31 July 2023

Danket dem Herrn heut und allzeit

Here is my translation of the thanks after meat hymn, “Danket dem Herrn heut und allzeit” (Nicolaus Herman, d. 1561), in ELGB #369, first appearing the author’s Die Sontags Evangelia (Wittenberg, 1560). To the original first five stanzas, the final two stanzas are added by the Leipzig Gsb 1582 from another hymn of Herman’s, “Bescheer uns Herr das täglich Brot.” In other hymnals other stanzas have been added, as noted in Fischer. The proper melody from Calvisius, as indicated in the Buffalo Synod hymnal, is included here.


O THANK the Lord both now and aye!
Great is His good and gracious way;
All flesh He feedeth and sustains,
His pleasure in His work remains.

2 When on us shines His face with mirth,
The rain and dew make moist the earth,
To grass the ground and leaf the tree:
He works His work untiringly.

3 When He unfolds His gen’rous hand,
Abundance springs throughout the land,
So that all men are filled with joy:
No lack may man or beast annoy.

4 No champion strong gives Him delight,
He is not pleased by splendor bright;
That men should trust Him, He hath willed,
And all their heart upon Him build.

5 We justly should His praises spread
Because He richly hath us fed.
O Father, for Thy graciousness
Thy name we would forever bless.

*6 O Lord, give us a fruitful year,
Preserve to us the grain so dear;
From famine, hunger, sickness, strife
Forever, Lord, defend our life.

*7 Our Father dear in Thee we view,
For Jesus is our Brother true;
Therefore we trust alone in Thee
And worship Thee eternally.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.


Dankt dem Herrn heut und allezeit,
groß ist sein Güt und Mildigkeit,
alls Fleisch Er speiset und erhält,
denn sein Geschöpf Ihm wohlgefällt.

2 Wenn über uns sein Antlitz leucht,
der Regn und Thau die Erd befeucht,
alsdenn wächst alles laub und Gras,
sein Werk treibt Er ohn Unterlaß.

3 Wenn Er aufthut sein milde Hand,
so wächst die Füll in allem Land,
daß sich des freuet jedermann,
kein Mensch noch Vieh darf Mangel han.

4 Er hat kein Lust am starken Held,
kein Pracht noch macht Ihm wohlgefällt;
es ist sein Will, daß man Ihm trau,
von ganzem Herzen auf Ihn bau.

5 Billig wird Er von uns gepreist,
daß Er uns reichlich hat gespeist,
Vater, für Deine Gütigkeit,
sag;n wir Dir Dank in Ewigkeit.

6 Ach Herr! gieb uns ein fruchtbar Jahr,
den lieben Kornbau uns bewahr!
vor Theurung, Hunger, Seuch und Streit,
behüt uns, Herr, zu aller Zeit.

7 Unser lieber Vater Du bist,
weil Christus unser Bruder ist;
drum trauen wir allein auf Dich,
und wolln Dich preisen ewiglich.

30 July 2023

Danket dem Herren, denn Er ist sehr freundlich

Here is my translation of the table (saying grace or returning thanks) hymn, “Danket dem Herren, denn Er ist sehr freundlich” (Johann Horn, d. ), in ELGB #368, first appearing in the Bohemian Brethren hymnal 1544 (Kirchengeseng) with title “Grace after meat” is a loose paraphrase of Psalm 136 designed for singing after a meal. It was notably included in the Babst Gsb 1545. Stanzas 7–8 are a later addition first appearing in the basel Gsb 1581. The original melody, a kind of normalized, rhythmic psalm tone of two half-verses of 11 syllables each, is given from the 1566 edition of Kirchengeseng. It is found earlier in the Tenor line of Senfl’s Vitam quae faciunt and Vivamus mea Lesba (1534) and used by Bach in BWV 286 (information from Bach Cantatas, which also features C. S. Terry’s translation).


O THANK the Lord for all His goodly favor,
For His mercy and truth endure forever.

2 He as a God in love and grace abounding
Hath fed us needy ones with His gifts astounding.

3 Sing unto Him with all your heart low-bending:
Thine, Father, be all thanks and praise unending!

4 Thou as our gracious Father God in heaven
Hast food and clothing to Thy children given.

5 Grant us to know Thee rightly, dear Creator,
And long for Thee with longing ever greater.

6 Through Jesus Christ, Thy dearest Son, our Savior,
Who at Thy Throne doth represent us ever.

7 May He assist us all by His good Spirit,
His Father’s kingdom grant us to inherit.

8 All glory to His name forever holy!
Say from your heart, Amen, indeed, and truly!

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

Danket dem Herren, denn Er ist sehr freundlich
und seine Güt' und Wahrheit bleibet ewiglich.

2 Der als ein barmherziger gütiger Gott,
uns dürftige Creaturen gespeiset hat.

3 Singet Ihm aus Herzens-Grund mit Innigkeit:
Lob und Dank sei Dir, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit.

4 Der Du uns, als ein reicher, milder Vater,
speisest und kleidest Dein' elend Kinder.

5 Verleih', das wir Dich recht lernen erkennen,
und nach Dir, ewigen Schöpfer, uns sehnen.

6 Durch Jesum Christum, Deinen allerliebsten Sohn,
welcher unser Mittler ist word'n vor Deinem Thron.

7 Der helf' uns allesamt allhier zugleiche,
und mach' uns Erben in seines Vaters Reiche.

8 Zu Lob und Ehren seinem heiligen Namen:
wer das begehrt, der sprech vom Herzen: Amen.

29 July 2023

Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen

Here is my supplemental translation of the Jesus/Cross & Comfort hymn, “Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen” (Dr. Ahasuerus Fritsch, d. 1701), in ELGB #341, originally in the author’s Himmels-Lust und Welt-Unlust (Leipzig, 1670) with title “The ever-desired, sweet Jesus.” (Grabau gives the title “Sweet comfort and strength of a Christian man under the shelter of the grace of Christ.) Fritsch’s authorship, says Fischer, is nevertheless uncertain since he included other’s hymns anonymously in his collections. In some hymnals it begins “Schönster Immanuel.” My translation of stanzas 5 and 6 I here add to my somewhat altered version of Stryker’s translation of stanzas 1–4 (another translation, Drinker’s “Dearest Immanuel, Lord of the faithful,” does not follow the rhyme scheme). Below I include Stryker’s original text for comparison. The later proper melody evidently derives from Johann Rudolph Ahle (this is used by Bach in BWV 123 and 485). Freylinghausen gives an alternate melody. The original melody used was that by Becker.


DEAREST Immanuel, Prince of the lowly,
Thou my soul’s confidence, come soon to me!
Thou hast my heart, dear Lord, usurped so wholly,
All its love ardently flows out to Thee.
Naught that is earthy
seemeth me worthy,
So I but ever my Jesus may see!

2 Name sweet and wonderful—King! as I listen,
Lovely, most graciously, as fresh with dew
’Neath the cool morning-tide fields of bloom glisten,
So falleth Jesus’ name, whom trust I true.
Thus my heart parteth
From all that smarteth,
When in adoring faith my Lord I view.

3 And if, while here I live, the cross appalleth,
For Christians oft their Savior’s cross must share,
Then if my soul on Jesus simply calleth,
Already can the heart o’er roses fare.
No storm’s wild riot
Shall wreak disquiet;
Gladly will I with Christ its raging bear.

4 When Satan’s craft and might fain would devour me,
When conscience cries of sins against Thy laws,
When hell with all her host would overpow’r me,
When looming death my heart consumes and gnaws,
I stand unfearing,
With Jesus nearing—
He with His blood all their host overawes.

5 The world may persecute, hate, and abhor me,
I may be scorned by all, both man and maid;
Though dear acquaintance forsake and ignore me,
Yet Jesus heartily comes to my aid,
Lifts me when weary,
Speaks words to cheer me:
“I am thy Friend and My help ne’er shall fade.”

