Ah! Lord, how shall I meet TheeTranslator: Catherine Winkworth; Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Published in 32 hymnals
Printable scores: PDF, SibeliusAudio files: MIDI
Ah! Lord, how shall I meet Thee,
How welcome Thee aright?
All nations long to greet Thee,
My hope, my sole delight!
Brighten the lamp that burneth
But dimly in my breast,
And teach my soul, that yearneth
To honour such high guest.
Thy Zion strews before Thce
Her fairest buds and palms,
And I too will adore Thee
With sweetest songs and psalms;
My soul breaks forth in flowers
Rejoicing in Thy fame,
And summons all her powers
To honour Jesus' name.
Nought, nought, dear Lord, could move Thee
To leave Thy rightful place
Save love, for which I love Thee;
A love that could embrace
A world where sorrow dwelleth,
Which sin and suffering fill,
More than the tongue e'er telleth;--
Yet Thou couldst love it still!
O ye sad hearts that sicken
With hope deferred, and see
The gloom around you thicken,
The joys ye hoped for flee,--
Despair not, He is near you,
Yea, at the very door,
Who best can help and cheer you,
He will not linger more.
Nor sin shall make you fearful,
Ashamed to see His face,
The contrite heart and tearful
He covers with His grace;
He comes to heal the spirit
That mourneth sin-oppressed,
And raise us to inherit
With Him our proper rest.
He comes to judge the nations,
A terror to His foes,
A light of consolations
And blessed hope to those
Who love the Lord's appearing:
O glorious Sun, now come,
Send forth Thy beams of cheering
And guide us safely home!
The Chorale Book for England, 1863
|First Line:||Ah! Lord, how shall I meet Thee|
|German Title:||Wie solich dich emfangen|
|Author:||Paul Gerhardt (1653)|
Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenhainichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, wrote this German text in ten stanzas, published in Crüger and Runge's Luthers . . . geistliche LiederundPsalmen (1653). The Psalter Hymnal contains three of those ten stanzas.
The original text was inspired by Matthew 21:1-9, the Gospel reading for the first Sunday of Advent in the old Lutheran lectionary. Like so many of the psalms that use the first-person pronoun ("I"), this text moves from the personal welcome of the Savior (st. 1), to a confession of the reason for Christ's incarnation (st. 2), to the church's expectation of Christ's return (st. 3).
The English translation of stanzas 1 and 2 is based on that of Catherine Winkworth (PHH 194) in her Chorale Book for England (1863). Bert Polman (PHH 37) translated stanza 3 for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.
Gerhardt studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Cruger (PHH 42). He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which condemned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was released from his position in Berlin in 1666. With the support of friends he became archdeacon at Lubben in 1669 and remained there until his death. Gerhardt experienced much suffering in his life; he and his parishioners lived in the era of the Thirty Years' War, and his family experienced incredible tragedy: four of his five children died young, and his wife died after a prolonged illness. In the history of hymnody Gerhardt is considered a transitional figure-he wrote at a time when hymns were changing from a more objective, confessional, and corporate focus to a pietistic, devotional, and personal one. Like other German hymns, Gerhardt's were lengthy and intended for use throughout a service, a group of stanzas at a time. More than 130 of his hymns were published in various editions of Cruger's Praxis Pietatis Melica, the Crüger-Runge Gesangbuch (1653), and
Ebeling's Das andere Dutzeud geistliche Andachtslieder Herrn Paul Gerhardts (1666-1667). John Wesley (PHH 267) and Catherine Winkworth (PHH 194) both made famous English translations of Gerhardt's texts.
Worship services of renewal and penitence during Advent; worship that focuses on Christ's return; Palm Sunday, especially with the alternate tune ST. THEODOLPH (375 and 376).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
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|Instances (12)||First Line||Text Title||Refrain First Line||Authors||Composers||Meter||Scripture||Tune Title||Tune Key||Incipit||Languages||Publication Date|
|A New Hymnal for Colleges and School #217||O Lord, how shall I meet you||Wie soll ich dich empfangen||1992|
|Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #18||O Lord, how shall I meet you||O Lord, How Shall I Meet You||Paul Gerhardt, 1607-76||Johann Crüger||220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168||WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN||D Major||1993|
|Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #19||O Lord, how shall I meet you||O Lord, How Shall I Meet You||Paul Gerhardt, 1607-76||Melchior Teschner||22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199||VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN||B Flat Major||1993|
|Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #94||O how shall I receive Thee||O How Shall I Receive Thee||P. Gerhardt, 1607-76 ; C. Winkworth, 1827-78||J. Crüger, 1598-1662||188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206||WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN||D Major||German; English||1996|
|Evangelical Lutheran Worship #241||O Lord, how shall I meet you||Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676||220.127.116.11 D||WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN||D Major||2006|
|Lutheran Service Book #334||O Lord, how shall I meet You||O Lord, How Shall I Meet You||Paul Gerhardt, 1607-76||Richard J. Heschke, b. 1939||18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124||Matthew 21:1-9||WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN||D Major||English||2006|
|Presbyterian Hymnal #11||O Lord, how shall I meet You||O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?||Catherine Winkworth; Paul Gerhardt||Melchior Teschner; William Henry Monk||126.96.36.199 D||VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN||B Flat Major||English||1990|
|Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #331||O Lord, how shall I meet you||O Lord, How Shall I Meet You||Paul Gerhardt; Catherine Winkworth||188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206||WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN||E Flat Major||English||1987|
|Rejoice in the Lord #368||O Lord, how shall I meet thee||O Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee?||Paulus Gerhardt; Catherine Winkworth||B. Helder||220.127.116.11 D||Luke 12:33; Colossians 3:1-2||HELDER||F Major||English||1985|
|The New Century Hymnal #102||O how shall I receive you||O How Shall I Receive You||Catherine Winkworth; Paul Gerhardt||Melchior Teschner||18.104.22.168 D||ST. THEODULPH (VALET WILL ICH DER GEBEN)||B Flat Major||1995|
|Trinity Hymnal #156||O Lord, how shall I meet you||O Lord, How Shall I Meet You||Paul Gerhardt||Melchior Teschner||22.214.171.124 D||Matthew 25:6||ST. THEODULPH||B Flat Major||English||1990|
|Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #31||O Lord, how shall I meet you||O Lord, How Shall I Meet You||Catherine Winkworth; Paul Gerhardt||Melchior Teschner; William Henry Monk||126.96.36.199 D||ST. THEODULPH (VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN)||C Major||English||1996|