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 soul’s most inner 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)

Not ashamed, O soul, be thou,
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 rejected
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
To arm with faith its blessings;
Rise, call to him with fervor and with yearning,
That him in faith ye be receiving.

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 heart refreshment
When I'm ill and filled with grief.
I have Jesus, who doth love me
And himself to me entrusteth;
Ah, I'll then 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,
Him tugs the bond of love
Already in his mother’s body;
That he the Savior know,
Although he not at once
Him with his mouth doth name,
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 your Savior not acknowledge,
God is it who gives you great strength;
He will in you the spirit’s power waken,
Yea, thanks and praise upon your tongue be laying.

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, the earth-bound voice
Through holy fire overpower.

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

Jesus my great joy abideth,
He my heart its comfort drink,
Jesus from all grief defendeth,
Of my life he is its strength,
Of mine eyes the sun and pleasure,
Of my soul the joy and treasure;
Therefore I from Jesus' might
Not allow from  heart and sight.

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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