6 Depart, then, vanities, and show you never!
Thou, Jesus, Thou art mine, and I am Thine,
I would prepare to go to Thee forever,
Fill Thou my lips and heart, Savior divine;
My being wholly
Take for Thee solely,
Till I some day shall in the grave recline.

Translation sts. 1–4, M. Woolsey Stryker, alt.
Translation sts. 5–6 © 2023 Matthew Carver.

Dearest Immanuel, Prince of the lowly,
Thou my soul’s confidence, come soon to me!
Thou my heart’s treasury takest so wholly,
All its love ardently flows out to Thee.
Naught that is earthy
seemeth me worthy,
So I but ever my Jesus may see!

2 Name sweet and wonderful—King! as I listen,
Lovely, most graciously, as fresh with dew
’Neath the cool morning-tide fields of bloom glisten,
So falleth Jesus’ name, whom trust I true.
Thus my heart parteth
From all that smarteth,
When in adoring faith my Lord I view.

3 And if my earthliness the cross appalleth,
That e’en a Savior’s lot it was to share,
If my soul earnestly on Jesus calleth,
Already can the heart o’er roses fare.
No storm’s wild riot
Shall work disquiet;
Gladly will I with Christ its raging bear.

4 When Satan’s stout device fain would devour me,
When tells my conscience-book of broken laws,
When with her myrmidons hell would o’erpow’r me,
When death’s corroding tooth the heart begnaws,
Stand I unfearing,
With Jesus nearing—
All of them by His blood Christ overawes.

Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen,
Du meiner Seelen Trost, komm, komm nur bald!
Du hast mir, höchster Schatz! mein Herz genommen,
so ganz vor Liebe brennt und nach dir wallt,
nichts kann auf Erden
mir lieber werden,
als wan ich meinen Jesum stets behalt'.

2 Dein Nam, ist Zucker-süß, Honig im Munde,
holdselig, lieblich, frisch wie kühler Thau
der Feld und Blumen netzt zur Morgen-Stunde:
mein Jesus ist es nur den ich vertrau.
Dann weicht von Herzen,
was mir macht Schmerzen,
wann ich im glauben Ihn anbet' und schau.

3 Und ob das Creuze mich gleich zeitlich plaget,
wie es bei Christen oft pflegt zu geschehn;
wenn meine Seele nur nach Jesu fraget,
so kann das Herze schon auf Rosen gehn.
Kein Ungewitter
ist mir zu bitter,
mit Jesu kann ichs fröhlich überstehn.

4 Wenn Satans List und Macht mich will verschlingen,
wenn das Gewissens-Buch die Sünden sagt:
wenn auch mit ihrem Heer mich will umringen
die Hölle, wenn der Tod am Herzen nagt,
steh' ich doch feste,
Jesus der Beste
ist's, der sie alle durch sein Blut verjagt.

5 Ob mich auch will die Welt verfolgen, hassen,
und bin dazu veracht't bei Jedermann,
von meinen Freunden auch fast gar verlassen,
nimmt Jesus meiner sich doch herzlich an,
und stärkt mich Müden,
spricht: sei zufrieden,
ich bin dein bester Freund, der helfen kann.

6 Drum fahret immer hin ihr Eitelkeiten,
Du, Jesu, Du bist mein und ich bin Dein,
ich will mich von der Welt zu Dir bereiten,
Du sollt in meinem Mund und Herzen sein;
mein ganzes Leben
sei Dir ergeben,
bis man mich einsten legt in's Grab hinein.

28 July 2023

Jesu, meiner Seelen Ruh

Here is my translation of the Jesus hymn, “Jesu, meiner Seelen Ruh (Anon., asc. Lucas Backmeister), in ELGB #, first published, evidently, in Olearius’s Singe-Kunst (1671) anonymously in 12 stanzas. Fischer says that Grischow-Kirchner’s Nachricht (Halle, 1771) ascribes it to Lucas Backmeister under appeal to “Georg. Schedii Parentat” (Rostock, 1638), but leaves it uncertain whether the father (d. 1608) or son (d. 1638) is meant. Wetzel does not mention it among Backmeister’s hymns, but those he does mention are not his either! Not seldom, hymns from the Lüneburger Drucken (Lunenburg Press) were marked in hymnals as “L. B.,” which was often mistakenly interpreted as Lucas Backmeister, such as Rist’s “Glück zu der frommen Heiden Schaar” and “O Tod wo ist dein Stachel nun,” etc. The appointed melody is “Jesu, komm du selbst zu mir,” or in same books, “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland.”


JESUS, Thou my perfect Rest,
Thou above all treasures best,
Thou alone art all to me,
And forever all shalt be.

2 Though the world may higher hold
Precious treasures, wealth, and gold,
Jesus and His priceless blood
Please me more than every good.

3 Though my enemies arise
Threat’ning me before mine eyes,
Jesus saves from all my foes,
Devil, hell, and death o’erthrows.

4 Am I sick, and for my grief
No man can provide relief?
He, the Healer, in my pain
Doth my faithful Help remain.

5 Am I naked, poor, and bare,
Little have to call my share?
Jesus in due time is found,
And my need doth turn around.

6 Must I into exile go
And my homeland no more know?
Jesus for my need attends,
Wondrously my soul defends.

7 Must I scorn and mock’ry bear
Which against God’s statutes are?
Jesus aids and strengthens me
To defy all mockery.

8 Honey, sugar may impart
Certain vigor to the heart,
Yet than these more sweet I hold
Jesus Christ a thousandfold.

9 Therefore, Jesus, Thee I’ll love
Evermore all things above;
Thou, O Jesus—Thou shalt be
All and everything to me:

10 Jesus what the ear doth heed,
Jesus what the eye doth read,
Jesus what the tongue doth taste
And is by the arm embraced.

11 Jesus, be my food and drink,
Jesus, all that I may think,
Jesus, all my hymn of praise,
Jesus, all for all my days!

12 At the last, my highest Good,
Jesus, let Thy precious blood,
Wounds, and agony and pain
In my death my rest remain!

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

1 Jesu, meiner Seelen Ruh,
und mein bester Schatz dazu,
Alles bist Du mir allein,
sollt auch ferner Alles sein.

2 Liebet jemand in der Welt
edle Schätze, Gold und Geld,
Jesus und sein theures Blut
ist mir mehr dann alles Gut.

3 Stellen meiner Feinde sich
öffentlich gleich wider mich,
Jesus reißt aus aller Noth,
tilget Teufel, Höll und Tod.

4 Bin ich krank, und ist kein Mann,
der die Schmerzen linder kann,
Jesus soll mein Arzt in Pein,
und mein treuer Helfer sein.

5 Bin ich nackend, arm und bloß,
und mein Vorrath ist nich groß,
Jesus hilft zur rechten Zeit
meiner armen Dürftigkeit.

6 Muß ich in das Elend fort
hin an einen fremden Ort,
Jesus sorget selbst für mich,
schützet mich ganz wunderlich.

7 Muß ich dulden Hohn und Spott
wider Gott und sein Gebot;
Jesus giebt mir Kraft und Macht
daß ich allen Spott nicht acht'.

8 Hat der Bienen Honig Saft
und der Zucker süsse Kraft;
mein herzliebster Jesus Christ
tausendmal noch süsser ist.

9 Drum, o Jesu, will ich Dich
immer lieben festiglich;
Du, Du Jesu, sollt allein
meiner Seelen Alles sein.

10 Jesus, was durch Ohren bricht,
Jesus was das Auge sicht,
Jesus was die Zunge schmeckt,
und wornach die Hand sich streckt.

