297. O Come, My Soul, Sing Praise to God

1 O come, my soul, sing praise to God our Maker,
and all within me, praise his holy name.
Sing praise to God, forget not all his mercies;
his pardoning grace and saving love proclaim.

Refrain:
Praise him, all angels, wondrous in might;
praise him, you servants who in his will delight.

2 Good is the Lord and full of kind compassion,
most slow to anger, plenteous in love.
Rich is his grace to all who humbly seek him,
boundless and endless as the heavens above. Refrain

3 His love is like a father's to his children,
tender and kind to all who fear his name;
for well he knows our weakness and our frailty;
he knows that we are dust, he knows our frame. Refrain

4 We fade and die like flowers that grow in beauty,
like tender grass that soon will disappear;
but evermore the love of God is changeless,
still shown to those who look to him in fear. Refrain

5 High in the heavens his throne is fixed forever;
his kingdom rules o'er all from pole to pole.
Praise to the Lord through all his wide dominion;
forever praise his holy name, my soul. Refrain

Text Information
First Line: O come, my soul, sing praise to God our Maker
Title: O Come, My Soul, Sing Praise to God
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 11 10 11 10 with refrain
Scripture: Psalm 103
Topic: Brevity & Frailty of Life; Love: God's Love to Us; Praise & Adoration1 more...
Source: Psalter, 1912, alt.
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Praise him, all angels
Tune Information
Name: TIDINGS
Composer: James Walch (1875)
Meter: 11 10 11 10 with refrain
Key: B♭ Major


Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 103:1-4
st. 2 = Ps. 103:8-12
st. 3 = Ps. 103:13-14
st. 4 = Ps. 103:15-18
st. 5 = Ps. 103:19, 22
ref. = Psalm 103: 20-21

"O Come, My Soul" is a paraphrase of Psalm 103. The lengthy meter (11 10 11 10) makes possible a clear flow of thoughts and images, and the refrain continually reminds us of the praise running through this much-loved psalm. The versification comes from the 1912 Psalter with minor alterations. See PHH 103 for further commentary on Psalm 103.

Liturgical Use:
Psalm 103 is read at the end of some communion liturgies (see Psalter Hymnal pp. 975, 981, 986); that reading could be replaced by a joyful singing of the psalm, using 297 or other settings of Psalm 103 (103,475,583,627). See PHH 103 for other liturgical uses.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

James Walch (b. Edgerton, Lancashire, England, 1837; d. Llandudno, Caernarvon, Wales, 1901) composed TIDINGS in 1875 for Frederick W. Faber's hymn text "Hark, Hark, My Soul! Angelic Songs Are Swelling"; the tune was first published in The Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer (1877). TIDINGS is often associated with Mary A. Thomson's "O Zion, Haste, Thy Mission High Fulfilling"; in fact, the tune name derives from the word "tidings" in Thomson's refrain (see 525). TIDINGS is a fairly dramatic tune, a good match for Psalm 103. Sing in parts if you like, and add extra musical forces J for the refrain. Stanza 3 sings well without accompaniment.

Walch received a musical education from his father and from the famous organist and organ builder Henry Smart (PHH 233). He served as organist at Duke's Alley Congregational Church (1851-1857), Bridge Street Wesleyan Chapel (1858-1863), and St. George's Parish Church (1863-1877)-all in Bolton. He conducted for the Bolton Philharmonic Society from 1870 to 1877 and near the end of his life was a music dealer in Barrow-in-Furness. Walch composed a number of hymn tunes and other church music.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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