BWV 120a Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge

A Wedding.

Poet unknown.

2. Ecclus. 50:24 with recitative; 5. Martin Luther, response from the Litany, 1528/1529 (after the recitative); 9. Joachim Neander, verses 4 and 5 of "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren," 1689.

Ca. 1729; Parody: 1, 3, 6 ← BWV 120/2, 4, 1.

BG 41; NBA I/33.

First Part

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

Lord God, the ruler of all nature,
Who all doth own, control and bear,
Through whom what breath doth draw is moved,

    We all, deserving much too little
    The kindness and forgiving heart,
    Through which thou us since toddling children
    Until this instant hast made glad.

2. Recit. (B, T) and Chorus [Dictum] (S, A, T, B)


How marvelous, O God, is thy creation,
How great indeed thy might,
How past all telling is thy faith!
Thou didst display thy boundless power
Before thou brought us in the world.
That time
When we were nothing still
And of ourselves knew nothing,
Was thy dear kindness, thy forgiving love,
To our prosperity
Most zealously devoted.
Our very name and length of life
By thee are set in writing,
While we are still in darkness waiting;
Yea, thy dear kindness is prepared,
When it us in the world once brings,
Forthwith with loving arms to hold us tightly.
And that we may ne'er be of thee unmindful,
For our sake is thy gracious might
With every morning new.
Therefore when we perceive this,
We must with hearts unfeignéd sing thy praises:

(S, A, T, B)

Now thank ye all our God, who mighty wonders works in every region.


Now, Lord, grant, too, that this thy love and troth
For this day's bridal pair be new;
And since here this betrothéd couple
Before thy holy countenance are coming
And, filled with worship, praying,
Give ear to them before thy throne here,
And let, to our own pleasure
And their reward, them prosper and be happy.

3. Aria (S)

Lead, O God, through thy love's kindness
This the new betrothéd pair.

    Make in them exceeding true
    What thy word to us promised,
    That thou to all who adore thee
    Wouldst give favor evermore.(1)

Second Part (Post Copulationem)

4. Sinfonia

5. Recit. (T) and Chorus (S, A, T, B)


Lord Sabaoth,
Lord, our forefathers' God,
Give ear to this our plea;
Bestow thy blessing and success
Upon this new-made marriage,
That all their deeds be in and from and with thee.
Let ev'rything through thee arising
In thee its blessing find;
Both banish all distress
And guide as well the wedded couple
Thus, as thou will'st,
Just e'er to thee.
Thus will this couple more and more
With truly joyful spirits,
And with thy ample blessing,
That blessing all things in the world depend on,
Be filled and satisfied.

(S, A, T, B)

O hear us, O good Lord and God.

6. Aria (A, T)

Lord, now begin and speak thy blessing
Upon this thine own servant's house.

    Let them unto thy fear be cleaving,
    And they shall live in endless blessing;
    Upon them set thy gaze and vision,
    And all shall sure in blessing end.

7. Recit. (B)

The Lord, the Lord our God, so be with you
As he with your forefathers' throng
Was always and now also is;(2)
And you like Ephraim and like Manasseh plant;(3)
And leave you not,
Nor take from you his caring hand;
May he incline your heart and mind
Alway to him,
That ye may journey in his pathways,
And in your dealings may act wisely;
His Spirit ever favor you;
If all this now is done,
Then will your ev'ry deed and action
Fill its intention.
And your devoted parents' blessing
Will rest in twofold store upon you.
But meanwhile we would God bring praise and singing,
A sacrifice of glad thanksgiving.

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

Praise the Almighty, who thine estate clearly hath favored,
Who doth from heaven with streams of his love blessing shower.
Think now on this,
What the Almighty can do,
Who doth with love ever greet thee.

Praise the Almighty, all that I own, praise his name's honor.
All things that breath possess, praise him with Abraham's children!
He is thy light,
Spirit, forget this do not!
Praising him, close thou with "Amen."

1. Cf. Ex. 20:6.

2. Cf. 1 Kg. 8:57.

3. Cf. Gen. 48:20.

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

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