November 2, 2012

Father, We Thank Thee

Watch Over Thy Church, O Lord, in Mercy.

Father We Thank Thee, first published in 1940 was written by the Reverend Francis Bland Tucker (1895–1984), an Episcopal priest and hymn writer from the United States. The text draws upon prayers found in Chapters 9 and 10 of the Didache (see below), a pastoral manual of the early Church dated to the late 1st or early 2nd century. It is set to the tune, Rendez à Dieu attributed to French composer Louis Bourgeois (c.1510–1560). In the Liturgy of the Hours, Father, We Thank Thee, Who Hast Planted is used during Ordinary Time for Evening Prayer and on the Feast of Corpus Christi.

from the THE DIDACHE, translated 1885 (Public Domain)

Chapter 9

 1. Now as regards the Eucharist (the Thank-offering), give thanks after this manner:
 2. First for the cup: "We give thanks to Thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which thou hast made known to us through Jesus, Thy servant: to Thee be the glory for ever."
 3. And for the broken bread: "We give thanks to Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus, Thy servant: to Thee be the glory for ever.
 4. "As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and gathered together became one, so let Thy church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom, for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever."
 5. But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, except those baptized into the name of the Lord; for as regards this also the Lord has said: "Give not that which is holy to the dogs."

Chapter 10

 1. Now after being filled, give thanks after this manner:
 2. "We thank Thee, Holy Father, for Thy Holy Name, which Thou hast caused to dwell (tabernacle) in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus Thy Servant, to Thee be the glory for ever.
 3. "Thou, O, Almighty Sovereign, didst make all things for Thy Name's sake; Thou gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment that they might give thanks to Thee; but to us Thou didst freely give spiritual food and drink and eternal life through Thy Servant.
 4. "Before all things we give thanks to Thee that Thou art mighty; to Thee be the glory for ever.
 5. "Remember, O Lord, Thy Church to deliver her from all evil and to perfect her in Thy love; and gather her together from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou didst prepare for her; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever.
 6. "Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If any one is holy let him come, if any one is not holy let him repent. Maranatha. Amen."
 7. But permit the Prophets to give thanks as much as [in what words] they wish.

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