934

God of Mercy, God of Grace

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

To leave the security of worship and enter the world for service requires firm confidence in the faithful promises of God to be with us, to care for us and bless us. Our deepest assurance comes from the comfort we have that “I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1). Because I belong to him, “he will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends upon me in this sad world. God is able to do this because he is almighty God and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26). We have the assurance that “our Lord speaks to us now through the inspired Scriptures. Christ is with us day by day” (Our Song of Hope, Stanza 1). How rich it is to carry such assurance of his blessing with us as we leave the service of worship!
934

God of Mercy, God of Grace

Blessing/Benediction

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
Alleluia! Amen.

Additional Prayers

God of all,
may your lavish grace and saving power be known by all people in all places,
so that the world may resound with your praise
as all nations bow before your loving rule made known in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
934

God of Mercy, God of Grace

Tune Information

Name
DIX
Key
G Major or modal
Meter
7.7.7.7.7.7
934

God of Mercy, God of Grace

Hymn Story/Background

Psalm 67, a short communal song for God's blessing may have served as a liturgical prayer of the people at the close of worship. Its echoes of the priestly benediction (Num. 6:22-27) suggest that it may have been used just prior to that divinely authorized blessing. The prayer begins with an allusion to the priestly blessing and asks that God will fulfill the purpose of that blessing—to bring "salvation among the nations."
 
An early form of the tune DIX was composed by Conrad Kocher. William H. Monk created the current form of DIX by revising and shortening Conrad Kocher's chorale melody for “Treuer Heiland, wir sind hier,” found in Kocher's Stimmen aus den Reiche Gottes (1838). Monk's tune was published with Dix's text in the 1861 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, of which Monk was music editor. Dix regretted the use of this tune for his text, but the combination has proven a good match—"As with Gladness" is the most popular Epiphany hymn today.
 
DIX is a simple bar form tune (AAB) with a wavelike contour in each of its three lines. Sing in three long lines rather than six short ones in order to reflect the longer phrases of the text. Sing stanzas 14 in unison or in harmony. In stanza 5 add the descant from Sydney H. Nicholson's Royal School of Church Music collection Music for Boys’ Voices (1944).
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Henry Francis Lyte (b. Ednam, near Kelso, Rosburghshire, Scotland, 1793; d. Nice, France, 1847) was orphaned at an early age. He decided to pursue a medical career, although he also had an early interest in poetry. At Trinity College, Dublin, Scotland, he was awarded a prize for his poems on three different occasions. While at Trinity, he decided to become a minister and in 1815 was ordained in the Church of England. He served a number of parishes, including Lower Brixham, a small fishing village in Devonshire (1823-1847). Lyte wrote a considerable body of poetry, hymns, and psalm paraphrases, which were published in Tales on the Lord's Prayer in Verse (1826), Poems, Chiefly Religious. (1833, 1845, slightly enlarged posthumously as Miscellaneous Poems, 1868), and The Spirit of the Psalms (1834, 1836). Because of ill health Lyte made winter visits to the French Riviera from 1844 until his death there in 1847.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

An early form of the tune DIX was composed by Conrad Kocher (b. Ditzingen, Wurttemberg, Germany, 1786; d. Stuttgart, Germany, 1872). Trained as a teacher, Kocher moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, to work as a tutor at the age of seventeen. But his love for the music of Haydn and Mozart impelled him to a career in music. He moved back to Germany in 1811, settled in Stuttgart, and remained there for most of his life. The prestigious Cotta music firm published some of his early compositions and sent him to study music in Italy, where he came under the influence of Palestrina's music. In 1821 Kocher founded the School for Sacred Song in Stuttgart, which popu­larized four-part singing in the churches of that region. He was organist and choir director at the Striftsckirche in Stuttgart from 1827 to 1865. Kocher wrote a treatise on church music, Die Tonkunst in der Kirche (1823), collected a large number of chorales in Zions Harfe (1855), and composed an oratorio, two operas, and some sonatas.
— Bert Polman

William H. Monk (b. Brompton, London, England, 1823; d. London, 1889) is best known for his music editing of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861, 1868; 1875, and 1889 editions). He also adapted music from plainsong and added accompaniments for Introits for Use Throughout the Year, a book issued with that famous hymnal. Beginning in his teenage years, Monk held a number of musical positions. He became choirmaster at King's College in London in 1847 and was organist and choirmaster at St. Matthias, Stoke Newington, from 1852 to 1889, where he was influenced by the Oxford Movement. At St. Matthias, Monk also began daily choral services with the choir leading the congregation in music chosen according to the church year, including psalms chanted to plainsong. He composed over fifty hymn tunes and edited The Scottish Hymnal (1872 edition) and Wordsworth's Hymns for the Holy Year (1862) as well as the periodical Parish Choir (1840-1851).
— Bert Polman
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