October 20, 2012

Now Thank We All Our God

Through all our life be near us.

Now Thank We All Our God was written circa 1636 by Lutheran Minister, Martin Rinkart (1586-1649) and later translated into English by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878). It is based upon Sirach (also known as the Book of Ecclesiasticus from the Septuagint), which includes this verse spoken by Simon the Hight Priest: "And now pray ye to the God of all, who hath done great things in all the earth, who hath increased our days from our mother's womb, and hath done with us according to his mercy." Sirach 50:24. It was set to music (Nun Danket) circa 1647 by Johann Crüger, who colaborated with Rinkart on other hymns. The tune was later be used by JS Bach for several compositions (BWV 79, 192, 252, 386, 657). In the Liturgy of the Hours, Now Thank We All Our God is used during Ordinary Time for Evening Prayer.

NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD by Catherine Winkworth, (Public Domain)

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

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