283. The Lord Almighty Spoke the Word

Text Information
First Line: The Lord Almighty spoke the word
Title: The Lord Almighty Spoke the Word
Author: Charles E. Watson (1942)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 88 86
Scripture: Job 38:7; Genesis 1
Topic: Preaching; Word of God
Language: English
Copyright: © Rodborough Tabernacle United Reformed Church
Tune Information
Name: ROK NOVY
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1984)
Meter: 88 86
Key: f minor
Source: T. Zavorka's Kancional, 1602
Copyright: Harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications


Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Gen. 1, Job 38:7
st. 2 = John 1:14, 1 Cor. 15

One of the best short hymns in the hymnal's Word of God section, "The Lord Almighty Spoke" is a crisp text, striking in its simplicity and its thought pattern. Stanza 1 extols God's creative word; stanza 2 celebrates the victory of Christ, the Word made flesh; and stanza 3 appeals to the Trinity to proclaim the coming kingdom.

Charles E. Watson (b. Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England, 1869; d. Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, 1942) left the Church of England to study for the ministry in the Congregational Church. Beginning in 1898 he served Congregational churches at Lymm in Cheshire, Oakhill; in Somerset; and for the last thirty-three years of his life, the Rodborough Tabernacle United Reformed Church in Gloucestershire. He wrote two hymns and a prayer book for his congregation at Rodborough Tabernacle. This hymn was published in the Rodborough Hymnal in 1964. Stanza 3 was altered for publication in the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Because stanzas 1 and 2 are designed for teaching (only st. 3 addresses God), this hymn is most useful in conjunction with reading Scripture and preaching the Word. But it can be used at many points in the worship service, including the beginning and end.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

ROK NOVY is an anonymous Slovak tune that was first published in Tobias Zavorka's Kancional of 1602, though it may date back into the fifteenth century. The tune title means "new year" and is the incipit of the Slovak Old/New Year text "Rok novy zase k nam prisel," traditionally associated with this music (PHH 444). Zavorka served as a pastor and dean in the Bohemian city of Dubrava. Kancional was an important Bohemian Brethren hymnal containing 770 tunes (usually dated 1602, the year in which work on the hymnal began, although it was published around 1606).

The tune is a fine match for the striking text: a short initial phrase launches the remainder of the melody, which flows on in one long line. The harmony, prepared in 1984 by choral composer Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4), is well suited to part singing. Raise the final tenor note at the end of stanza 3 to conclude with a bright major chord.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Media
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