BWV 16 Herr Gott, dich loben wir

New Year's Day (Feast of the Circumcision).

Georg Christian Lehms, Gottgefälliges Kirchen-Opffer (Darmstadt, 1711); Facs: Neumann T, p. 258.

1. Martin Luther, beginning of the German Te Deum, 1529 (Wackernagel, III, #31); 6. Paul Eber, last verse of the New Year's hymn "Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen," ca. 1580 (Wackernagel, IV, #7), added by Bach to Lehm's text.

1 January 1726, Leipzig; re-performed perhaps in 1734 (so Dürr, p. 154), Leipzig.

BG 2; NBA I/4.



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

Lord God, we give thee praise,
Lord God, we give thee thanks,
Thee, God Father eternally,
All the world lauds far and wide.

2. Recit. (B)

So we shall raise
Upon this joyful day
Our ardent worship's song
And shall to thee,
O God, for this the fresh new year
Our spirit's first oblation give.
What hast thou not since time began
For our salvation done,
And how much must our breast
Yet of thy faith and love perceive now!
Thy Zion a perfect peace,
Its lot is bliss and happiness;
The temple rings
With sounds of harp and psalt'ry,
And how our soul shall soar
If we but rev'rent fire to heart and lips shall summon!
Oh, ought there not therefore a new refrain be ringing
And we in fervent love be singing?

3. Aria (S, A, T, B)

(Tutti)
Let us triumph, let's be merry:
God's good will and trust
Shall be ev'ry morning new.

(B)
Crown and blessing from his hand,
Ah, be sure that to our clan
Lasting, lasting happiness

4. Recit. (A)

Ah, faithful shield,

Protect as in the past thy precious word,
Protect both church and school now,
Thus shall thy kingdom grow
And Satan's wicked guile fall low;
If thou upholdest order
And our beloved peace,
Our lot, indeed, shall be sufficient,
And we'll have nought but happiness.
Ah! God, thou shalt this land
Bathe still with nurture.
Thou shalt it e'er make better,
Thou shalt it with thy very hand
And very blessing foster.
We're blest, if we
Thee evermore
Shall trust, my Jesus and my Savior.

5. Aria (T)

Beloved Jesus, thou alone
Shalt be the treasure of my soul.
We will before all other riches
Within our faithful heart enthrone thee,
Yea, when the thread of life shall break,
Our spirit shall, in God content,
Again with lips most gladly sing:
Beloved Jesus, thou alone
Shalt be the treasure of my soul.

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

We praise all this thy kindness,
Father on heaven's throne,
Which unto us thou showest
Through Christ, who is thy Son,
And beg thee now as well
To make our year be peaceful,
From ev'ry woe to guard us,
And nourish us with grace.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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