church history

Book of Common Prayer's Te Deum

Today's Worship Quote dates from the fourth or fifth century. The Te Deum or Te Deum laudamus is an anonymous worship text in Latin that has been set to music by countless composers, from the baroque masters all the way through to practicing church musicians of our day. Martin Luther translated it into German and there are at least twenty-five metrical settings in English ("Holy God, We Praise Thy Name"). I imagine that there are some readers who have this prayer memorized (in Latin or English), and some who are encountering these words for the first time. [as found in Book of Common Prayer, Rite I].

TE DEUM LAUDAMUS
We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting.
To Thee all Angels cry aloud: the Heavens and all the powers therein.
To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry:
"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy Glory."

The glorious company of Apostles praise Thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise Thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise Thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee:
The Father of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honorable, true, and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost: the Comforter.

Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest upon Thee to deliver man:
Thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
Thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants
whom thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in glory everlasting.

O Lord, save Thy people: and bless Thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up forever.
Day by day we magnify Thee and we worship Thy Name,
ever world without end.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let Thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded.


If you look around, you can find modern English renderings of the Te Deum text, ones that avoid "thee" and "thou" and "vouchsafe." But for today...

May the Lord vouchsafe to give thee a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Rinkart on Corporate Thanksgiving

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE comes from the very familiar hymn "Now Thank We All Our God." The poet was Martin Rinkart, a pastor in Eilenburg, Saxony in the early 17th century. He lived at time of great political strife. During the Thirty Years War his city was under siege by Swedish and Austrian armies. In 1637 a plague swept through the area and during one period of time, since he was the only surviving pastor, he was conducting some 50 funerals a day. What unbelievable hardship! And yet, in the face of all this pain and sorrow, this hymn resounds with clarity and confidence in God's providential care. It also has a great Mother's Day line.

Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done, in whom his world rejoices;
Who, from our mother's arms, hath 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 blessed 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 ever more.

I learned about the life and ministry of Martin Rinkart from the Worship Leader's Edition of The Worshiping Church, Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 1991.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

This is thanksgiving that comes out of a poet's understanding of eternal
values, not just immediate blessings or temporary comforts and joys. Is there
a lesson here for us?


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

St. Patrick's Breastplate

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a real oldie goldie, selected verses from "The Breastplate of St. Patrick." Of course, St. Patrick was the 5th century missionary to Ireland.

I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same, the Three in One, the One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever by power of faith Christ's incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan river, his death on the cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb, his riding up the heavenly way,
his coming at the day of doom I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself today, the power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to harken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach, his hand to guide, is shield to ward,
the Word of God to give me speech, his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me;
Christ to comfort and restore me;
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same, the Three in One, the One in Three.
of whom all nature hath creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word;
praise to the God of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord.

-- St. Patrick, c. 430
-- paraphrase by Cecil Frances Alexander, 1889


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Clement and the Earliest Christian Hymn

Not including the actual words or paraphrases of Scripture, what do you think is the oldest Christian song or hymn? Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is thought to be the earliest Christian hymn to survive in its entirety. I came across this while reading a book about the early church's view of music. What an encouragement to imagine Greek-speaking believers in the third century singing these words to our great Savior (who is the same yesterday, today, and forever)!

JESUS, OUR MIGHTY LORD

Jesus, our mighty Lord,
our strength in sadness,
the Father's conquering Word,
true source of gladness;
your name we glorify,
O Jesus, throned on high;
you gave yourself to die
for our salvation.

Good shepherd of your sheep,
your own defending,
in love your children keep
to life unending.
You are yourself the Way:
lead us then day by day
in your own steps, we pray,
O Lord most holy.

Glorious their life who sing,
with glad thanksgiving,
true hymns to Christ the King
in all their living:
all who confess his Name,
come then with hearts aflame;
the God of peace acclaim
as Lord and Savior.

—Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215), from his treatise The Teacher, English translation by F. Bland Tucker (1982), as collected by Calvin R. Stapert in A New Song For An Old World: Musical Thought in the Early Church. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007, pp. 167-68. ISBN 978-0-8028-3219-1.


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.