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“Now Thank We All Our God”

For Thanksgiving I am posting one of my favorite hymns of thanks.  It was written in the 17th century by Lutheran pastor, Martin Rinkart, after his city had endured horrible death and devastation in the midst of the Thirty Years’ War (at one point he was leading 50 funerals a day). Yet, the city was spared from total destruction and in response he penned this hymn.  The story is briefly told at NetHymnal, and more thoroughly in Douglas Bond’s, Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation.  May it aid you in giving thanks to God today.

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and bless’d peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

(Translated by Catherine Winkworth)

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