Light of the Gentile world!

Representative Text

1 O Light of Gentile nations,
O Savior from above,
drawn by your Spirit's leading,
we come with joy and love
into your holy temple
and wait with rev'rent mind
as Simeon once had waited
his God and Lord to find.

2 Dear Lord, your servants meet you
in ev'ry holy place
where you, yourself have promised
that we should see your face.
Today you still allow us
who gather round you here
in arms of faith to hold you
as did that aged seer.

3 Lord, when life's troubles touch us,
you seem to hide your face,
and through our tears we often
can scarcely sense your grace.
Then be our joy and brightness,
our cheer in pain and loss,
our sun in darkest terror,
the glory round our cross.

4 Let us, O Lord, be faithful
like Simeon to the end
so that his prayer exultant
may from our hearts ascend:
"O Lord, now let your servant
depart in peace, I pray,
since I have seen my Savior
and here beheld his day."

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #497

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Author: Johann Franck

Johann Franck (b. Guben, Brandenburg, Germany, 1618; d. Guben, 1677) was a law student at the University of Köningsberg and practiced law during the Thirty Years' War. He held several positions in civil service, including councillor and mayor of Guben. A significant poet, second only to Paul Gerhardt in his day, Franck wrote some 110 hymns, many of which were published by his friend Johann Crüger in various editions of the Praxis Pietatis melica. All were included in the first part of Franck’s Teutsche Gedichte bestehend im geistliche Sion (1672). Bert Polman… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Light of the gentile world, Thy people's joy and love
Title: Light of the Gentile world!
German Title: Herr Jesu, Licht der Heiden
Author: Johann Franck (1653)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Johann Crüger composed WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN for Gerhardt's text and published the tune in 1653; the tune name is the German incipit of Gerhardt's text. Enhancing a sense of personal and communal meditation, the tune gives reflective support to this text. The tune is in isorhythmic form (all…

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ST. THEODULPH (Teschner)

Now often named ST. THEODULPH because of its association with this text, the tune is also known, especially in organ literature, as VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN. It was composed by Melchior Teschner (b. Fraustadt [now Wschowa, Poland], Silesia, 1584; d. Oberpritschen, near Fraustadt, 1635) for "Valet wi…

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MUNICH (Mendelssohn)

MUNICH has a colorful history. Traces of it run as far back as 1593 in the Dresden, Germany, Gesangbuch in conjunction with the text 'Wir Christenleut." A version from a Meiningen Gesangbuch (1693) is still used in Lutheranism for "O Gott, du frommer Gott." Felix Mendelssohn's adaptation of that tun…

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The Cyber Hymnal #3757
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  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
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The Cyber Hymnal #6683
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 6 of 6)
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Christian Worship (1993) #78

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Christian Worship #497

TextPage Scan

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #151


The Cyber Hymnal #3757


The Cyber Hymnal #6683

TextPage Scan

Worship (4th ed.) #871

Include 31 pre-1979 instances
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