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The Mighty God with Power Speaks (Psalm 50)

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Belgic Confession, Article 2, confesses that “the universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book,” a truth that is picked up in stanza 1 of this song: “God’s wonder earth displays.”

Additional Prayers

Just and holy God,
you need nothing from us, but delight in our humble trust and thankful obedience.
We repent of our shallow rituals and empty sacrifices.
Enable us to do justice, love kindness, and humbly walk with you, our God. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
STAR OF COUNTY DOWN
Key
e minor or modal
Meter
8.6.8.6. D

Musical Suggestion

This relatively new Psalm text by Michael Morgan is paired with the strong, singable tune, STAR OF COUNTY DOWN. Let the words and message of this Psalm shine through, being careful not to overwhelm them with loud or heavy accompaniment.
 
Instrumental Suggestions:
  • Add a flute to the organ or piano to brighten up the sound.
  • Use an acoustic guitar either alone or with piano.
— Diane Dykgraaf

Hymn Story/Background

The text is slightly revised from my original setting of Psalm 50 in the Psalter for Christian Worship. The Psalter for Christian Worship (1999; revised, 2010) was written for my congregation at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta as a means of reclaiming the Reformed tradition of singing metrical Psalms in our worship.
 
Martin Tel introduced me to the folk tune, “Star of County Down,” which displayed the energy he wanted to “fire up” the right words, expressing the imagery of God coming to us with judgment and grace, awe, anticipation, perhaps “fear” as the old Psalm versions would say, and certainly with thanksgiving for justice.
— Michael Morgan

The tune Star of County Down is named after an old Irish ballad set near Banbridge in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is very similar to the English tune KINGSFOLD, found on the facing page in Lift Up Your Hearts, and was the basis for Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus. 
— Emily Brink

Author Information

Michael Morgan (b. 1948) is a church musician, Psalm scholar, and collector of English Bibles and Psalters from Atlanta, Georgia. After almost 40 years, he now serves as Organist Emeritus for Atlanta’s historic Central Presbyterian Church, and as Seminary Musician at Columbia Theological Seminary. He holds degrees from Florida State University and Atlanta University, and did post-graduate study with composer Richard Purvis in San Francisco. He has played recitals, worship services, and master classes across the U. S., and in England, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany. He is author of the Psalter for Christian Worship , and a regular contributor in the field of psalmody (most recently to the Reformed collections Psalms for All Seasons and Lift Up Your Hearts, and the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God).
— Michael Morgan

Composer Information

Rory Cooney (b. 1952) has been the director of liturgy and music ministries at St. Anne Catholic Community in Barrington, Illinois, since 1994. His published compositions span a career of songwriting that began nearly 35 years ago, and continues to the present, as he tries to write to the needs of the church and the communities in which he serves. Early compositions were published by Composers’ Forum for Catholic Worship and Resource Publications in the 1970’s, and his works are represented in Gather and RitualSong, as well as other publications.

His recording career began in 1984, and virtually all of his recordings have been collaborations with his wife, Theresa Donohoo, and Gary Daigle. His most recent work with GIA has been the collection "Today" and Terry Donohoo’s "Family Resemblance."

Rory travels with Theresa and Gary Daigle giving concerts, days of renewal, missions, and workshops for parishes, dioceses, and organizations. 
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.