
— Bert Polman