communion-of-saintsThis is a well known hymn. It is based on the Ambrosian hymn Te Deum, a hymn of thanksgiving – here is a recording of Giovani Vianini jamming on the organ. But I’m wandering – this is the vernacular hymn of the week post.

The Te Deum was anonymously paraphrased into German but later attributed to Ignaz Franz, then translated into English by Clarence Walworth from New York. I’ve heard that it is the standard post-benediction hymn in the United States.

Liturgically, there are times when the Te Deum is not sung, in times with a more penitential flavour like Lent, so Holy God is not quite a “hymn for all seasons”. But pretty close.

Holy God, we praise Thy Name;
Lord of all, we bow before Thee!
All on earth Thy scepter claim,
All in Heaven above adore Thee;
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Thy reign.

Hark! the loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising,
Cherubim and seraphim,
In unceasing chorus praising;
Fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord.

Lo! the apostolic train
Join the sacred Name to hallow;
Prophets swell the loud refrain,
And the white robed martyrs follow;
And from morn to set of sun,
Through the Church the song goes on.

Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three we name Thee;
While in essence only One,
Undivided God we claim Thee;
And adoring bend the knee,
While we own the mystery.

Thou art King of glory, Christ:
Son of God, yet born of Mary;
For us sinners sacrificed,
And to death a tributary:
First to break the bars of death,
Thou has opened Heaven to faith.

From Thy high celestial home,
Judge of all, again returning,
We believe that Thou shalt come
In the dreaded doomsday morning;
When Thy voice shall shake the earth,
And the startled dead come forth.

*Therefore do we pray Thee, Lord:
Help Thy servants whom, redeeming
By Thy precious blood out-poured,
Thou hast saved from Satan’s scheming.
Give to them eternal rest
In the glory of the blest.*

Spare Thy people, Lord, we pray,
By a thousand snares surrounded:
Keep us without sin today,
Never let us be confounded.
Lo, I put my trust in Thee;
Never, Lord, abandon me.

*This verse a later addition by Hugh T. Henry.

Here is the sheet music from the Vatican II hymnbook by Corpus Christi Watershed Holy God/Grosser Gott.

Here is my easy play version holyGod (with lilypond source: holyGodSource)

And the obligatory recording, in case you haven’t heard it already: