BWV 130 Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir

St. Michael and All Angels.

Poet unknown.

1. Paul Eber, verse 1 of the hymn, ca. 1561 (Wackernagel, IV, #1), an adaptation of Philipp Melanchthon's "Dicimus grates tibi," 1539; 2. based freely on verses 2 and 3; 3. based freely on verses 4-6; 4. based freely on verse 7-10; 5. Neumann T: based on other Michaelmas hymns (cf. BWV 19/7); Dürr: based freely on verse 10 of the hymn.

29 September 1724, Leipzig.

BG 26; NBA I/30.


1. Chorus [Verse 1] (S, A, T, B)

Lord God, we praise thee ev'ry one
And shall give willing thanks to thee
For this thy work, the angels, now,
Which round thee flock about thy throne

2. Recit. (A)

Their radiance and lofty wisdom show
How God doth to us mortals bend,
Who such defenders, such great armor
For us hath fashioned.
In praising him they take no rest;
Their whole endeavor hath but one intent,
That they, Lord Christ, round thee be
And round thy wretched company:(1)
How needed is indeed this care
Midst Satan's rage and might?

3. Aria (B)

The ancient serpent burns with spite,
Contriving e'er to bring new pain,
To bring our little band division.

    He seeks to crush what God doth own,
    And ply deceit,
    For he no rest or slumber knoweth.

4. Recit. (S, T)

Well though for us that day and night
The host of angels watch,
That Satan's onslaught might be broken!
A Daniel who amidst the lions sits(2)
Doth learn how him the hand of angels guards.
As once the coals
In Babel's furnace did no injury,(3)
So let the faithful raise their thankful voices,
That still in danger's midst
E'en now the angels' help comes forth.

5. Aria (T)

Let, O Prince of holy Cherubs,
This heroic lofty throng
Evermore
O'er thy faithful flock be tending.

    That they on Elijah's chariot
    Them to thee in heaven carry.

6. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

For this we give thee willing praise
And give thee thanks, God, evermore,
Just as thine own dear angel host
Thee laud today and ever shall.

And ask that thou shouldst ever wish
To order them to be prepared
To shelter this thy tiny flock,
Which keeps thy sacred word intact.


1. This and the preceding line are verbatim from the hymn.

2. Cf. Dan. 6:16.

3. Cf. Dan. 3.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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