952

Praise God! Earth and Heaven Rejoice

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

How can the worshiper not conclude with such acclamations! When God is the “overflowing source of all good” (Belgic Confession, Article 1) and when he has provided all the benefits of Christ’s atonement and makes them ours so that “they are more than enough to absolve us from our sins,” (Belgic Confession, Article 22) our hearts cry out to him with praise and adoration. Therefore, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 52, Question and Answer 128 includes the ending doxology of the Lord’s Prayer and teaches that “your holy name, and not we ourselves, should receive all the praise, forever.” And so consistent with these thoughts, Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 2 exclaims, “Our World Belongs to God! God is King: Let the earth be glad! Christ is victor: His rule has begun! The Spirit is at work: Creation is renewed! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!” And the Belhar Confession, Section 5 concludes: “Jesus is Lord. To the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be the honor and the glory forever and ever.”
952

Praise God! Earth and Heaven Rejoice

Additional Prayers

Lord of all creation,
tune the instruments of our lives and choreograph the dance of your church
so that, through word and deed,
your people may persistently proclaim your glory, majesty, love, and goodness,
until everything that breathes sings “Hallelujah!”
We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

A Prayer of Acclamation
 
Great God, you are master of the universe.
Glory, hallelujah!
Angels and archangels surround you.
Glory, hallelujah!
Saints and martyrs adore you.
Glory, hallelujah!
All earth and heaven rejoices at your majesty.
Glory, hallelujah! Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
952

Praise God! Earth and Heaven Rejoice

Tune Information

Name
GENEVAN 150
Key
D Major
Meter
7.7.7.7.8.7.7.8

Recordings

952

Praise God! Earth and Heaven Rejoice

Hymn Story/Background

The text is a new paraphrase of Psalm 150, prepared on request by senior editor Martin Tel for inclusion in Psalms for All Seasons (Faith Alive, 2012).  The idea was to provide a 21st century text of this beloved psalm able to be sung to the beloved 16th century tune of the Genevan Psalter, thus bringing together and bridging five centuries of the Reformation tradition of singing the psalms.   Psalm 150 is the conclusion to the entire book of psalms, and as such is filled with praise.  The word “alleluia” is repeated again and again to emphasize our praise of God, and all of the musical expressions of that praise – singing, trumpets, strings, pipes, cymbals, dancing – mentioned in the original Psalm are included here.
— Michael Morgan

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, including Psalms for All Seasons, Lift Up Your Hearts, and the 2013 Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God.
— Michael Morgan

Composer Information

The Genevan Psalter is the major gift of the Reformed branch of the Reformation to the song of the church. John Calvin (1509-1564) first experienced congregational singing of the psalms in Strasbourg when serving as a pastor of French exiles there, and when returning to Geneva in 1541 he finally persuaded the city council to permit congregational singing, which they had banned entirely under the influence of Ulrich Zwingli. Just two months after returning to Geneva, Calvin wrote in his Ecclesiastical Ordinances: "It will be good to introduce ecclesiastical songs, the better to incite the people to pray to and praise God. For a beginning the little children are to be taught; then with time all the church will be able to follow." Calvin set about overseeing the development of several metrical psalms with melodies, rather than the hymns, or chorales, of the Lutheran tradition, and also in contrast to the published psalters with texts only that followed in England and Scotland. The emerging Genevan Psalter was published in instalments until completed in 1562, including the 150 psalms, the Ten Commandments and the Song of Simeon. He employed the best French poets and composers to prepare metrical settings rather than continuing to chant the psalms, since poetry in meter was the popular form of the day—and also the choice for the Lutheran chorale.
 
The publication event was the largest in publishing history until then; twenty-four printers in Geneva alone, plus presses in Paris, Lyons, and elsewhere produced more than 27,000 copies in the first two years; more than 100,000 copies were available in over thirty editions. The Genevan Psalter was extremely popular, and almost immediately translated into Dutch, Hungarian, and German. Due to the intense persecution of the French Huguenots in the 16th century, the center of activity of the Reformed branch of the Reformation moved away from France and especially to the Netherlands, and from there to Indonesia, South Africa, and North America. The most recent translation (2004) of the entire psalter is into Japanese. The most recent English translation of the entire Genevan Psalter is available with melodies from the Canadian Reformed Book of Praise, available at http://www.canrc.org/?page=23 .
Calvin’s goal was to provide a distinct tune for every psalm, so that each psalm would have its own identity. Every tune would then bring to mind a particular psalm. The psalter didn’t quite reach this goal: it contains 125 different tunes. Today, only a few of those Genevan tunes are in wide use, among them the psalm tune most widely known around the world, often identified as OLD HUNDRETH, or simply, “The Doxology.” 
— Emily Brink

Dale Grotenhuis (b. Cedar Grove, WI, 1931; d. Jenison, Mi, August 17, 2012) was a member of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal 1987 Revision Committee, and was professor of music and director of choral music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, from 1960 until he retired in 1994 to concentrate on composition. Educated at Calvin College; Michigan State University, Lansing; and Ohio State University, Columbus; he combined teaching with composition throughout his career and was a widely published composer of choral music. He also directed the Dordt choir in a large number of recordings, including many psalm arrangements found in the 1959 edition of the Psalter Hymnal.
— Bert Polman
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