276. Teach Me, O Lord, Your Way of Truth

1 Teach me, O Lord, your way of truth,
and from it I will not depart;
that I may steadfastly obey,
give me an understanding heart.

2 In your commandments make me walk,
for in your law my joy shall be;
give me a heart that loves your will,
from discontent and envy free.

3 Your word sheds light upon my path;
a shining light, it guides my feet;
your righteous judgments to observe,
my solemn vow I now repeat.

4 Your wondrous testimonies, Lord,
my soul will keep and greatly praise;
your word, by faithful lips proclaimed,
to simplest minds the truth conveys.

5 I thirst for your commandments, Lord,
and for your mercy press my claim;
O look on me and show the grace
displayed to all who love your name.

Text Information
First Line: Teach me, O Lord, your way of truth
Title: Teach Me, O Lord, Your Way of Truth
Meter: LM
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Illumination; Law of God; Will of God (3 more...)
Source: Psalter, 1912, alt.
Tune Information
Composer: George J. Elvey (1862)
Meter: LM
Key: E♭ Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 119:33-34
st. 2 = Ps. 119:35-36
st. 3 = Ps. 119:105-106
st. 4 = Ps. 119:129-130
st. 5 = Ps. 119:131-13

The five stanzas of “Teach Me, O Lord” come from three long-¬meter settings for Psalm 119 in the 1912 Psalter. That psalter included a separate musical setting for each of Psalm 119's twenty-two biblical stanzas. The Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee chose these five stanzas because they are especially useful as prayers for illumination. With the psalmist, we sing: Teach us your way, O Lord (st. 1); the path of your commandments is our delight (st. 2); your Word is a lamp to our feet (st. 3); we obey and honor your truthful and clear Word (st. 4); as we thirst for it, Lord, we ask for the mercy you have promised us (st. 5). See PHH 119 for further commentary on Psalm 119.

Liturgical Use:
As a sung prayer for illumination; whenever God's people meditate on the centrality of the Word.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Composed by George J. Elvey (PHH 48) in 1862 for 'Just as I Am, without One Plea" (263), ST. CRISPIN was first published in the 1863 edition of Edward Thorne's Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes. The tune title honors a third-century Roman martyr, Crispin, who, along with Crispinian, preached in Gaul (modern-day France); these two missionaries are the patron saints of shoemakers and leather workers.

ST. CRISPIN has an attractive melodic contour. Its repeated notes are typical of other "generic" British hymn tunes from the later nineteenth century (for example, QUEBEC, 141,307; PENTECOST, 212; MORECAMBE, 419; and MARYTON, 573). Sing it in harmony, perhaps unaccompanied on one of the inner stanzas. The parallel structure of the text also invites singing stanzas in alternation between either men or women or two sides of the congregation.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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