11 Jesus, sei mein' Speis' und Trank,
Jesus sei mein Lobgesang,
Jesus sei mein ganzes All,
Jesus sei mein Freudenschall.

12 Endlich laß Du höchstes Gut,
Jesu laß Dein theures Blut,
Deine Wunden, Deine Pein
meine Rast im Tode sein.

27 July 2023

Jesu clemens pie Deus

Here is my translation of the Jesus hymn, “Jesu clemens pië Deus” (Johann Wilhelm Petersen, d. 1727), in ELGB #336, first appearing in the Geistreiches Gsb Halle (1697) with title “Suspiria animae Jesum quaerentis,” i.e., sigh of a soul desiring Jesus. It forms part of the contents of Petersen’s planned Latin hymn collection, Cythara sacra, which was left in MS form at his death. Fischer further mentions a German revision of the hymn beginning “Jesu, der du deine Liebe.” No melody is indicated in the Buffalo Synod hymnal. In Freylinghausen 1704ff., a setting of “Gott sei Dank in aller Welt” is provided. A different melody or choral setting is found in Bachofen’s Musicalisches Halleluja of 1743 (and earlier in Zollikofer in 1738). A third, simpler melody perhaps related to Freylinghausen is found in Psalmody Translated from the High German (1767).



JESUS, gentle, faithful Savior!
Jesus, my Desire forever!
With what good can I compare Thee,
God the Son of God and Mary?

2 Who can name aught good above Thee,
Or what joy it is to love Thee,
To be with Thee faith-united,
And with Thee in mind delighted?

3 Grant me pow’r to show the sweetness
Of Thy love in its completeness:
With Thee suff’ring, with Thee weeping,
With Thee joyful ever keeping.

4 Majesty unbound, abiding,
Love and Hope and Life providing!
Make us fit to stand before Thee
And to see Thee there in glory.

5 That beholding and partaking,
We may joy, glad anthems making.
Grant us blessedly to see it:
Amen, Jesus, ever be it!

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

Jesu clemens pie Deus
Jesu dulcis, amor meus,
Jesu bone, Jesu pie,
Fili Dei et Mariae.

2 Quisnam possit enarrare,
quam jucundum te amare,
tecum fide sociari,
tecum mente delectari.

3 Fac ut possim demonstrare,
quam sit dulce te amare,
tecum pati, tecum flere,
tecum semper congaudere.

4 O Majestas infinita!
amor noster, spes et vita,
fac nos dignos te videre,
tecum semper permanere.

5 Ut videntes et fruentes
jubilemus et cantemus,
in beata caeli vita.
Amen, Jesu fiat ita.

26 July 2023

O Sacrum Convivium in quo Dei Filius

Here is my translation of the Communion chant, “O Sacrum Convivium in quo Dei Filius” and “O welch ein heiliges Abendmahl” (Pomerania, 1563), in ELGB #332a–b, a confession from the Pomeranian reformation published in the 1560s against the Sacramentarians, then included in the Pomeranian Agenda of 1569 in both Latin and Low German with musical notation, later again published in 1582 with more thorough explanation by Jacob Runge. The first few words are identical to the older Communion antiphon “O Sacrum convivium, in quo Christus sumitur” attributed to Thomas Aquinas, but the similarity ends there. It has been wholly reimagined as a confession of the True Presence , an apologetic summary of the Lutheran teaching furnished with its own chant melody (based on a Mode 3 Antiphon) and appointed to be sung during Communion in the churches of Pomerania. Later Pomeranian hymnals include the High German translation, and in the 19th c., a paraphrase is found adapted to a chorale tune. Grabau includes both the Latin and German titles for each version respectively: “Confession of the true presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, to be sung during Communion.” No music is provided in the hymnal, and must have been taken from an edition of the Pomeranian Agenda.



From the Latin:
O SACRED banquet, wherein the Son of God, Christ the Lord, the Crucified, feedeth the Church by a wonderful mystery, under the sacred bread giving His true Body that hung on the tree of the cross, under the sacred wine giving His true Blood that was poured out for the sins of the world: Thus is Christ present in the Supper: not with His grace alone, not with His Spirit alone, not absent with His Body, but since He sitteth at the right hand of the Father in heaven, filling all things, He is truly present, as God and Man, Almighty, true in His word, when He saith, “This is My Body which is given for you. Take, eat.” Therefore in the most Sacred Supper all Christians, worthy and unworthy, eat the Body of the Lord. The worthy eat with the mouth and faith unto life eternal. The unworthy eat with the mouth only, without faith, unto the judgment of death.

From the German:
OH, what a Holy Supper, wherein the Son of God, the Lord Christ, crucified for us, feedeth His Christian congregation with wonderful mystery! Where He, under the sanctified bread, giveth the same His true Body, which hung on the tree of the Cross, under the blessed wine; He giveth the same His true Blood, which was poured out for the sin of the world. Thus is the Lord Christ present in His Supper: not only with His grace, not only with His Spirit, not absent with His body, but because He sitteth in heaven at the right hand of the Father, and filleth all things, therefore is He truly present, God and Man, almighty and true in His Word, when He saith, “This is My Body, which is given for you. Take, eat.” Therefore in the Holy Supper all Christians, the worthy and unworthy, eat the Body of the Lord. The worthy eat it with the mouth and faith unto eternal life; the unworthy eat it only with the mouth, without faith, unto judgment and death.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

Sacrum convivum,
in quo Dei Filius,
Christus Dominus crucifixus,
pascit Ecclesiam mirando mysterio.

Sub pane sacro dans Corpus
illud suum verum,
quod pependit in Crucis ligno.

Sub vino sacro dans Sanguinem
suum illum verum,
qui effusus est pro peccatis mundi.

Sic adest Christus in Cena,
non sola gratia,
no solo Spiritu,
no absens corpore.

Sed quia sedit ad dexteram Patris,
in caelestibus,
implens omnia
vere praesens est
Deus et Homo,
potens omnia,
verax in verbo suo,
cum inquit dicens:

Ergo in Cena sacratissima
Corpus Domini manducant omnes Christiani,
digni et indigni.
Digni edunt ore et fide ad vitam aeternam.
Indigni edunt solo ore sine fide ad mortis judicium.

O welch ein heiliges Abendmahl,
darin der Sohn Gottes, der Herr Christus,
für uns gecreuziget,
seine christlich Gemeine
speiset mit wunderbarem Geheimniß!

Da Er unter dem geheiligten Brod
giebt denselbigen seine wahren Leib,
welcher am Holz des Creuzes gehänget hat.

Unter dem gesegneten Wein
giebt Er dasselbige sein wahres Blut,
welches für der Welt Sünde vergossen ist.

Also ist der Herr Christus in seinem Abndemahl zugegen,
nicht allein mit seiner Gnade,
nicht allein mit seinem Geiste,
nicht abwesend mit seinem Leibe.

Sondern, weil Er im Himmel
zur Rechtendes Vaters sitzt,
und alles erfüllet,
so ist Er wahrhaftiglich gegenwärtig,
Gott und Mensch, allmächtig
und wahrhaftig in seinem Wort.

Da Er spricht: das ist mein Leib,
der für Euch gegeben wird, nehmet, esset.

Derhalben essen im heiligen Abendmahl
des Herrn Leib alle Christen,
die Würdigen und Unwürdigen.

Die Würdigen essen ihn mit dem Munde
und Glauben zum ewigen leben,
die Unwürdigen essen ihn allein mit dem Munde,
ohne Glauben zum Gericht und Tod.

25 July 2023

Mein Gott, ich lob und preise dich

Here is my translation of the post-Confession (thus pre-Communion) and justification hymn, “Mein Gott, ich lob und preise dich” (Anon., asc. Johann Rist, d. 1667), in ELGB #318, probably first appearing in the Plön Gsb 1676, then in 1687, as Fischer says, adding that it is also “often ascribed, without reason, to Johann Rist.” The appointed melody is “An Wasserflüssen Babylon.”


