Friday, May 26, 2006

PRAISE TO THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY

Nick's comments are really inspiring my posts as of late, snark snark!

His latest comment on this post:
"What bugs me is all the songs that are being spewed out with "me"-oriented texts...but we can't sing "Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore him." (LOBE DEN HERREN, v.4) We have to sing US."

But what's funny is you still have in verse 1 "Oh MY soul praise him, for he is thy health and salvation", and not "Let OUR souls praise him..." (thank God).

Actually, here's the whole text, with typical alterations in italics

1. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy (your/our) health and salvation.
Join the great throng, Psaltery, organ, and song,
(Come, all who hear, brothers and sisters draw near)
(OR All you who hear, now to his altar/temple/presence draw near)

Sounding in glad adoration. (Joining in glad/Join in profound adoration.)


The third line, "Join the great throng, Psaltery, organ, and song" appears in Hymnal 1940, Hymnal 1982 (both Episcopal), and GIA's now-out-of-print Worship II. Now the line takes a more "gathering" focus rather than "praising God in sacred song" (notice the removal of the word "organ" - Catholic publishers get a dope slap here).

2. Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth (reigning)
Who as on wings of an eagle, uplifted, sustaineth (sustaining)
Hast thou (Have you) not seen All that is needful hath (had/has) been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
(I forgot what the substitute line was here, but I know it was altered).


In some Catholic hymnals this verse is completely missing. I normally would push the second line as a viable substitute for the insipid chorus of Eagle's Wings. Liturgical Press uses this substitute verse in all its worship aids:

Praise to the Lord, let us offer our gifts at the altar.
Let not our sins and offenses now cause us to falter.
Christ, the High Priest, Bids us all join in his feast,
Victims with him on the altar.


J.S. Paluch's old Monthly Missalette and its predecessor Seasonal Missalette used that verse also, from its inception in the sixties up until 1991. Seems to have that gathering motif, but at least Fr. Udulutsch, the Franciscan (Capuchin) who authored this verse, was not afraid to admit in his text that we have "sins and offenses".

3. Praise to the Lord, who doth (shall) prosper our work and defend thee (us);
Surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend thee (us).
Ponder anew What the Almighty can do,
Who, with his love, doth (will) befriend thee (us).


One finds here not only an idea of who the Lord is defending, but, in two lines, the changing of tense from present to future. Now the verse has a whole new meaning!

4. Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me (us) adore him!
All that hath (has) life and breath come now with praises (rejoicing) before him.
Let the AMEN Sound from his people again,
Gladly, for aye, we adore him. (Now as we/As we here worship before him)


Even the old text has "WE adore him". Now, if you really wanted to modernize the fourth line, simply changing "aye" to "yea" or even "yes" would be totally sufficient. I think Hymnal 1940 used for a second line:
All that hath breath join with Abraham's seed to adore him. Interesting!

What say ye?

Peace,
BMP

3 comments:

Chris C. said...

"Join the great throng, Psaltery, organ, and song"

You just *know* that if this line were still in use, the majority of the people would be singing "Join the great thong." And who knows what they'd make of "psaltery".

Now, to modernize it while still keeping with the original meaning, you could instead replace the second half of the line with:

"Tambourine, gee-tar and bong(os)"

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

nah, forget the parentheses...

"Join the great throng: tambourine, gee-tar and BONG!"

~nb

Brian Michael Page said...

"Join the great throng: tambourine, gee-tar and BONG!"

LMAO LMAO LMAO! Now we know where the incense for that Mass came from!

BMP