67. O God, to Us Show Mercy

1 O God, to us show mercy
and bless us in your grace,
and cause to shine upon us
the brightness of your face,
so that your way most holy
on earth may soon be known,
and unto every people
your saving grace be shown.

2 Let all the peoples praise you,
let all the nations sing;
in every land let praises
and songs of gladness ring;
for you will judge the peoples
in truth and righteousness,
and on the earth all nations
will your just rule confess.

3 Let all the peoples praise you,
let all the nations sing.
Then earth in rich abundance
to us her fruit will bring.
The LORD our God will bless us,
our God will blessing send,
and all the earth will fear him
to its remotest end.

Text Information
First Line: O God, to us show mercy
Title: O God, to Us Show Mercy
Meter: 76 76 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: King, God/Christ as; New Year - Old Year; Close of Worship (3 more...)
Source: Psalter, 1887, alt.
Tune Information
Composer: J. Michael Haydn, 1737-1806 (adapt.)
Meter: 76 76 D
Key: C Major
Source: Adaptation

Text Information:

A communal prayer for God’s promised blessing on his people; a call to all nations to join in God's praise.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4
st. 3 = vv. 5-6

This short communal prayer for God's blessing may have served as a liturgical prayer of the people at the close of worship. Its echoes of the priestly benediction (Num. 6:22-27) suggest that it may have been used just prior to that divinely authorized blessing. The prayer begins with an allusion to the priestly blessing and asks that God will fulfill the purpose of that blessing-to bring "salvation among the nations" (v. 2; st. 1). In its request that all earth's people may join in praise to God, whose universal rule is just and good (st. 2), this prayer anticipates God's blessings upon the earth for such praise. And it anticipates as well the whole world's recognition that the LORD is the one true God (st. 3). The versification of this psalm was altered from The Book of Psalms (1871), a text-only psalter that was later published with music in 1887.

Liturgical Use:
The combination of blessing from God and praise to God in this psalm makes it most useful at the end of worship. It can also be used for Pentecost and whenever the church reflects on its evangelistic mission, since the psalmist calls all nations to acknowledge and praise God.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

OFFERTORIUM is adapted from the offertorium of a choral Mass by Johann Michael Haydn (b. Rohrau, Austria, 1737; d. Salzburg, Austria, 1806). It first was treated as a hymn tune in the 1916 supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern with William Cowper's "Sometimes a Light Surprises." This music suggests part singing and a stately tempo suitable for a solemn blessing.

Younger brother of the more famous Franz Joseph, J. Michael was a chorister, vocal soloist, and substitute organist at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. He served as music director to the bishop of Grosswarden, Hungary (1757-1762), and as concertmaster for the Archbishop of Salzburg (1762-1806). A devout Roman Catholic, Haydn composed both orchestral and church music, much of it still unpublished (and sometimes confused with his brother's music). He also edited Der Heilige Gesang zum Gottesdienste in der Romisch¬katholischen Kirche (1790). Some of his music has been used as sources for hymn tunes.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us