Lord God, We Sing Thy Praise Martin Luther set the Te Deum Laudamus (Latin: “To Thee, O God, We Praise”) in German in a rhymed metrical setting for two groups in alternation (This is what it means to sing something antiphonally.) Luther wrote his setting in 1529, based on a plainsong chant tune. The Te Deum is the canticle sung on Sundays and festivals in the Office of Matins.
Composers have set Luther’s Te Deum setting for organ, voices, and instruments. Johann Sebastian Bach composed an organ setting (BWV 725) of Luther’s German Te Deum which serves as today’s PRELUDE. Usually it is played on two contrasting registrations on separate manuals to illustrate the antiphonal style of Luther’s composition. Today, the Crossroads Brass ensemble plays the second voice in alternation with the organ on the first voice.
But watchful is the angel band The HYMN OF THE DAY “Lord God, to Thee We Give All Praise,” was a Latin hymn by Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560), published in Wittenberg in 1543 in 11 stanzas. It was translated into German by Paul Eber (1511-1569) in 12 stanzas. Finally, the English translation was by Emanuel Cronenwett (1841-1931) in 1880. The tune is a modern setting by the Rev. Thomas Lock, kantor of Trinity—Denver, named in memory of Steve Wiest, who served as a pastor in Milwaukee.
Let the bright seraphim The VOLUNTARY is a setting for brass ensemble of George Frideric Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim,” originally for soprano solo and trumpet. The lyrics in the original setting:
“Let the bright seraphim in burning row,
Their loud, uplifted angel trumpets blow.
Let the cherubic host, in tuneful choirs,
Touch their immortal harps with golden wires.”