174. Sing a New Song to the LORD God

1 Sing a new song to the LORD God
for the wonders he has wrought;
his right hand and arm most holy
triumph to his cause have brought.
In his love and tender mercy
he has made salvation known;
in the sight of every nation
he his righteousness has shown.

2 Truth and mercy toward his people
he has ever kept in mind,
and his full and free salvation
he has shown to all mankind.
Sing, O earth, to God sing praises,
let your songs of praises ring;
with the swelling notes of music
shout before the LORD, the King.

3 Seas and all your fullness, thunder,
all earth's peoples, now rejoice;
floods and hills, in praise uniting,
to the LORD lift up your voice.
For, behold, our God is coming,
robed in justice and in might;
he alone will judge the nations,
and his judgment shall be right.

Text Information
First Line: Sing a new song to the LORD God
Title: Sing a New Song to the LORD God
Meter: 87 87 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1982
Topic: Judge, God/Christ as; Praise & Adoration; Return of Christ (6 more...)
Source: Psalter, 1912, alt.
Tune Information
Name: HERMON (Pilcher)
Composer: Charles Venn Pilcher (1935)
Harmonizer: Walter MacNutt (1968)
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: C Major
Copyright: Harm. © Walter MacNutt

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 98:1-2
st. 2 = Ps. 98:3-6
st. 3 = Ps. 98:7-9

The text is a versification of Psalm 98 altered from the 1912 Psalter. For textual commentary on this psalm see PHH 98.

Liturgical Use:
Jubilant times of the church year. See also PHH 98.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

The 1912 Psalter and earlier editions of the Psalter Hymnal set this text to the tune AUSTRIAN HYMN by Franz J. Haydn. However, because of the tune's association with the Nazi regime of World War II, several North American immigrants and Jewish Christians suggested that it be removed from the hymnal. Synod 1986 of the Christian Reformed Church agreed, and the tune HERMON was chosen. This strong tune features an effective "rocket" (rapidly ascending) figure in three of its four lines. The tune title presumably refers to Mount Hermon, often mentioned in the Bible as a geographical point of reference and noted in Psalm 133 for its natural beauty; the mountain is located to the north of the Golan Heights in Israel.

The scholar/musician and Anglican bishop Charles V. Pilcher (b. Oxford, England, 1879; d. Sydney, Australia, 1961) composed HERMON in Canada in 1935 for his own hymn text "King of Love, O Christ, We Crown Thee." Pilcher was educated at Hertford College, Oxford, ordained in the Church of England in 1903, and briefly served as curate in St. Thomas Church in Birmingham. After moving to Toronto, Canada, in 1906, he began a distinguished career, teaching Greek, Old Testament, and New Testament at Wycliffe College. In 1936 Pilcher was appointed bishop-coadjutor in Sydney in the Anglican Church of Australia, a position he held until 1956. A scholar of Icelandic literature, he published Passion Hymns of Iceland (1913) and Icelandic Christian Classics (1950). Pilcher was also an accomplished musician. He played bass clarinet in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and served as precentor in several churches. He wrote a number of hymn texts and tunes and contributed them to the Canadian Book of Common Praise (1938) and the Australian Supplement (1947) to the Book of Common Praise. Pilcher also served as secretary to the committee for the Australian hymnbook.

Walter Lewis MacNutt (b. Charlottetown, P.E.I., Canada, 1910) harmonized HERMON in 1968; his arrangement was first published in the Canadian Anglican-United Hymn Book (1971). MacNutt was a student of Healey Willan at the Toronto Conservatory of Music from 1929 to 1932. He was organist and choirmaster at Trinity Church in Barrie, Ontario, Canada (1931-1935), and the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto (1935-1941). After serving in the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II, he was church musician in Winnipeg, Windsor, and at the Thomas Anglican Church in Toronto (1954-1977); he continued there as organist emeritus until 1987. MacNutt composed descants, choral anthems, and hymn tunes; Five Hymn Tunes was published in 1965.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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