Hymn # 205
Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!
Words: Cyril A. Alington
Music: Gelobi sie Goff by Melchoir Vulpius
While Headmaster of Eton College, Cyril A. Alington (b. Ipswich, England, 1872; d. St. Leonards, Hertfordshire, England, 1955) wrote this text for Melchior Vulpius's tune GELOBT SEI GOTT. The hymn was published in Songs of Praise (1931). Stanley L. Osborne has written of Alington's stanzas, “They vibrate with excitement, they utter the encouragement of victory, and they stir the heart to praise and thanksgiving" (If Such Holy Song, 469). This text should not be mistaken for its Christmas counterpart "Good Christian Friends, Rejoice" (355); both texts originally began, "Good Christian men, rejoice." Alington wrote the hymn with four stanzas but a fifth verse focusing on the Trinity was later added by Norman Mealy in 1982 and confirmed in the Episcopal Church's "The Hymnal 1982" in 1986.
Melchior Vulpius (b. Wasungen, Henneberg, Germany, c. 1570; d. Weimar, Germany, 1615) composed this tune as a setting for Michael Weisse's hymn "Gelobt sei Gott in höchsten Thron." Weisse's text was published with the tune in Vulpius's Ein Schon Geistlich Gesangbuch (1609). Because the text dates from the early sixteenth century, some scholars think the tune may have older roots. Born into a poor family named Fuchs, Vulpius had only limited educational opportunities and did not attend the university. He taught Latin in the school in Schleusingen, where he Latinized his surname, and from 1596 until his death served as a Lutheran cantor and teacher in Weimar. A distinguished composer, Vulpius wrote a St. Matthew Passion (1613), nearly two hundred motets in German and Latin, and over four hundred hymn tunes, many of which became popular in Lutheran churches, and some of which introduced the lively Italian balletto rhythms into the German hymn tunes.
Here's a rousing rendition from St. Peter's by~the~Sea Episcopal Church, Bay Shore, NY. Listen o that organ!! YOUTUBE