Click on the link for this week’s song, “Now Thank We All Our God”.
Scriptures for this song:
We should always thank the Lord. Here are some ideas on when, where and for what.
1 Chronicles 16:8-15
Text by Martin Rinkhart (1586-1649)
Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878)
Music by Johann Cruger (1598-1662)
Tune name: NUN DANKET
The story behind the song:
In 1618, the “30 Year War” began. Martin Rinkhart was a pastor during this war. In the city where he served, he saw every other minister in town die from the plague. The war and disease killed thousands, including Rinkhart’s wife. During this time, he was called upon to conduct up to 40 or 50 funerals on a daily basis. Although he was surrounded by death and hardship, he still gave thanks to the Lord. He wrote this hymn initially for the purpose of being said as grace before meals. The third stanza was written after the war had ended.
The tune to this song, NUN DANKET, is taken from the first line of the German lyrics. “Nun danket alle Gott”. (This basically translates to “Now thank we all our God.”) It is interesting to note that Johann Sebastian Bach and other composers wove this tune into some of their works. This hymn has been used at many national festivals as well, so you can see how widely known and used it is.