Tag Archives: Psalm

“And Take They Our Life” – More Thoughts on “A Mighty Fortress”

The short phrase “and take they our life” is the fifth line of the fourth and final stanza of one of the greatest Christian hymns in all of sacred music, “A Mighty Fortress” (EIN FESTE BURG) by Martin Luther (1483-1546). This phrase consists of five words in English and only four in the original German, “nehmen sie den Leib,” but behind it lies Luther’s entire Theology of Martyrdom which points… Read More »

O Come, Let Us Sing Unto the Lord” (Psalm 95) – Handel

The Chandos Anthems by Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759) are among the hidden gems of sacred music. Here is a setting of selected verses of Psalm 95. Psalm 95 is an exhortation to sing and praise God for all He is and all that He does. For this work Handel uses five verses from Psalm 95 and adds to them selected verses of similar sentiment from other psalms. The verses used… Read More »

Beati quorum remissae (Psalm 32) – Wadsworth

“Beati quorum remissae” by American composer Zachary Wadsworth (b. 1983) is a setting of portions of Psalm 32, the second of the seven Penitential Psalms. This intense setting alternates the English text with the Latin. It begins with verse 3 which relates to us the consequences of remaining silent and keeping our sins to ourselves. While I held my tongue, my bones withered awaybecause of my groaning all day long.… Read More »

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God” (Psalm 51) – Handel

The importance of Psalm 51 in Christian music and faith cannot be underestimated. It is significant in that it provides for us an example of deep and heartfelt repentance which is at the heart of our faith. The story involves a king who after having an adulterous affair and getting a woman pregnant, gets wrapped up in an elaborate cover-up that leads to deceit, treachery, murder, and despair. The full… Read More »