433. Earth and All Stars

Text Information
First Line: Earth and all stars
Title: Earth and All Stars
Author: Herbert Brokering (1964)
Refrain First Line: He has done marvelous things
Meter: 457 457 with refrain
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ;
Topic: Praise & Adoration; Creation; Kingdom
Copyright: Text and music © 1968, Augsburg Publishing House. Used by permission.
Tune Information
Composer: David Johnson (1968)
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1984)
Meter: 457 457 with refrain
Key: A♭ Major
Copyright: Text and music © 1968, Augsburg Publishing House. Used by permission.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
all st. = Ps. 96:1, Ps. 98, Ps. 150

Herbert Brokering (b. Beatrice, NE, 1926) wrote this text for the ninetieth anniversary of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, in 1964. It was published in David Johnson's Twelve Folksongs and Spirituals in 1968 and in the Lutheran hymnal Contemporary Worship I in 1969. About his writing of the text Brokering says:

I tried to gather into a hymn of praise the many facets of life which emerge in the life of community. So there are the references to building, nature, learning, family, war, festivity. Seasons, emotions, death and resurrection, bread, wine, water, wind, sun, spirit. . . have made great impressions on my imagination.

Like 431 and 435, "Earth and All Stars" is a catalog text, inviting us to join with a whole host of natural and cultural phenomena to "sing to the Lord a new song!" The text alludes to Psalm 96:1 in each stanza and to Psalm 98:1 in the refrain. But Brokering presents a modern list of natural, manufactured, and inanimate things that join in praising the Lord: planets in cosmic order (st. 1); weather and vegetation (st. 2); musical instruments (st. 3); technology and building (st. 4); learning and athletics (st. 5); wisdom, and all of God's people (st. 6).

A prolific author, Brokering is currently a freelance consultant on worship and ministry. Specializing in religious education, he studied at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa; the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbus, Ohio; the University of Iowa; and the University of Erlangen, Germany. Brokering is a prominent figure in the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches and has served as a parish pastor in several Lutheran congregations. His writings include Lord, Be with Me (1969), Lord, If (1977), and texts for hymns, anthems, cantatas, and musicals.

Liturgical Use:
Many uses as a modern hymn of praise. Sing the entire hymn or use a selection of stanzas as follows: stanzas 1-2 for worship that focuses on nature; other stanzas for worship that focuses on work, education, festivity/worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

David Johnson (b. San Antonio, TX, 1922; d. Phoenix, AZ, 1987), former music department chairman at St. Olaf College, composed EARTH AND ALL STARS and published it in his Twelve Folksongs and Spirituals (1968). Johnson studied at Trinity, University, San Antonio, Texas, and received his master's and doctoral degrees in music from Syracuse University, New York. In addition to St. Olaf, he taught at Syracuse University; Alfred University, Alfred, New York; and Arizona State University. Johnson was organist at Syracuse University and organist and choir director at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix. His publications include Instruction Book for Beginning Organists and Organ Teacher's Guide; his compositions number over three hundred and include hymn tunes, varied harmonizations, and hymn preludes.

The tune, distinguished by its use of melismas, is intended for unison singing. Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) prepared the harmonization in 1984. Try assigning various stanzas to different groups, but have the entire group sing the refrain. Each stanza should also be divided in half and assigned to smaller groups. Then each group would conclude with "Sing to the Lord a new song," but the entire congregation would still sing the refrain. Some may want to sing the refrain only after the final stanza. Use strong, briskly energetic accompaniment.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
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