Hymn #22: Sing Praise to God, Who Has Shaped

Joachim Neander (1650-1680) based this hymn of thansgiving on Psalms 103 and 150.  He wrote it at age thirty, in the last year of his life, which was cut short by tuberculosis.  Neander's hymn appeared later that year in Glaub- und Liebesubung (1680) in Bremen.

Joachim Neander was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1650 and died there only thirty years later.  A leader in the pietist movement, he has been called the "first poet of the Reformed Church in Germany."  Neander sought refuge in nature, prayer, and composing and is credited with more than fifty hymn texts and tunes.

 

This anonymous tune, LOBE DEN HERREN, was first found in a Stralsund, Pomerania, hymnbook of 1665,  Neander adapted the tune for his words in 1680, and ut has long been associated with that text, which originally began "Lobe den Herren, den machtigen Konig."

The 1665 version of this tune was considerably different from one that appeared with Joachim Neander's text fifteen years later.  The tune as it appears here is a composite from several sources and has been sung in this form since the early eighteenth century.