BWV 147 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Poet unknown; Movements 1, 3, 5, 7: Salomo Franck, Evangelische Sonn- und Fest-Tages-Andachten (Weimar and Jena, 1717); Facs: Neumann T, p. 291.

6. Martin Jahn, verse 6 of "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne," 1661 (Fischer-Tümpel, V, #497); 10. Jahn, verse 16 or 17 of the same hymn.

2 July 1723, Leipzig; 1, 3, 5, 7 <--- BWV 147a/1, 3, 7, 5.

BG 30; NBA I/28.


First Part

1. Chorus (S, A, T, B)

Heart and mouth and deed and living
Must for Christ their witness offer
Without fear and falsity
That he God and Savior is.

2. Recit. (T)

O thou most blessed voice!
Now Mary makes her spirit's deepest feelings
Through thanks and praising known;
She undertakes alone
To tell the wonders of the Savior,
All he in her, his virgin maid, hath wrought.
O mortal race of men,
Of Satan and of sin the thrall,
Thou art set free
Through Christ's most comforting appearance
From all this weight and slavery!
But yet thy voice and thine own stubborn spirit
Grow still, denying all such kindness;
Remember that the Scripture saith
An awesome judgment shall thee strike!

3. Aria (A)

Be ashamed, O spirit, not,
This thy Savior to acknowledge,(1)
Should he as his own e'er name thee(2)
'Fore his Father's countenance.
For he who him on earth now
To deny is not afraid
Is by him to be deniéd
When he comes in majesty.

4. Recit. (B)

The mighty can by stubbornness be blinded
Till them the Highest's arm thrust from their throne;
But this arm doth exalt,
E'en though 'fore it the earthly ball doth quake,
In turn the meek and humble,
Whom he shall save.
O highly favored Christians,
Rise, get yourselves prepared,
Now is the time of joy at hand,
Now is the day of grace:(3) the Savior bids
You arm both soul and body with faith's blessings;
Rise, call to him with fervor and with yearning,
That ye in faith may now receive him.

5. Aria (S)

Make ready, O Jesus, to thee now the way;
My Savior, elect now
My soul ever faithful
And look down with eyes full of grace now on me!

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

Blest am I that I have Jesus,
Oh, how firmly I hold him,
That he bring my soul refreshment
When I'm ill and filled with grief.
I have Jesus, who doth love me
And himself to me entrusteth;
Ah, I'll hence leave Jesus not,
Even though my heart should break.

Second Part

7. Aria (T)

Help, Jesus, help both that I may confess thee
In health and woe, joy and grief,
And that I may my Savior call thee
In steadfast faith and confidence,
That e'er thy love within my heart be burning.

8. Recit. (A)

The wondrous hand of might sublime
Doth work in earth's unseen recesses;
Since John now must be made full of the Spirit,
The bond of love tugs him
Already in his mother's body;
That he the Savior know,
Although he not at once
Him with his mouth address,
He is stirred up, he leaps and springeth,
So that Elizabeth the marvel doth proclaim,
So that Maria's mouth the gift of lips doth offer.
If ye, O ye of faith, the flesh's weakness see,
And if your heart with love is burning,
But still your mouth thy Savior not acknowledge,
God is it who gives you great strength;
He shall in you the spirit's pow'r awaken,
Yea, thanks and praise upon your tongue shall lay then.

9. Aria (B)

Of Jesus' wonders(4) I'll be singing
And bring to him my lips' glad off'ring;
He will by bond of his own love
My feeble flesh, my mundane voice
Through holy fire overpower.

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

Jesus shall remain my gladness,
Essence of my heart, its hope;
Jesus from all grief protecteth,
He is of my life its strength,
Of mine eyes the sun and pleasure,
Of my soul the joy and treasure;
Therefore I will Jesus not
From my heart and sight allow.


1. Cf. Mt. 10:32.

2. The PT: Soll er seine Braut dich nennen "Should he as his bride e'er name thee."

3. Cf. 2 Cor. 6:2.

4. OSt and BG have Wunden 'wounding.'


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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