Sunday, May 3, 2015

112. Cantate Hymn

Cantate is the mass for today: the fourth Sunday after Easter, or the fifth Sunday of Easter. It takes its name (as so many Sundays do) from the introit, selected verses of Psalm 98, of which the first phrase is "Cantate domino," or "O sing unto the Lord." The epistle is James 1:16-21, and the gospel is John 16:5-15. As usual for my church-year hymns, these texts served as my starting point. The tune I have in mind is O DASS ICH TAUSEND by Kornelius Dretzel, 1731.

Sing a new song! Sing, all creation,
Which God has wondrously prepared!
His strong right arm has brought salvation,
Now to all lands and lines declared:
Christ is exalted gloriously
To judge the world with equity.

Not only strings and horns now praise Him,
But rivers, mountains, plains and seas!
Nor blood nor will of man can raise Him
Children with right to clasp His knees.
His verdict cancels all our sin;
His word implanted reads us in.

Be not deceived, dear sisters, brothers:
All gifts come down from God above,
Who changes not, nor suffers others
To share His children's fear and love;
By word and will He brought us forth,
Firstfruits of all the seed of earth.

Be quick to hear and slow to answer;
God's justice, not man's wrath, achieve;
Putting aside sin's filth and cancer,
Do you with humble hearts receive
His living word as planted seed,
Able to save your souls indeed!

No longer mourn the Lord's ascending
Far above all we sense and know;
For thus His Holy Spirit's sending
With help and clarity must flow,
Guiding us into truth, whereby
Jesus will gather us on high.

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