May God Bestow on Us His Grace

Tune: Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein

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The 67th Psalm: Deus misereatur nostri

  1. May God bestow on us His grace,
    With blessings rich provide us,
    And may the brightness of His face
    To life eternal guide us
    That we His saving health may know,
    His gracious will and pleasure,
    And also to the heathen show
    Christ’s riches without measure
    And unto God convert them.

  2. Thine over all shall be the praise
    And thanks of ev’ry nation,
    And all the world with joy shall raise
    The voice of exultation;
    For Thou shalt judge the earth, O Lord,
    Nor suffer sin to flourish;
    Thy people’s pasture is Thy Word
    Their souls to feed and nourish,
    In righteous paths to keep them.

  3. Oh, let the people praise Thy worth,
    In all good works increasing;
    The land shall plenteous fruit bring forth,
    Thy Word is rich in blessing.
    May God the Father, God the Son,
    And God the Spirit bless us!
    Let all the world praise Him alone,
    Let solemn awe possess us.
    Now let our hearts say, Amen.

Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein
Martin Luther, 1524
Tr. Richard Massie, 1851 alt.
Source: The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, No. 500


German Version

Tune: Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein

  1. Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein
    Und seinen Segen geben;
    Sein Antlitz uns mit hellem Schein
    Erleucht zum ewgen Leben,
    Daß wir erkennen seine Werk
    Und was ihm liebt auf Erden,
    Und Jesus Christus Heil und Stärk
    Bekannt den Heiden werden
    Und sie zu Gott bekehren.

  2. So danken, Gott, und loben dich
    Die Heiden über alle,
    Und alle Welt die freue sich
    Und sing mit großem Schalle,
    Daß du auf Erden Richter bist
    Und läßt die Sünd nicht walten,
    Dein Wort die Hut und Weide ist,
    Die alles Volk erhalten,
    In rechter Bahn zu wallen.

  3. Es danke, Gott, und lobe dich
    Das Volk in guten Taten;
    Das Land bringt Frucht und bessert sich,
    Dein Wort ist wohl geraten.
    Uns segen Vater und der Sohn,
    Uns segen Gott der Heilg Geist,
    Dem alle Welt die Ehre tu,
    Für ihm sich fürchte allrmeist.
    Nun sprecht von Herzen: Amen.

Martin Luther, 1524
Source: C.F.W. Walther’s Kirchen-Gesangbuch, 1898 printing, No. 171, alt



Martin Luther

Martin Luther, 1483–1546, portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1533


Author: Martin Luther
Source: Eyn weyse Christlich Mess zu halten, Wittenberg, 1524

Written probably in 1523 by Martin Luther as a German metrical version of Psalm 67, “May God Bestow on Us His Grace (Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein)” was originally intended by Luther as a closing benediction for his Formula Missae, and was used for that purpose in the German translation by Paul Speratus, Eyn weyse Christlich Mess zu halten, Wittenberg, 1524, where “May God Bestow on Us His Grace” was first printed as an appendix. Three editions of Eyn weyse Christlich Mess zu halten were printed in the same year, two of which included Luther’s hymn. A scan of the text as it appears in the printing by Nickel Schirlentz is available here courtesy of the Bavarian State Library in Munich.

Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein (Original Text)
“May God Bestow on Us His Grace (Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein)” as it first appeared in Nickel Schirlentz’s printing of Eyn weyse Christlich Mess zu halten, Wittenberg, 1524, courtesy of the Bavarian State Library in Munich.

The text was first printed with what would become its proper tune in 1524 on a broadsheet in Magdeburg by Hans Knappe the Younger. It was not included among the Psalm settings in the Achtliederbuch, but the Loersfeld printing of the Erfurt Enchiridion included it in the Psalm section with no melody given. It was included as No. 12 in the first official Wittenberg hymnal, Johann Walter’s Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn, 1524, with the tune Christ unser Herr, which would later come to be assigned to Luther’s hymn on the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, “Christ Our Lord to the Jordan Came” (Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam). It appeared with its own proper melody in the Strassburg hymnals, beginning with Wolff Köpfl’s Teutsch Kirchen ampt, Strassburg, 1525, where it was included among the Psalm settings. Its first appearance with its proper tune in the official Wittenberg hymnals was in the 1526 Lufft Enchiridion, No. 12. It also appeared with its proper tune in the various editions and printings of Joseph Klug’s Geistliche Lieder (see scans from 1535, 1544, and 1545).

“May God Bestow on Us His Grace” is found in The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, No. 500, with an altered version of the translation of Richard Massie, Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, 1851, pp. 45–46. The alterations to the text bring it more closely in line with Luther’s original source material in Psalm 67, according to the King James Version. The hymn appears as No. 823 (also No. 824 with a new melody) in the Lutheran Service Book, 2006, the only alteration from the text as found in The Lutheran Hymnal, other than punctuation, being a change from “heathen” to “nations” in st. 1, l. 7.

The text and music here provided are in the public domain and may be freely used and reproduced for any purpose whatever. They are offered with the prayer that they may serve for the edification of Christian people everywhere.