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For the month of June, along the general theme of love and comfort, the carillon is sounding the hymn “Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above”.  The text of this hymn was originally rendered as “Mit Freuden zart”, written by Johann J. Schütz.  A lawyer by training, he practiced law in Frankfurt, first as an advocate, and later as Rath (councilor).  He was a good friend of Philipp Jakob Spener, and it was largely due to Schütz’s influence that Mr.  Spener started his Collegia pietatis, an early scripture study group.   The most often used translation is by Frances Elizabeth Cox, who translated dozens of German hymns into English.

The tune, also titled “Mit Freuden zart”, was first published in the Bohemian Brethren’s Kirchengesänge in 1566.  The Bohemian Brethren were a religious group that focused primarily on a simple lifestyle and rejected more ritualistic Christianity. They later became known as (or merged with) the Moravians and would greatly influence the development of English-language hymnody.

 

Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

  1. Sing praise to God who reigns above, The God of all creation,
    The God of power, the God of love, The God of our salvation;
    With healing balm my soul He fills, And every faithless murmur stills:
    To God all praise and glory.
  2. What God’s almighty power hath made, His gracious mercy keepeth;
    By morning glow or evening shade His watchful eye ne’er sleepeth;
    Within the kingdom of His might, Lo! all is just and all is right:
    To God all praise and glory.
  3. The Lord is never far away, But, through all grief distressing,
    An ever-present help and stay, Our peace, and joy, and blessing;
    As with a mother’s tender hand, He leads His own, His chosen band:
    To God all praise and glory.
  4. Thus, all my toilsome way along, I sing aloud Thy praises,
    That men may hear the grateful song My voice unwearied raises;
    Be joyful in the Lord, my heart, Both soul and body bear your part:
    To God all praise and glory.