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Music for the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptizer (Aug 29)

Hymnologist W. G. Polack gives a summary outline of today’s HYMN OF THE DAY, “If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee” (750), as follows:

The Christian’s Joyful Trust in God under the Cross

1.How it should manifest itself

A. in the joyous certainty of God’s unchanging love

B. in refraining from all needless care and complaints

C. in patient resignation to the divine will

2. On what it is based

A. On the certainty that God knows our need

B. On the certainty that he will help in His own time

C. On the certainty that our times are in His hand

Both text and tune are by Georg Newmark (1621-1681), who wrote the hymn after a time of great anxiety and unemployment.  He recalled: “This good fortune, which came so suddenly, as it were, from heaven, gladdened my heart so that I, on the first day, to the glory of my God, composed the well-known hymn ‘If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee,’ for I had ample reason to thank God heartily for this unexpected grace, both then and to the end.”

The PRELUDE is a partita on this hymn by Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748).

The HYMN TO DEPART, “Sing Praise to the God of Israel” (936), is a versification of the Benedictus, the hymn of Zechariah, John’s father, sung at his birth.  This metrical version of the hymn is by Pastor Steven Starke (b. 1955).  The introduction is a setting by Wilbur Held (1914-2015).

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