Hymn for Part 2A of the Ecumenical Catechism:

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty was based on Psalm 103, written by Joachim Neander in 1680. The tune was published as Lobe den Herren in the Stralsund Gesangbuch in 1665.

You can listen to this majestic hymn or sing along with it on the New City CD.

Joachim Neander only lived for thirty years but left us a great legacy in this, his most famous hymn. A pastor and schoolteacher near Düsseldorf, Germany, he wrote about sixty hymns. Born in Bremen in 1650, he was the son of a Latin teacher and the grandson of a musician who changed the family name from Neumann (“new man” in English) to the Greek Neander.

At the age of twenty, he attended a worship service in Bremen with two fellow students, intending to scoff at the preacher, newly installed Pietist Pastor Theodore Under-Eyck. Instead Neander was touched by his message and converted to Christianity after later conversations with him.

In 1671 he became a private tutor in Heidelberg, and in 1674 he started teaching in a church-run Latin school in Düsseldorf. While living there, Neander liked to go to the nearby valley of the Düssel River, the beautiful valley being the inspiration for his poems. He also held gatherings and worship services there, where he gave sermons.

In 1679, Neander became a pastor in Bremen under Pastor Under-Eyck, as his popularity with the common people had caused problems with the church administration in Düsseldorf. His biography on hymnary.org details the controversy and the content of his other hymns. He died a year later at the age of 30 of tuberculosis or the plague (accounts vary).

Famous and beloved in Germany because of his hymns, the Neander Valley near Düsseldorf was renamed after him in the early 19th century. Biology students will remember the Neanderthal Man, which was discovered in this German valley in 1856.

Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) translated this hymn and more than 430 others from German into English. She received high praise from many hymn experts for her translations. According to John Julian, author of the Dictionary of Hymnology in 1907, “Miss Winkworth, although not the earliest of modern translators from the German into English, is certainly the foremost in rank and popularity. Her translations are the most widely used of any from that language, and have had more to do with the modern revival of the English use of German hymns than the versions of any other writer.”

Most modern hymnals omit verses 4 and 5. Some replace “for aye” with “forever” on the last verse. For more information on the hymn including lyrics in German and Russian, click here.

  1. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
    O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
    All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
    Praise Him in glad adoration.
  2. Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
    Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
    Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
    Granted in what He ordaineth?
  3. Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
    Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
    Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
    If with His love He befriend thee.
  4. Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
    Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
    Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
    Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
  5. Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
    Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
    Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
    Saints with His mercy surrounding.
  6. Praise to the Lord, oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
    All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;
    Let the Amen sound from His people again,
    Gladly for aye we adore Him.

Discussion questions for second session:

  1. What did you think of the introduction?
  2. If you are in a workplace study group, how do you interact with those who hold differing views? How does a person’s theology impact your particular line of work?
  3. Do you have to believe in a literal account of Genesis 1-3 to accept the Fall of man?
  4. How does this reconcile with theistic evolution, or is it incompatible?
  5. Do you accept original sin from your observations of people and their behavior from early childhood? If not, do you accept that you are a sinner?
  6. As you take prayer requests for members of your study group, remember to pray for leaders in your workplace, other churches, and government leaders of all nations.

About the authors

Raised in the United Methodist Church, Dale Murrish helped plant Troy, Michigan’s Kensington Community Church in 1990. He was ordained an Orthodox Presbyterian Church deacon in 2001 after a year’s training in the Westminster Catechism and church history. Dale and his wife have two grown children and are members of a Gospel Coalition affiliated church in southeast Michigan.

A lifelong Roman Catholic, Reggie Bollich was ordained a Deacon in 2006. His interests include archaeology (has been on several digs in the Holy Land) and mission work in Thailand, the Middle East and Latin America. He and his wife Dottie lived in the Middle East while he worked for Exxon and now live in Lafayette, LA.

Raised in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, Philip Vorgias returned to his ethnic roots and joined the Greek Orthodox Church in 1994. He has a passion for archaeology and history as well as advancing the cause of religious freedom for the indigenous Christian communities in the near and middle east. In this last, Phil is active in Political Action Committees promoting human and religious rights for Christians in Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and assuring the US Government raises Religious Rights in foreign policy discussions with those nations.

All three authors have engineering as their first vocation, and a passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the ecumenical movement.

Acknowledgments

Thanks go to Deacon Reggie Bollich of Lafayette, Louisiana who wrote on the Roman Catholic perspective and Phil Vorgias of Troy, Michigan who wrote on the Orthodox view. I also appreciate Theodore Karakostas, author of two books on the Orthodox Church, and many other Christians who read the manuscript and offered suggestions.

Permission is granted to copy this catechism and italicized comments in its entirety for non-commercial purposes. The copyright on the original 1641 catechism has obviously long since expired. Some minor rewording of the 1959 edition cited above was done.

Sincerely,

Dale Murrish

Troy, Michigan

dale@USAMeltingpot.org

http://usameltingpot.org/author/dale/

Copyright 2005, 2017 by Dale Murrish. All rights reserved except as noted above.

Version 3.97, August, 2017

Other articles

Please check out The Michigan Declaration and consider signing it.

 

In previous blog posts, I began telling the story of my brain tumor and the depression which followed it. The second article in the series described my faith in God which sustained me through both trials.

Having recently started a word-by-word translation of Martin Luther’s Bible from German to English, I introduced the project and published Matthew Chapter 1 . Later I wrote commentary on it; my church background and theological training is in my USA Melting Pot bio.

Dale Murrish writes on historytraveltechnologyreligion and politics for the USA Melting Pot club LinkedIn, and Troy Patch. You can help this non-profit club by making your Amazon purchases through the link on the left side of their website. You can also see over a dozen ethnic presentations from people with firsthand knowledge under Culture & Country (right hand side), and outdoor presentations (Hobby & Fun), including posts on bicycling, skiing and camping.

Other interesting articles on the USA Melting Pot website have been written by Bilal Rathur on his hajj to Saudi Arabia (Part 6) and by Carl Petersen. Thanks to both of them for their contributions.