BWV 41 Jesu, nun sei gepreiset

New Year's Day (Feast of the Circumcision)

Poet unknown.

1. Johannes Herman, verse 1 of the hymn, 1593; 2-5. based freely on verse 2; 6. 6th and final verse of the hymn.

1 January 1725; again after 1732 (Neumann Hb).

BG 10; NBA I/4.

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

Jesus, be now exalted
On this the newborn year
For thy help to us proven
In all our dread and stress,(1)
That we ourselves have witnessed
The new and joyful age
Which full of blessing bideth,
And lasting happiness;
That we in goodly stillness
The old year have completed.
Ourselves we'd(2) thee surrender
For now and evermore,
Protect(3) life, soul and body
From now through all the year!(4)

2. Aria (S)

Let us, O highest God, the year accomplish
That it be ended even as it was begun.

    Beside us let thy hand abide,
    That later, when the year hath closed,
    We be midst blessing's rich excess,
    As now, a hallelujah singing.

3. Recit. (A)

Ah! This thy hand, thy blessing must alone
The A and O, beginning and the ending be!
Our whole life holdest thou within thy hand,
And all our days with thee have been recorded;
Thine eye doth watch o'er town and land;
Thou tellest all our weal and knowest all our sorrow,
Ah! Of both give us
Whate'er thy wisdom will, whereto thee thy compassion may have                                                                                                                 prompted.

4. Aria (T)

For just as thou hast noble concord
To this our flesh and state allotted,
So grant the soul as well thy gracious, healing word.

    If us this health befalleth,
    We shall be here most blessed
    And thine elected there!(5)

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

But since the foe both day and night
To do us harm doth watch
And our tranquillity would ruin,
May it please thee, O Lord our god, to hear us
When we in sacred congregation beg thee:

(S, A, T, B)
That Satan underneath our feet be trampled.(6)

And we'll forever to thy praise
As thine elect belong to thee
And also after cross and passion
From here depart into great glory.

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

Thine is alone the honor,
Thine is alone the praise;
To bear the cross now teach us,
And rule our every deed,
Till we depart with rapture
To heaven's eternal realm,
Into true peace and gladness,
The saints of God made like.
With us deal in the meanwhile
According to thy pleasure:
Thus sing today in earnest
The Christ-believing throngs
And wish with voice and spirit
A new and blessed year.

1. Where necessary, in the lower parts read "In all our dread and distress."

2. Where necessary, in the lower parts read "Ourselves we would thee surrender."

3. Where necessary, in the lower parts read "Protect our life, soul and body."

4. From the Litany of Martin Luther, 1528/29.

5. I.e., both here on earth and there in heaven.

6. From the Litany of Martin Luther, 1528/29.

Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

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