Praise Notes: The Book of Praise Twelve


Twelfth in a series of posts that go through hymns in The Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church of Canada. 

Hymn #39

O God of mercy, God of grace

Psalm 66
Dix
Paraphrase, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)
Music: Conrad Kocher (1786-1872)
Arrangement: William Henry Monk (1823-1889)
public domain
 
 
God of mercy, God of grace,
show the brightness of your face.
Shine upon us, Saviour, shine;
fill your world with light divine,
and your saving health extend
unto earth’s remotest end.

Let the people praise you, Lord;
be by all that live adored.
Let the nations shout and sing
glory to their gracious King;
at your feet their tribute pay,
and your holy will obey.

Let the people praise you, Lord;
earth shall then its fruits afford.
Unto us your blessing give;
we to you devoted live,
all below and all above,
one in joy and light and love.

This is the first of the hymns to which I can give wholehearted recommendation for use in services.  The paraphrase is good.  It fits nicely with the musical phrases.  It is only three verses which makes it good to use when time is an issue in your service.  I assume that part of the reason it is so well-known is that it is such  a positive prayer which can fit almost any circumstance and not only when Psalm 66 is in the lectionary readings for the day.

In my area at least, this is a very well-known melody and arrangement. It is not difficult to sing and the ABABCD phrase structure gives both continuity and variety.  Overall, a great piece of music!

 

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