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Ere zij God (Glory to God) (Luke 2:14)

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The third "great" canticle in Luke's gospel (2:14) records the song the angels sang at the birth of Jesus. However, it is sometimes not counted as a canticle because it was expanded in later liturgical use into the Gloria, a longer text that began with this verse and became a regular part of the daily Mass (see PHH 247 for the complete Gloria text). The Latin incipit of this text, "Gloria in excelsis Deo," is often used independently as a chorus of praise, as in the refrain of 347 and other Christmas carols.
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Call to Worship

God is here! The Messiah has come!
We open our eyes to see him and lift our hearts to worship him.
We have come to exalt the name of Jesus, our Savior and King,
and to bring glory to God the Father.
In our worship we demonstrate the mind of Christ
in declaring to God that he is the supreme authority in our lives.
We bow before him in submission to our Lord and King.
Come, worship the Lord!
[Reformed Worship 13:13]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

Profession of Our Church’s Faith (see also section 3.6)
1 In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;
yet the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name,
he gave power to become children of God,
who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh
or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
—John 1:1-5, 9-14, NRSV
 
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
People of God, through the coming of Jesus Christ,
whose birth we celebrate,
the Lord has comforted and redeemed us too!
In Christ we receive the salvation of our God.
Glory to God in the highest!
—based on Isaiah 52:9-10; Luke 2:14, NRSV
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

May Jesus Christ, the sun of righteousness,
who comes with healing in his wings,
fill you with the joy and peace that passes all understanding.
The blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Tune Information

Name
ERE ZIJ GOD
Key
D Major
Meter
irregular

Recordings

Hymn Story/Background

The third "great" canticle in Luke's Gospel (2:14) records the song the angels sang at the birth of Jesus. However, it is sometimes not counted as a canticle because it was expanded in later liturgical use into the Gloria, a longer text that began with this verse and became a regular part of the daily Mass. The Latin incipit of this text, "Gloria in excelsis Deo," is often used independently as a chorus of praise, as in the refrain of “Angels We Have Heard on High” and other Christmas carols.
 
A certain F. A. Schultz prepared the text and music for "Ere zij God"; it was pub­lished in Bickers's Het Nachtegaalije and in the numerous editions of the popular Zangbundel compiled by Johannes De Heer in the first half of the twentieth century. Those collections provided a means for those who sang only psalms in church to sing many popular hymns at home. "Ere zij God" is the best-known Dutch carol in the Netherlands, and many Christian Reformed congregations with and without Dutch immigrants have made this song part of their Christmas celebration.
 
Further research is needed to determine whether or not this carol was perhaps translated from German into Dutch.
 
The English versification was prepared for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.  "Glory to God" is a fine hymn of praise to God, who brings peace to his people on earth through the birth of the Messiah.
 
ERE ZIJ GOD is a tune "stretched" into rounded binary form and concluded with a double "amen" coda. Although it's ideally sung unaccompanied and in harmony, festive instruments, such as a brass quartet, can add a celebrative accent.
— Bert Polman

Author and Composer Information

Jan Luth, former director of the Liturgical Institute at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, suggested that the composer may have been Franz Albert Schultz (b. Neustettin, Germany, 1692; d. 1763), a German Lutheran theologian educated in Balle. In 1732 he became a professor of theology at Konigsberg in East Prussia, where he spearheaded reforms in the Prussian church and educational system according to an ideal of "active Christianity."
— Bert Polman
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.