Defend Thy truth, O God The HYMN OF THE DAY, “O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold” (The Lutheran Hymnal 260), is Martin Luther’s (1483-1546) hymn on Psalm 12. Written in 1523, it is one of his earliest. In daily prayer in the monastery, Luther learned the psalms by heart, so they served as the basis for a number of his hymns. Luther also wrote hymns on Psalms 14, 46, 67, 124, 128, and 130.
Though many things have changed since Luther’s time, his hymn is just as
timely today as when it was written. Christians and the Church face relentless attacks from the devil and the world. “For them My saving Word shall fight.” In all times, Christ is our only hope: “The wicked everywhere abound, And would Thy little flock confound; But Thou art our Salvation.”
And from morn to set of sun, Through the Church the song goes on. The ENTRANCE HYMN, “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” (940) paraphrases the ancient canticle Te Deum Laudamus (The Lutheran Hymnal p. 35-37), sung at Matins (Morning Prayer) on Sundays and festivals.
Originally in eight stanzas in German, it was published in the Allgemeines Katholisches Gesangbuch in 1775. The English translation has seven stanzas, five of which are included in our hymnal.
The CHORAL VOLUNTARY, “O Kingly Love, That Faithfully” is a text written by Martin Franzmann (1907-1976) for the four hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Reformation in 1967. The tune was written by Richard Hillert (1923-2010), who served as professor at Concordia University—River Forest, IL.
The lessons are Isaiah 55.1–9; Ephesians 5.15–21; and St. Matthew 22.1–14.
The hymns are 940 Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
TLH 260 O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold
636 Soul, Adorn Yourself With Gladness
672 Jerusalem the Golden
689 Let Me Be Thine Forever
919 Abide, O Dearest Jesus
Prelude: O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold -J. L. Krebs
Voluntary: O Kingly Love, That Faithfully -R. Hillert