148. Praise the LORD! O Heavens, Adore Him

1 Praise the LORD! O heavens, adore him;
praise him, angels in the height.
Sun and moon, rejoice before him;
praise him, shining stars of light.
Praise the LORD, for he has spoken;
worlds his mighty voice obeyed.
Laws which never shall be broken
for their guidance he has made.

2 In the earth let all things praise him:
seas and all that they contain,
stormy winds that do his pleasure,
hail and lightning, snow and rain.
Hills and mountains, praise your Maker;
praise him, all you flocks and herds.
Fields and orchards, sing his glory;
praise him, creeping things and birds.

3 All you nations, come before him:
earthly rulers and all kings,
men and women, parents, children,
join with all created things.
Praise the God of our salvation,
who restores from sin and shame.
Heaven and earth and all creation,
praise and magnify his name!

Text Information
First Line: Praise the LORD! O heavens, adore him
Title: Praise the LORD! O Heavens, Adore Him
Meter: 87 87 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Epiphany & Ministry of Christ; Family; Return of Christ (5 more...)
Source: Foundling Hospital Collection, 1796, alt. (st. 1); Psalter 1912, alt. (st. 2-3)
Tune Information
Composer: Richard Dirksen (1973)
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: D Major
Copyright: Tune © 1977, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Text Information:

A summons to a universal choir to praise the LORD, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has redeemed his people.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-6
st. 2 = vv. 7-10
st. 3 = vv. 11-14

A post-exilic hymn, Psalm 148 maintains that God's glory dis¬played in creation and redemption is so great that the praise on Israel's lips (as in 149) needs to be supplemented by a chorus from all creation. Let everything created in the heavens praise God for the majesty and ordered goodness of the celestial realm
(st. 1). Let all created things on earth and in the seas praise their Maker (st. 2). Let all people join in praising God for salvation "from sin and shame" (st. 3). The versification of stanzas 1 and 3b is from an anonymous leaflet appended to a collection of psalms, hymns, and anthems for the Foundling Hospital in London (1796). Stanzas 2 and 3a (altered) are from the 1912 Psalter. Other settings of Psalm 148 are at 188 and 466.

Liturgical Use:
This cosmic call to praise is fitting at the beginning of worship and for many other occasions; especially appropriate for Thanksgiving and for similar services focusing on how the creation around us praises the Lord.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Richard Wayne Dirksen (b. Freeport, IL, 1921) composed CHRIST CHURCH: SYDNOR in 1973. Rev. William Sydnor, then rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia, asked Dirksen to compose something for the church's 200th anniversary in the winter of 1974. Dirksen composed an anthem, some chant settings, and the hymn tune CHRIST CHURCH: SYDNOR for the anniversary service, and he arranged all of the music for orchestra and organ accompaniment. CHRIST CHURCH: SYDNOR is a strong tune featuring melodic repetitions in lines 1 and 2 and again in lines 3 and 4. Singing in unison or in parts, performers should feel the half-note beat and should distinguish clearly between the equal quarter-note patterns and the dotted ones. Use full-bodied organ registration, but save a special mixture or reed for the final stanza. Other instruments will add much to the jubilant singing of this psalm on festive days. HYFRYDOL (568) is a suggested alternate tune.

Dirksen received his musical training at the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, Maryland. Holding the positions of precentor, organist, and choirmaster, he served at the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral (National Cathedral) in Washington, D.C., for more than four decades (1942-1991). Dirksen also directed the Cathedral Choral Society and the glee clubs of the St. Alban and the National Cathedral Schools. He has composed many anthems, an oratorio, and five operettas.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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