Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Book of Praise (6)

From the Jubilee bulletin, 3/13/11

The new Book of Praise (6)
Hy. 10–Now Blessed Be the LORD our God

The new Book of Praise includes nineteen of the twenty-eight songs of the 2007 Augment. Last week I began with giving a brief introduction to each of these new hymns in the order in which they appear in our hymnary.

Hymn 10 is a doxology based on the last verses of Psalm 72. Each of the five books of the Psalms ends with its own doxology. Book II (Psalm 42-72) concludes with such a doxology:
Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.
Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen (Psa 72:18,19).
This two stanza hymn closely follows the words of the biblical text. It is cast in the berakah (“Blessed be”) form common in Jewish worship.

The tune, CORONATION, was composed by Oliver Holden (1765-1844). It is a vigorous marching tune with many delightful repeated tones. The tune calls for the final couplet of the text of both stanzas to be jubilantly repeated.

Holden was reared in a small rural Massachusetts community. He had only minimal formal education–a few months of school. He worked, in turn, as a carpenter, a merchant, and a real estate agent. He also served in the Anti-Slavery Society, in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and as a Puritan lay preacher. Always interested in music, Holden became a composer and singing-school teacher. He helped to publish several tunebooks.

Sources: Psalter Hymnal Handbook; Internet