Tuesday Hymns: “Holy God, We Praise Your Name”

Today’s Tuesday Hymn, Holy God, We Praise Your Name, is based on the ancient hymn, Te Deum, which has been traditionally ascribed to Ambrose and Augustine at Augustine’s baptism in the 4th century. To quote that great reformer, Martin Luther (at the top of “Pilate’s Stairs” in Rome), “Who can know if it is so?

This version was written by Ignace Franz circa 1774, and is a hymn that is full of praise to the Triune God from the beginning to the end. It speaks generally of “all on earth” and “all in heaven” praising God for His sovereignty, and then particularly lists specific groups who join the chorus of praise: “Angel choirs,” “Apostles,” “Prophets,” “Martyrs,” along with the rest of Christ’s church through the ages. It concludes at the glorious pinnacle of the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity: “There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.” (I love the Shorter Catechism!) In The Trinity Hymnal, the lyrics are attached to the tune, GROSSER BOTT, WIR LOBEN DICH.

Holy God, we praise Your Name;
Lord of all, we bow before You!
All on earth Your scepter claim,
All in Heaven above adore You;
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Your reign.

Hark! the loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising,
Cherubim and seraphim,
In unceasing chorus praising;
Fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord.

Lo! the apostolic train
Join the sacred Name to hallow;
Prophets swell the loud refrain,
And the white robed martyrs follow;
And from morn to set of sun,
Through the Church the song goes on.

Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three we name Thee;
While in essence only One,
Undivided God we claim Thee;
And adoring bend the knee,
While we own the mystery.

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