MY God, I laud and worship Thee
With all my soul’s devotion,
That Thou hast had me spoken free
And given absolution
From all my sin and guilt incurred,
Which have Thy wrath so sorely stirred!
How shall I thank Thee ever
Lord, for Thy goodness and Thy grace
Which Thou hast shown in every case,
And for Thy constant favor?

2 I hardly would have sought from Thee
Release for my transgression,
But oh, Thou comest instantly
And show’st me Thy compassion!
Where is there such a god as Thou,
Who graciously doth hearken how
The needy souls are sighing,
And still, in spite of all our debt,
Turns unto us with kindness yet,
As is Thy way undying?

3 Since Thou hast now my sin released
And ta’en me to Thy favor,
I would prepare me for the feast
Of Christ my Lord and Savior,
And be a fit and faithful guest:
So let my soul be rightly dressed
For food of heav’nly merit,
And worthy to partake thereof!
My God, to do so, from above
Teach me by Thy good Spirit.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

Mein Gott, ich lob und preise Dich,
von Grunde meiner Seelen,
daß Du am jetzt hast lassen mich
freisprechen und los zählen
von meiner schweren Missethat,
die Dich so sehr erzürnet hat.
Wie soll ich gnugsam preisen,
Herr, Deine große Gütigkeit,
die Du jetzt und sonst allezeit
hast wollen mir erweisen?

2 Ich hatte kaum gesucht bei Dir
Vergebung meiner Sünden,
ach! sieh, da liest Du selbe hier
mich alsobalden finden.
Wo ist ein solcher Gott wie Du,
der so genädig höret zu
dem Seufzen der Elenden,
und ungeachtet unsrer Schuld,
zu uns sich mit so großer Huld,
wie Du thust, pflegt zu wenden?

3 Weil Du mich denn so väterlich
zu Gnaden angenommen,
so will ich nun bereiten mich
zu Deinem Tisch zu kommen,
als ein geschickter frommer Gast,
O Seele mache dich gefaßt
zu dieser Himmelsspeise,
daß du sie würdiglich geneust.
Mein Gott hilf, das Dein guter Geist
mich hiezu unterweise.

24 July 2023

O Angst und Leid

Here is my translation of the repentance hymn “O Angst und Leid” (Johann Franck, d. 1677), in ELGB #313, first published in Runge’s Gsb (Berlin, 1653). The title, of unknown origin: “Anxious lament of a contrite heart which feels and groans at the weight of its sins,” is given by Koch, and also included in Grabau’s hymnal. The appointed melody is “O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid.”


O GRIEF and fear!
O suff’ring clear!
What pain is my possession
As my conscience gnaws at me
For all my transgression!

2 O horror dread!
In hunger spread
The jaws of hell before me,
Whither I have often run—
Now they would devour me!

3 Oh, woe is me!
O misery!
Where shall I flee to hide me?
Oh, if only some deep pit
Cov’ring could provide me!

4 In all earth’s bound
No haunt is found
Where I may dwell securely;
To th’ abyss my wickedness
Will compel me surely!

5 What sentence stern
I there shall learn
Before the throne of heaven,
Since by carnal passions I
Let myself be driven.

6 Thee, Christ, I greet,
My Mercy-seat,
Me in Thy wounds concealing,
For therein I ever have
Found true rest and healing.

7 Thy holy Blood
Shed for my good,
Upon the cross bright-glowing
Is a fount whence I receive
My salvation flowing.

8 O Savior, make
Me to partake
Of Thy dear satisfaction;
Bury henceforth in Thy tomb
Every grave infraction.

9 O Shepherd true!
If Satan too
Should cry of my wrongdoing,
Still him by Thy merits vast,
My faint hope renewing!

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

1 O Angst und Leid!
o Traurigkeit!
die ich jetzt muß empfinden,
die jetzt mein Gewissen nagt
wegen meine Sünden.

2 O Furcht und Graus!
das höllen-Haus!
darnach ich pflegt' zu ringen,
hat den Rachen aufgesperrt,
und will mich verschlingen.

3 O Ach und Weh!
o Schrecken-See!
wo soll ich mich verstecken?
Ach! daß doch die tiefe Gruft
möchte mich bedecken.

4 Der Erden Saum
hat keinen Raum,
d'rin ich kann sicher bleiben,
meine Bosheit will mich ganz
in dan Abgrund treiben.

5 Wie werd' ich dort
so strenge Wort'
für Gottes Rictstuhl hören;
weil ich mich die Fleisches Lust
lassen so bethören.

6 O Gottes-Sohn!
Du Gnaden-Thron!
ich flieh in Deine Wunden,
darin hab' ich jederzeit
Ruh und Lind'rung funden.

7 Dein heilig Blut,
das mir zu gut
am Creuze ward vergossen,
ist en Brunn, daraus das Heil
kommt auf mich geflossen.

8 Darum, mein Heil,
laß mich jetzt Theil
an Deinem Gnugthun haben,
meine Sünde wird hinfort
in Dein Grab begraben.

9 O treuer Hirt!
wann Satan wird
mein' Ueppigkeit verklagen,
so still' ihn durch Dein Verdienst,
sonst muß ich verzagen.

23 July 2023

Gleichwie sich fein ein Vögelein

Here is my revised translation of the hymn “Gleichwie sich fein / ein Vögelein” (? Johann Major, d. 1600), attached in KELG to the hymn “Ach Gott und Herr” (Martin Rutilius, d. 1618), in English, “Oh God and Lord” (Winkworth), as stanzas 9–13, itself revised by me for Walther’s Hymnal so as to follow the original form. When that was done in 2009, I was not yet aware of J. C. Jacobi’s translation (as the last five stanzas of his “O God my Lord, how great the hoard”), which I include below for comparison. Our present hymn, says Fischer, was first attached to Rutilius’s hymn in Bernhard Derschow’s Außerlesene Geistreiche Lieder (Königsberg, 1639), while the first two stanzas appear already as a separate hymn in Melchior Franck’s Geistliche musikalische Lustgarden (1616). Stanza 4 first appears attached to these (and separately to Rutilius’s hymn) in Clauder’s Psalmodia nova (Altenburg, 1627) with several more stanzas, including our present stanzas 3 and 5). It is Rambach who in his Anthologie II (p. 230) ascribes the stanzas to Johann Major, noting that he “may have prepared these stanzas while he was still a colleague of Rutilius in Weimar.” The appointed melody is “Ach Gott und Herr.”


LIKE as a bird,
When storms are heard,
Inside a tree takes shelter
And safe abides
Whate’er betides
Amid the wind and welter:

2 So, Jesus Christ,
My refuge prized
Is in Thy wounds deep-graven;
When sin and death
Have threatened wrath
There have I found my haven.

3 There I shall bide
Till Thou decide,
And flesh and soul are parted,
There I with Thee,
My Strength, shall be
Forever joyful-hearted.

4 Christ Jesus, Lord!
Thy help afford
Till I in death am sleeping;
When I must leave,
My soul receive
Into Thy faithful keeping.

5 All praise alone,
God Father, Son,
And Holy Ghost, we give Thee!
Nor doubt or dread,
For Thou hast said
We're saved if we believe Thee!

Translation © 2009 Matthew Carver.

VII. As a poor worm
Before a storm
(Clouds gath'ring, thunder growling)
In the earth hides;
And there abides,
While smoking show'rs are falling;

VIII. So I, when sin
And hell begin
To threaten my undoing,
Run to the side
Of Christ, and hide
Me from the threatened ruin.

IX. His wounded side
My soul shall hide,
When death shall draw his arrow.
In Christ true faith
Redeems from death
And hell and sin and sorrow.

*O! blessed be
Th’eternal Three
The Father, Son, and Spirit;
Blest Three in One,
To whom the Son
Restores us by His merit.

