Hymn Notes # 408
Sing praise to God who reigns above
Words: Johann Jacob Schutz
Music: Mit Freuden zart
Johann Jakob Schütz wrote this hymn of praise in German with nine stanzas. In 1675 he published it in his Christliches Gedenkbüchlein. The most common English translation in use is by Frances E. Cox from 1864, which was published in Orby Shipley's Lyra Eucharistica and her own Hymns from the German.
This hymn is typically published with four stanzas. [Note: our 1982 Hymnal has 3 stanzas]. Stanza 1 always opens the hymn, and the original stanzas 2 and 6 are never used. Deuteronomy 32:3 was the basis for this hymn of praise – “For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God!” (ESV) Using a variety of metaphors for God and for His works, this text overflows with proclamations of God's loving care for His people. This hymn extols the greatness of God in giving all good things to His people and calls on us to continue to give God the praise He richly deserves.
The most common tune used with this text is MIT FREUDEN ZART, which is an anonymous German tune named after an Easter hymn by Georg Vetter. It first appeared in a Bohemian Brethren hymnal in 1566, hence the alternate title BOHEMIAN BRETHREN.
Enjoy the organ, choir and congregation of First Presbyterian, Houston. YOUTUBE