6. LORD, Chasten Not in Anger

Text Information
First Line: LORD, chasten not in anger
Title: LORD, Chasten Not in Anger
Versifier: Clarence P. Walhout (1982)
Publication Date: 1982
Meter: 776 D
Scripture: Psalm 6; Luke 1:26-47
Topic: Sickness & Health; Alternative Harmonizations
Language: English
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: GENEVAN 6
Harmonizer: Howard Slenk (1985)
Harmonizer (alt. harm.): Claude Goudimel (1564)
Meter: 776 D
Key: e minor
Source: Genevan Psalter, 1542
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications


Text Information:

A prayer for physical healing and for deliverance from ill-wishing enemies.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-3
st. 2 = vv. 4-5
st. 3 =vv. 6-7
st. 4 = vv. 8-10

Psalm 6 is the first of seven psalms designated in early Christian liturgical use as penitential psalms (the others are 32, 38, 51,102, 130, and 143). A severe illness subjects the psalmist to the unmasked glee of enemies who think to gain by his death. The psalmist prays urgently for God to lift this chastisement (st. 1), appealing for deliverance from death (st. 2), and expressing deep emotional pain inflicted by the glee of his enemies (st. 3). Then follows a confession of joyful assurance that God hears and will foil the enemies' expectations (st. 4).

Clarence P. Walhout (b. Muskegon, MI, 1934) versified the text in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal; he was a member of the Poets' Workshop, a group of several writers who worked on versifications for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. Professor of English at his alma mater, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, since 1969, Walhout also attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He has been editor of the journal Christianity and Literature and is coauthor of The Responsibility of Hermeneutics (1985).

Liturgical Use:
Times of penitence and illness.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

GENEVAN 6 was composed or adapted to be sung to Clement Marot's versification of Psalm 6 in the 1542 edition of the Genevan Psalter. This tune is one of the few in the Genevan Psalter to include a melisma, a syllable set to more than one note. Howard Slenk (PHH 3) harmonized the tune in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal. The alternate harmonization with the melody in the tenor was composed by Claude Goudimel in 1564 as part of a collection of simple four-part settings of all the Genevan tunes. This setting is especially appropriate for choirs or for men's voices. A slow tempo is appropriate for this penitential psalm. The change in mood and address calls for a change in registration between stanzas 3 and 4.

The music of Claude Goudimel (b. Besan\,:on, France, c. 1505; d. Lyons, France, 1572) was first published in Paris, and by 1551 he was composing harmonizations for some Genevan psalm tunes-initially for use by both Roman Catholics and Protestants. He became a Calvinist in 1557 while living in the Huguenot community in Metz. When the complete Genevan Psalter with its unison melodies was published in 1562, Goudimel began to compose various polyphonic settings of all the Genevan tunes. He actually composed three complete harmonizations of the Genevan Psalter, usually with the tune in the tenor part: simple hymn-style settings (1564), slightly more complicated harmonizations (1565), and quite elaborate, motet-like settings (1565-1566). The various Goudimel settings became popular throughout Calvinist Europe, both for domestic singing and later for use as organ harmonizations in church. Goudimel was one of the victims of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguenots, which occurred throughout France.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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