Gleich wie sich fein
ein Vögelein
in hohle Baum verstecket,
wenns trüb hergeht,
die Luft unstät
Menschen und Vieh erschrecket:

2 Also Herr Christ,
mein Zuflucht ist
die Höhle Deiner Wunden:
Wenn Sünd und Tod
mich bracht in Noth,
hab ich mich drein gefunden.

3 Darin ich bleib,
ob Seel und leib
hier von einander scheiden,
so werd ich dort
bei Dir, mein Hort,
sein in ewigen Freuden.

4 Herr Jesu Christ!
mein Trost Du bist
an meinem Letzten Ende,
wenn ich hinfahr
mein Seel bewahr,
ich bfehl sie in Dein Hände.

5 Ehre sei nun
Gott Vatr und Sohn,
dem heilgen Geist zusammen,
zweifle auch nicht,
weil Christus spricht:
Wer gläubt, wird selig, Amen.

22 July 2023

O heiliger Geist! sei heut und allezeit mit uns

Here is my translation of the Sequence “O heiliger Geist! sei heut und allezeit mit uns” (Peter Herbert, 1531), in ELGB #298 (as a Confirmation hymn), a German rendering of the Latin Pentecost Day sequence, “Sancti Spiritus assit nobis gratia” (Bl. Notker, 9th c.), the Latin of which was retained by early Lutheran music compendia (e.g., Bonnus, Ludecus, Eler, Lossius, and Cantica sacra Magdeburg). The German, which follows roughly the Latin sense and melody but adds rhymes, appears in Kirchengeseng (1531, 1566), fol. 105b ff. Having already translated the Latin text for my book Lutheran Sequences, I here present a translation of the Bohemian Brethren version, which may be interesting to compare. Herbert has made different choices in dividing the text, generally preferring longer lines, and rhyming mostly across the repeat rather than within where lines are shorter, but rhyming within each half of the “stanza” when longer lines are used.  


Be with us now and evermore.

1 Be pleased our hearts to borrow,
For Thine eternal dwelling own us:
Blot out all sin and sorrow,
Pour Thy holy unction upon us.

2 O Spirit, we pray,
Our mind and sense enlighten:
Work in us this day,
Our ways begin to righten.

3 O Thou Lover of the godly,
Consoler of the lowly:
Come and spread Thy succor broadly,
Perform Thy purpose holy.

4 Believers’ minds Thou dost render clean
From error, sins, and foolishness:
O brighten our hearts to heav’nly sheen,
Our foot upon truth’s pathway press.

5 That so we may know and own by Thy light
The Savior aright:
Whom only those hearts made pure, Lord, by Thee
In faith come to see.

6 Godly prophets by pow’r of Thee
Foretold the coming of the Christ so many a century:
Thou didst th’ Apostles strengthen so
That by their preaching they did the works of Christ the Lord forthshow.

7 By Thee was the Gospel’s message comforting
Spread abroad, and the Church made forth to spring:
With wonders and signs attested with great pow’r,
And enlarged quickly like a summer show’r.

8 Fountain pure and sweet,
That flows with healing from the Mercy-seat:
Thou restor’st the heart,
And soft’ning it, dost Thy new Law impart.

9 Thou gatherest here Christ’s flock as one,
From lands and tribes of every language known:
Thou givest them love for all His Word,
And mak’st them live to glorify the Lord.

10 Therefore we beseech Thee suppliantly,
Hear us on this day, O Holy Ghost, graciously:
For without Thee is our work in vain,
And without Thy help, no man may God’s favor gain.

11 Thou by whom all the saints to the faith were brought,
By whose gifts they also were well taught,
Made strong in the faith, and salvation got:
Strengthen us also in faith and confidence,
Defend us from the foe’s virulence,
Make us perfect before God’s countenance:

12 And lead us to eternal luminance. Amen.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

O heiliger Geist! sei heut und allezeit mit uns.

1 Mach Dir in unsern Herzen,
eigne und ewige Wohnung:
Tilg alle Sünd und Schmerzen,
geuß auf uns aus Deine Salbung.

2 O heiliger Geist!
erleucht heut unser Sinnen:
Gieb, was du uns heißst,
so mögn wir Guts beginnen.

3 O Du Liebhaber aller Frommen,
Du Tröster der Elenden:
Du wollest uns auch zu Hülf kommen,
Deinn Willen zu vollenden.

4 Du reinigst der Gläubigen Gemüth
von Irrthum, Sünden und Thorheit:
Mach rein unser Herz durch Deine Güt,
und leit uns in alle Wahrheit;

5 Auf daß von uns hie der wahre Heiland,
recht werde erkannt:
Den allein sehen die reinen Herzen
im wahren Glauben.

6 Die Propheten han durch Dein Macht,
die Zukunft Christi längst verkündigt und an Tag gebracht.
Die Apostel hast Du gestärkt,
daß sie durch ihre Predigt offenbart haben Christi Werk.

7 Durch Dich ist das tröstlich Evangelium
ausgebreitt, und erbaut das Christenthum:
Mit Wunder und Zeichenkräftig bewähret,
und schnell, als ein Platzregen gemehret.

8 Du bist der Heils-Bronn,
das rein Wasser, welches fleußt vom Gnaden-Thron:
Du erfrischst das Herz,
erweichst es, und schreibst drein Dein neu Gesetz.

9 Du sammlest allhie Christi Gemein,
von der Welt aus allen Zungen in Ein:
Du giebst ihnen Lieb zu Christi Lehr,
schaffst auch, das sie leben zu Gottes Ehr.

10 Darum bitten wir demüthiglich:
O erhör uns heut heiliger Geist gnädiglich:
Denn ohn Dich ist unser Thun umsonst,
und ohn Deine Hülf kommt niemand zu Gottes Gunst.

11 Du, durch den alle Heiligen sind bekehrt,
durch des Gaben sie auch sind gelehrt,
im Glauben gestärkt und des Heils gewährt:
Du stärk uns auch im Glauben und Zuversicht,
und thu Hülf, wenn der feind uns ansicht,
mach uns völlig vor Gottes Angesicht.

12 Und leit uns zu der ewigen Klarheit. Amen.

21 July 2023

O heilge Fluth, o kräftig Blut

Here is my translation of the Baptism hymn, “O heilge Fluth, o kräftig Blut!” (Landgravine Anna Sophia of Hessia-Darmstadt, d. 1683), in ELGB #297, first published in the authoress’s Der treue Seelen-Freund Christus Jesus . . . (Jena, 1658) in 13 stanzas (the last is the same as the first), with the title “Contemplation hymn on the mighty operations which re found in the holy washing of Baptism by the blood of Jesus Christ.” One stanza (6) is omitted in the Buffalo Synod version, perhaps because of its suggestion that angels convey the Christian’s prayer to God (but cf. Rev. 8:3–4). The appointed melody is “Ach Gott und Herr.”


O HOLY flood!
O mighty blood!
Thou, thou hast now unbound me
From sin and hell
And death as well,
And with new life hast crowned me.

2 As Jordan’s tide
Once purified
Old Naaman’s body ailing,
Thou, Lord, didst foil
Sin’s wound and boil
And gav’st me help availing.

3 The precious word
Of God the Lord
Out of the heavens soundeth:
Thou art My Son,
My dearest one,
In whom My joy aboundeth.

4 God’s Son in love
From heav’n above
Came down to be my Savior.
No time or place,
Joy or disgrace
Will drive Him from me ever.

5 The Spirit here
Showed mercy clear
As dovelike down He floated,
His grace I’ll find
In heart and mind,
Which are to Him devoted.

*6 The angel choir
With true desire
Shall to my aid be flying,
And bring the Lord
With glad accord
My ceaseless pray’rs and sighing.

7 Thou art the flood
Of mighty God
Out of the Temple flowing,
That heals indeed
With mighty speed
The nations to Thee going.

8 The brook thou art
That mends the heart
That makes all sorrows vanish.
That guilt and shame
(as is God’s aim)
All perfectly doth banish.

