Blessed Jesus, at Thy word

Full Text

1 Blessed Jesus, at your word
we are gathered all to hear you.
Let our hearts and souls be stirred
now to seek and love and fear you.
By your gospel pure and holy,
teach us, Lord, to love you solely.

2 All our knowledge, sense, and sight
lie in deepest darkness shrouded,
till your Spirit breaks our night
with your beams of truth unclouded.
You alone to God can win us;
you must work all good within us.

3 Glorious Lord, yourself impart;
Light of Light, from God proceeding,
open lips and ears and heart;
help us by your Spirit's leading.
Hear the cry your church now raises;
Lord, accept our prayers and praises.

Psalter Hymnal, 1987

Author: Tobias Clausnitzer

Clausnitzer, Tobias, born at Thum, near Annaberg, in Saxony, probably on Feb. 5,1619. After studying at various Universities, and finally at Leipzig (where he graduated M.A. in 1643), he was appointed, in 1644, chaplain to a Swedish regiment. In that capacity he preached the thanksgiving sermon in St. Thomas's Church, Leipzig, on "Reminiscere" Sunday, 1645 (ii. Sunday in Lent) on the accession of Christina as Queen of Sweden; as also the thanksgiving sermon at the field service held by command of General Wrangel, at Weiden, in the Upper Palatine, on January 1, 1649, after the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia. In 1649 he was appointed first pastor at Weiden, and remained there (being also appointed later a member of the Consistory, and… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Blessed Jesus, at Thy word
German Title: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier
Author: Tobias Clausnitzer
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Source: Berliner Gesangbuch, 1707, st. 4
Place of Origin: Germany
Language: English
Liturgical Use: Songs of Illumination


Essentially a prayer asking for illumination by the Holy Spirit as the Christian community gathers around the Lord's Word, "Blessed Jesus" is a pre-sermon hymn by Tobias Clausnitzer (b. Thum, Saxony, Germany, 1619; d. Weiden, Upper Palatine, Germany, 1684). It was first published in the Altdorffisches Gesang-Buchlein (1663) and first attributed to Clausnitzer in the Nüremberg, Germany, Gesangbuch (1676). Catherine Winkworth (PHH 194) translated the text and published it in English in her Lyra Germanica (2nd series, 1858).

Clausnitzer graduated from the University of Leipzig and became a chaplain in the Swedish army. He preached two sermons at memorable occasions: when Queen Christina ascended the Swedish throne in 1645 and when the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War, was celebrated in 1648. Clausnitzer became a pastor in Weiden in 1648, where he remained until his death. In addition to "Blessed Jesus, at Your Word," his creedal hymn, “We Believe in One True God,” is found in many modern hymnals.

Liturgical Use:
As a sung prayer for illumination prior to the reading or preaching of the Word.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



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