9 While we draw breath,
And after death,
Thy waters give all pleasure;
Thy quick’ning dew
Doth strength renew
And e’er shall be my treasure.

10 Thou canst o’erwhelm
The serpent’s realm
And scatter every devil,
And soon dispel
Both sin and hell
And all Thou callest evil.

11 Whoe’er his foot
In faith shall put
Into Thy healing river
By Thee is charmed,
And no more harmed
By Satan’s host forever.

12 As I behold
Thy works of old
And those Thou still art doing,
I must adore
Thee more and more,
Thy glories e’er renewing.

13 O Holy flood!
O mighty blood!
Thou, thou hast now unbound me
From sin and hell
And death as well,
And with new life hast crowned me.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.


1 O heilge Fluth!
o kräftig Blut!
Du, Du hast mich befreiet
von Sünden-Koth,
von Höll und Tod,
Du hast mich ganz erneuet.

2 Wie der Jordan
den Naemann
von Ausatz konnte heilen;
so halfest Du
in einem Nu
mir von den Sünden-Beulen.

3 Der höchste Hort
ließ auch sein wort
alsbald dabei erschallen:
Du bist mein Kind,
an dem ich find
ein lieblich Wohlgefallen.

4 Des Höchsten Sohn
vons Himmels-Thron
kam, um bei mir zu bleiben.
Kein Ort noch Zeit,
kein Leid noch Freud,
wir ihn nun von mir treiben.

5 er heilge Geist
in Gnad erweist,
wie er stets wolle schweben
mit seiner Güt
in dem Gemüth,
das ich ihm hab ergeben.

*6 Der Engelschaar
will immerdar
zu meinen Diensten stehen
und Gott dem Herrn
anmelden gern
mein unaufhörlich flehen.

7 Du bist die Fluth,
die aus der Hut
des Tempels kam gelaufen,
die machte Heil
in kurzer eil
viel großer Völker Haufen.

8 Du bist der Bach,
der alles Ach,
der alles Weh abwäschet,
der unsre Schuld
durch Gottes Huld,
ganz und vollkommen löschet.

9 Dein Wasser giebt,
was uns beliebt
hier und in jenem Leben;
Dein starker Saft
hat neue Kraft
mir jederzeit gegeben.

10 Du kannst zugleich
durchs Teufels-Reich,
durch alles Uebel reißen,
durch Höll und Sünd,
und was man findt,
das uns kann schädlich heißen.

11 Wer seinen Fuß
in Deinen Fluß
mit wahrem Glauben setzet,
der wird nicht mehr
vom Satans-Heer
hier oder dort verletzet.

12 Je mehr ich merk
auf Deine Werk,
Die Du pflegst zu vollbringen,
je mehr muß ich
auch loben Dich
und Dir zu Ehren singen:

13 O heilge Fluth,
o kräftig Blut,
Du, Du hast mich befreiet,
vom Sünden-Koth,
von Höll und Tod,
Du Du hast mich verneuet.

20 July 2023

Nun Gott Lob, es ist vollbracht / und der Bund mit Gott beschlossen

Here is my translation of the post-Baptism thanksgiving hymn, “Nun Gott Lob, es ist vollbracht / und der Bund mit Gott beschlossen” (Benjamin Schmolck, d. 1737), in ELGB #295, first published in the author’s Heilige Flammen der himmlisch gesinnten Seele in 50 Arien (Striegau, 1704) with title “Good thoughts of the Sponsors journeying home after the Baptism,” a companion-piece to the author’s hymn before Baptism, “Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, / deinem Worte nachzuleben” (“Dearest Jesus, we are here / gladly Thy command obeying”). It is to be distinguished from the widespread Evening hymn similarly begining, “Nun Gott Lob, es ist vollbracht / Singen beten und arbeiten” (“Now the hour of worship o’er”). The appointed melody is “Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier.”


GOD be praised! The deed is done,
And the cov’nant made with heaven;
That which cleans and saves alone
To this child has now been given;
Christ this child has consecrated
And with heav’nly dew chrismated.

2 O thrice-blessed child, held dear
By the Triune God forever,
Bound to God the Father here,
Quickened by the Son, thy Savior:
On thee God hath poured His Spirit,
And thou heaven shalt inherit.

3 Oh, what could more glorious be
Than to be God’s child declarèd?
All gifts else must pale and flee
When with this bright grace comparèd!
Here’s a mirror heav’n unveiling,
Here’s a seal of life unfailing.

4 With what cleansing-pow’r divine
Jesus’ blood of blemish rids thee!
Thus Thy garment still shall shine
When God to the wedding bids thee.
Adam in thee has been drownèd,
Christ in thee enthroned and crownèd.

5 Keep this covenant in mind
While thine earthly life abideth;
Here a firm foundation find
On which Christian faith confideth.
Those Baptism in Christ receiving
Must not Christ’s own ways be leaving.

6 Never banish from thy heart
Thy renuncations spoken;
Follow not the devil’s part,
Lest the covenant be broken.
By Christ’s pow’r and pure example
Satan and his hurdles trample.

7 Grow in strength and godliness
And increase thy parents’ gladness;
May what thou dost now possess
Comfort thee in every sadness.
May thy Baptism be the portal
Leading thee to life immortal.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

Nun Gott Lob! es ist vollbracht,
und der Bund mit Gott beschlossen;
was uns rein und selig macht,
ist auf dieses Kind geflossen:
Jesus hat es eingesegnet
und mit Himmels-Thau beregnet.

2 O du dreimal selig's Kind,
vom Dreieinigen geliebet,
dem der Vater sich verbind't,
dem der Sohn das Leben giebet,
dem der Geist ist ausgegossen
und der Himmel aufgeschlossen.

3 Ach was könnte größer sein,
als die Kindschaft Gottes haben?
dieser helle Gnadenschein
übersteiget alle Gaben;
dieses ist des Himmels spiegel,
dieses ist des Lebens Siegel.

4 O wie rein und o wie schön
hat dich Christi Blut gebadet!
Also kann dein Schmuck bestehn,
wenn dich Gott zur Hochzeit ladet;
Adam ist in dir ertränket,
Christus in dich eingesenket.

5 Nun so denk an diesen Bund,
weil du einen Athem hegest,
daß du auf den festen Grund
deinen Christenbau stets legest.
Wer sich läst auf Jesum taufen,
muß auch Jesus Wege laufen.

6 Laß aus deinem Herzen nicht,
wenn du jetzt hast widersprochen,
folge nicht dem Bösewicht,
sonsten wird der Bund gebrochen;
tritt durch Christi Kraft mit Füßen
ihn mit seinen Hindernissen.

7 Werde fromm und wachse groß,
werde deiner Eltern Freude,
und dein jetzt erlangtes Loos,
tröste dich in allem Leide.
Deine Taufe sei die Thüre,
welche dich zum Himmel führe.

19 July 2023

Ich bin getauft, ich bin erkauft

Here is my translation of the Baptism hymn, “Ich bin getauft, ich bin erkauft” (Ludämilia Elisabeth Countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, d. 1672), in ELGB #293, originally in the author’s posthumous Die Stimme der Freundin (1687), p. 409. Despite entries for numerous other hymns, Fischer’s lexicon omits this one. The first stanza resembles stanza 7 of “Ach durch die Sünd / ich armes Kind” by Sigismund von Birken (d. 1681), roughly contemporary with the Countess; von Birken’s hymn is found, e.g., in the Marpurg Gsb 1698. Her hymn is included a year earlier in Andächtiger Seelen geistliches Brand- und Dank-Opfer II, p. 485ff. In Krauss’s hymnal 1708, the first line is “Ich bin getauft / und theur erkauft.” The appointed melody is “Ach Gott und Herr.”


Bought by the Lamb,
With His blood, wounds and Passion;
I’ve peace with God,
For Jesus’ blood
Brings reconciliation.

2 Weep, devil, hell
And death as well,
Since all your vain endeavor
Was foiled by Christ:
I am baptized
And blest in Him forever!

3 Yes, once I lay
Beneath hell’s sway,
In sin, which Adam gave me;
That ye did mark;
Now see the work
By which my God doth save me!

4 He showed to me
Life’s portal free,
The bath His Word containing,
Took me into
His cov’nant new,
The gate of heav’n unchaining.

5 O washing dear,
That wipeth clear
The stain of all transgression,
By whose great pow’r
That very hour
I left the foe’s possession!

6 O promise great,
By which th’ estate
Of blessedness was given!—
The breachless band
By which God’s hand
Hath bound me unto heaven!

7 At once was I
God’s child thereby
And Christ became my Brother,
And now I stand
Among the band
That hails the church as mother.

8 For He therein
Freed me from sin,
Made me a new creation
And pledged to me
My place shall be
In His own habitation.

9 My robe most prized
Is Jesus Christ,
And He in me now liveth,
And unto me
Himself and all He giveth.

10 His merits all
Upon me fall,
Which in the font were buried;
All that was His,
My own now is,
Yea, Christ to me is married.

11 Can comfort e’er
(I must say ne’er!)
Surpass this consolation,
Which doth appear
Before me here
In Baptism’s earthly station.

12 O Maker mine,
My Shield divine,
How great is Thy long-suff’ring!
God’s Son, alone
My Mercy-throne,
How gracious Thy self-off’ring!

13 Thou foundest me
Ere I sought Thee,
Ere I could e’en draw near Thee;
Ere I did knock,
Thou didst unlock,
And ere I called, didst hear me.

14 Oh, can I, too,
Some gift, as due,
To God in turn be giving?
No more I know
Than to bestow
My thanks and praise while living.

15 To God once more,
To whom of yore
My vows for me were spoken,
In faith I bow
And pledge Him now
My faith and love unbroken.

16 I will hold high
Until I die
The old renunciations;
No vein in me
Shall Satan’s be,
Despite all tribulations.

17 But should I stray
(As is man’s way),
The Baptism-cov’nant breaking,
Oh, do not Thou
Break off the vow,
But keep me from forsaking!

18 Thou know’st how lame
And weak I am;
Oh, from all sin protect me!
All foes dispel—
Sin, Satan, hell—
That from Thee would direct me.

19 The cross’s load
By Thee bestowed
In Baptism’s holy laver,
Help me to bear
With patience e’er
By Thy good grace and favor.

20 O Christ, since Thou
My own art now
In faith and trusting solely,
Then come, my Stay,
Without delay
And let me see Thee wholly.

21 Into Thy death
O God, by faith
I am baptized and buried
With Thee thereby;
To Thee on high
I shall therefore be carried.

22 Receive me then
To highest heav’n,
But meanwhile let me ever
From day to day
Grant that I may
Forget my Baptism never.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

Ich bin getauft,
ich bin erkauft,
durch Jesu Blut und Wunden;
nun steht es gut,
denn Jesu Blut
hat Gott und mich verbunden.

2 O Satans Macht!
O Todes Nacht!
nun trauret, ich bin fröhlich:
was ihr gedacht,
ist nicht vollbracht,
ich bin getauft und selig.

3 Ich lag zwar da,
der Höllen nah,
in angebornen Sünden,
ihr sahet das, nun sehet, was
mich Gott für Heil laßt finden.

4 Er zeigte mir
die Lebens-Thür,
das Wasser-Bad im Worte,
nahm mich zur Stund
in seinen Bund,
schloß auf die Himmels-Pforte.

5 Das edle Bad,
das den Unflath
der Sünden weggenommen,
durch dessen Kraft
der Heidenschaft
ich gänzlich bin entnommen.

6 Das werthe Pfand
so in den Stand
der Selgen mich versetzet,
das feste Band,
da Gottes Hand
mich bindet und ergötzet.

7 Dadurch geschwind,
ich Gottes Kind
und Jesus Bruder (Schwester) worden.
Vom werthen Geist,
auch allermeist
geführt zum Christen-Orden.

8 Denn Er dabei,
gewirket frei,
und mich hat neu geboren,
auch also fort
zu seinem Ort
der Wohnung auserkoren.

9 Ich zoge an
den Jesus-Mann,
Er zog mich an hinwieder,
Er kleidet sich
in mich, und mich
in sich und seiner Güter.

10 Denn sein Verdienst,
als mein Gewinnst,
im Tauf-Brunn lag versenket,
was seine war,
ja Jesus gar,
wurd damals mir geschenket.

11 Kann nun wohl je
(ich spreche nie)
mehr Trost gefunden werden,
als welchen hier,
mir zeiget für,
das Taufbad auf der Erden.

12 Du Schöpfer mild,
mein Schirm und Schild,
wie bist Du so langmüthig;
O! Gottes Sohn,
mein Gnaden-Thron,
wer ist, wie Du, so gütig!

13 Du fandest mich,
eh als ich Dich
zu suchen noch vermochte,
Du hörtest drauf, und thätest auf,
eh ich noch rief und pochte.

14 Ach! kann denn wohl
ich, wie ich soll,
dafür auch Gott was geben?
Nichts weiß ich mehr,
als Dank und Ehr
jetzt und im ganzen Leben.

15 Gott, dem sich hat
an meiner Statt,
mein Taufzeug fest verschrieben,
dem sag ich nu
mich nochmals zu,
und schwöre Ihn zu lieben.

16 Ich sag auch ab,
bis in mein Grab
dem, dem mein Zeug entsaget,
kein Aederlein
soll Satans sein,
ob er mich gleich hier plaget.

17 Wann aber auch,
nach Menschen Brauch,
ich diesen Taufbund breche,
so brich ihn nicht,
mein Gott mein Licht,
halt mich in Deiner Pflege.

18 Du weißt vorhin,
wie schwach ich bin,
ach! hilf mir Sünde meiden.
Laß keine Noth,
Sünd, Satan Tod,
nichts, nichts, von Dir mich scheiden.

19 Die Kreuzes-Last,
darzu Du hast
mich damals ausersehen,
mir Deine Huld
wohl mit Geduld
mir helfen überstehen.

20 Und weil Du bist,
Herr Jesu Christ,
mein worden im Vertrauen;
so las mich bald,
mein Aufenthalt,
dort völlig Dich anschauen.

21 Ich bin ja, Gott,
auf Deinen Tod
getauft und so begraben
mit Dir zugleich,
darum Dein Reich
ich muß zur Wohnung haben.

22 So nimm mich hin
zur Himmels-Zinn,
und laß mich unterdessen,
in Leid und Freud,
ja allezeit,
die Taufe nicht vergessen.

18 July 2023

Da Jesus an den Jordan kam

Here is my translation of the Baptism hymn, “Da Jesus an den Jordan kam” (Ludwig Helmbold, d. 1598), in ELGB #291, where it is given without author, dated “ca. 1650.” Fischer has no entry for it. It appears in the Marpurg Gsb 1684, no. 126, p. 245f., in the Baptism section, with melody “Christe der du bist Tag und Nacht” indicated. Further search locates it in Helmbold’s Schöne Geistliche Lieder über alle Evangelia, no. XXXI (in the 1615 ed., p. 32f.), “concerning the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ” (on the Day of the Epiphany). Here the Christmas melody “Christum wir sollen loben schon” is appointed. Probably when it was later adopted not as an Epiphany hymn but generally as a Baptism hymn, the seasonal melody was replaced with the more general one (admittedly originally a season melody from Lent).


WHEN Jesus came to Jordan’s flood,
By John was baptized for our good,
As if He were with sin defiled;
There heav’n and earth were reconciled.

2 What wonder then occurred, behold:
The heavens were as veils unrolled,
The Spirit came down from above
In gracious form like as a dove.

3 On Christ the Lord did He alight,
A voice from heaven sounded bright:
“This is My Son, beloved and best,
On Him doth all My pleasure rest.”

4 ’Twas for our good, what happened here;
Not for Himself doth God appear,
He speaks, not that He may receive,
But that we may this truth believe:

5 That Man is God’s true Son, the Christ,
Who at the Jordan is baptized
Like sinners, and no sin hath known,
Yet for all sin atones alone.

6 Hereby He heaven’s barrier rends,
The Holy Ghost to us descends,
The Father to us all makes known
That we are pleasing in His Son.

7 When we our Baptism here receive,
He doth to us the sonship give:
God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Joins us to His eternal host.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

Da Jesus an den Jordan kam,
von Johanne die Taufe nahm,
gleich als ob Er ein Sünder wär,
da wurd versöhnt Himmel und Erd

2 Dann siehe, was Wunder geschah:
den Himmel man zertheilet sah,
auf Erden kam der heilig Geist,
in holdseliger Tauben-Weis.

3 Auf den Herrn Christum setzt Er sich,
bald rief ein Stimm vom Himmelreich,
dies ist mein Sohn der mier geliebt,
auf Ihn mein Wohlgefallen steht.

4 Das ist geschehen uns zu gut,
Gott nicht Ihm selbst erscheinen thut,
redet auch nicht um seinet willn,
sondern wir hörn und glauben solln:

5 Daß der Mensch sei wahr Gottes Sohn,
der sich am Jordan taufen lan,
als ein Sünder, das Er nicht ist,
und doch allein all' Sünde büßt.

6 Dadurch der Himmel aufgethan,
der heilge Geist herab gefahrn,
der Vater gesagt zu uns Alln,
in Christo solln wir Ihm gefalln.

7 Darauf empfahen wir die Tauf,
werden darin genommen auf,
von Gott dem Vater, Sohn und Geist,
bei Ihm zu sein in Ewigkeit.

17 July 2023

Vater unser im Himmelreich, / geheiligt werd dein Nam zugleich

Here is my translation of the Our Father hymn, “Vater unser im Himmelreich, / geheiligt werd dein Nam zugleich” (Anon., 16th c.), in ELGB #286, appearing in the Pomeranian Church Order 1569 (High German 1690/1731) with title: “At the beginning or ending, this short Our Father with its Amen may also be sung.” “Beginning” and “end” here refer to the hymn “Verleih uns Frieden” and “Gib unserm Fürsten…” immediately preceding this stanza. Later in other hymnals, it is given a second stanza, i.e., the 9th stanza of Luther’s Our Father hymn, for a brief conclusion and summary. The appointed melody is “Vater unser im Himmelreich.”


OUR Father in the realm of heav’n,
Thy name be hallow’d by all men!
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done;
Give daily bread; our sin make none,
Lead us not to temptation sore;
From all ills, Lord, save evermore.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.


Vater unser im Himmelreich,
geheiligt werd' Dein Nam' zugleich,
zukomm' Dein Reich, Dein Will' gescheh;
Gieb täglich Brod, die Sünd' verzeih,
führ' uns nicht in Versuchung schwer,
vom allem Uebel erlös' uns Herr.

16 July 2023

O Vater aller Frommen

Here is my translation of the Our Father hymn, “O Vater aller Frommen” (Anon., 1563), in ELGB #282, first appearing in Schöner geistlicher Lieder Achte (Erfurt, 1563) as the 7th hymn, with title “The Our Father.” It was later included in Schneegass’s collection of 22 hymns with 4 voices (Erfurt, 1597) with a composition by Orlando di Lasso. In many hymnals it is joined with other stanzas as a table hymn or general prayer. The appointed melody is “Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn.”


O FATHER of the pious,
Be hallowèd Thy name,
Thy kingdom come here by us,
Thy will let make us tame;
Give bread, forgive our sinning,
Let ill no heart be winning,
Save us from all distress.

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.

O Vater aller Frommen!
geheiliget werd Dein Nam,
laß Dein Reich zu uns kommen,
Dein Will der mach uns zahm;
Gieb Brodt, vergieb die Sünde,
kein Args das Herz entzünde;
lös uns aus aller Noth.

15 July 2023

Aufer a nobis

Here is my suggested translation and adaptation of the Latin litany hymn, “Aufer a nobis,” which is found in ELGB #280, where the note is included: “It should be sung often at Matins and Vespers, in Rogation Week, and in time of need, and also on Sundays after the Epistle in place of the Sequence.” This hymn, originally an antiphon in the ancient church, is found in several slightly different versions. The present form found in the Buffalo Synod hymnal does not reflect the Trinitarian formula seen, e.g., in Cantica Sacra (Magdeburg, 1613), but has a stanza to the Triune God generally, the Father, and the Son, peculiarly with Alleluias instead of repeated refrains of “Have mercy,” etc., as seen for Advent I in Keuchenthal, 1f. This form rather comes from the Pomeranian Church Order (1569ff.) and originates thus as a separate Evangelical emendation of the Catholic form as seen later in Alte Catholische Geistliche Kirchengesäng, printed for the Bishop of Trier (Cölln: Quentel, 1615), replacing the Catholic phrase “Sancta Maria ora pro nobis” with “per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.” A similar form was referenced in various Lutheran church orders of the 17th c.

TAKE away from us, O Lord,
all our iniquities,
that with clean hearts and minds we may worthily enter
into Thy Holy of Holies.

2 Give ear, give ear, O Lord,
To our prayers through Jesus Christ,
our Lord.

3 Have mercy, have mercy, have mercy on Thy people,
Whom Thou hast redeemed, O Christ, with Thy blood,
And be not angry with us forever!

Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.


Aufer a nobis, Domine,
cunctas iniquitates nostras,
ut possimus puris mentibus introire,
ad Sancta Sanctorum.

2 Exaudi, exaudi, Domine,
preces nostras per Jesum Christum,
Dominum nostrum.

3 Miserere, miserere, miserer populi tui,
quem redemisti Christe, sanguine tuo,
ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.

Domine Rex, Deus, Abraham

Here is my suggested rendering of the supplicatory Responsory pro serenitate/pluviam, “Domine Rex, Deus, Abraham” in ELGB #273, evidently based on 1 Kings 18:36, 37, 45, a “prayer of the Christian congregation in time of need, for rain or fair weather.” This Latin text is in origin an ancient Antiphon for Litany processions which concluded with an Alleluia, and was evidently taken by Grabau from the Pomeranian Church Order, where it is found re-worked as a Responsory. Grabau indicates that the German version is found in the same Buffalo Synod hymnal as #435 (“Herr Gott, Schöpfer aller Dinge”). The English translation here is based on that of Blunt in his Annotated Book of Common Prayer. No melody is indicated in the hymnal for the Latin text, though the German designates “proper melody.” Grabau curiously numbers the phrases of the Responsory in the manner of hymn stanzas, and perhaps intends the whole to be spoken or sung in unison, or more likely, sung to the standard Agenda tones used for Responsorial singing otherwise (i.e., the versicle tone). As an illustration of the original Antiphon melody, I include that of Cantica Sacra, Magdeburg 1613 (Bezeli), which includes both options (serenitatem / pluviam):


. O LORD, King, God of Abraham, give us fair weather (or rain) over the face of the earth:
†. That this people may learn that Thou art the Lord our God.
℣. Arise, O Lord, deliver us and defend us for Thy name’s sake.
†. That this people may learn that Thou art the Lord our God.


Domine Rex, Deus Abraham, dona nobis serenitatem (pluviam) super faciem terrae:

2 Ut discat populus iste, quia Tu es Dominus Deus noster.

3 Exsurge Domine, libera nos et protege nos propter nomen tuum.

4 Ut discat populus iste, &c. Amen.