Psalm 118

118A: The Glorious Gates of Righteousness

Performance Notes:

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 118:19
st. 2 = Ps. 118:20-21
st. 3 = Ps. 118:22-23
st. 4 = Ps. 118:25-26
st. 5 = Ps. 118:29

Based on the processional part of Psalm 118, this text is from the 1912 Psalter.

Tune Information:

ZERAH was composed by Lowell Mason and first published in his Boston Academy's Collection of Church Music (1837). This six-line common-meter tune was set to "The Glorious Gates of Righteousness" in the 1912 Psalter and all editions of the Psalter Hymnal. The tune title is a biblical name that presumably refers to one of the twins born to Judah (Gen. 38:30; Num. 26:20) or perhaps to the Cushite (Ethiopian) king who battled Asa, king of Judah (2 Chron. 14:9-13)–Mason often assigned biblical names (even obscure ones!) to his tunes (see Gen. 36:17; Num. 26:13; 1 Chron. 6:21, and 6:41 for references to other Zerahs in the Bible). ZERAH builds to an effective melodic and harmonic climax. Musicians will want to distinguish clearly between the even eighth notes and the dotted pattern. The dotted rhythms and simple harmony invite treatment by brass instruments.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: James Hart Brumm (b. 1962) © 1992 Choristers Guild
  • Music: Alfred V. Fedak (b. 1953) © 1992 Choristers Guild
  • Text: Psalm 118 © THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net or a CCLI License.
    • When reprinting the Text and Tone, please use the correct copyright line. Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the Tone for use in a worship setting.

118B: Hail and Hosanna!

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1088 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • For more information about this song, refer to the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation.
  • The following article is by Emily Brink, from Reformed Worship.

Click to listen  [ melody | full ]

Psalm 118 has long been associated with both Palm Sunday (“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. . . . With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession,” vv. 26-27) and Easter (especially a verse like “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” v. 22). Here is a refrain by James L. H. Brumm and Alfred V. Fedak that can be sung along with the reading of portions of that psalm. Brumm is a pastor in the Reformed Church in America, and Fedak is a widely published composer of hymns and anthems. Both have written for Reformed Worship, and both are members of the committee that prepared Sing! A New Creation. This refrain is extracted from an anthem published by the Choristers Guild for a three-part treble canon for Palm Sunday; they composed it for the twentieth annual festival of the Central Jersey Chapter of Choristers Guild.

Here is one suggestion for singing this refrain with the reading of portions of Psalm 118 on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday, either as a call to worship or as part of the Scripture reading before the sermon. (If you choose to do the reading responsively, the boldface type indicates verses that are to be spoken by everyone.)

Introduction (repeat the accompaniment to the first measure two times on organ, piano, bells, or a combination)

Refrain (sung first by all the children)

Psalm 118:1-2a, 2b, 41, 4b

Refrain (sung by all)

Psalm 118:14, 15-16, 17-18, 19, 20

Refrain

Psalm 118:21-22, 23, 24,25, 26, 27a, 27b, 28, 29

Refrain (sung as a round)

On the last statement of the refrain, enjoy the delight of singing as a round, with the children singing the three parts. The accompaniment for singing in canon adds a measure to take care of the extra music needed. You might want to end by singing the song one more time with the entire congregation in canon.

Other Resources:

Copyright Information:

  • Words: James Hart Brumm (b. 1962) © 1992 Choristers Guild
  • Music: Alfred V. Fedak (b. 1953) © 1992 Choristers Guild
  • Reprint Information:

118C: Psallite Deo/This Is the Day

Other Resources:

  • Purchase this song in a collection or recording from the Taizé Community and published by GIA Publications, Inc.(Please note: This song is found in many collections and on many CDs that are published by GIA Publications, Inc.)
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 118, alt.
  • Music: Jacques Berthier (1923-1994) © 1982, 1998 Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, Taizé Community, France, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent
  • Reprint Information:

118D: This Is the Day the Lord Has Made

Performance Notes:
  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1088 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Joy F. Patterson (b. 1931) © 1993 Hope Publishing Company
  • Music (THIS IS THE DAY 8.6.8.6 ): Joy F. Patterson (b. 1931) © 1993 Hope Publishing Company
  • Reprint Information:

118E: This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, GRÄFENBERG/NUNDANKET ALL.

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 [1995]
  • Burkhardt, Michael. Easy Hymn Settings General set 1.  Morningstar MSM-10-815 [1996]
  • Powell, Robert J. Free Hymn Accompaniments. Abingdon APM-513 [1979]
  • Rawsthorne, Noel. More Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew [1996]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748), 1719, alt., P.D.
  • Music (NUN DANKET ALL' UND BRINGET EHR' 8.6.8.6): Johann Crüger (1598-1662), 1647, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: both are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint this song.

118F: The Right Hand of God

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1088 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources

Copyright Information:

  • Text: Psalm 118:14-15 © THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • Words: Patrick Prescod © 1981 Caribbean Conference of Churches
  • Music (LA MANO DE DIOS 5.6.8.6.6.10): Noel Dexter © 1981 Caribbean Conference of Churches
  • Reprint Information:

118G: Celtic Alleluia

Performance Notes:

  • For more information about this song, refer to the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation.
  • Purchase an octavo arrangement of the refrain, Celtic Alleluia. This arrangement is written by Christopher Walker and published by Oregon Catholic Press.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 118:24
  • Psalm Text: from Evangelical Lutheran Worship © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin. Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information for the Refrain:
    • Music: please contact Leon C. Roberts
    • When reprinting the Psalm Text and Tone, please use the correct copyright line. Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the Tone for use in a worship setting.

 

  • Music: Fintan O’Carroll (1922-1981) and Christopher Walker (b. 1947) © 1985 Fintan O’Carroll and Christopher Walker, admin. OCP Publications
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information for the Alternative Refrain:
    • Music: please contact OCP Publications
    • Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the Tone for use in a worship setting; please use the correct copyright line.

118H: Give Thanks to God for All His Goodness

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1088 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • The following article is by Joan Ringerwole from Reformed Worship.

Psalm 118 is the appointed lectionary psalm for Easter Sunday, and no wonder. Stanley Wiersma, who versified Psalm 118 for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal, earlier wrote a delightful poem reminiscing on the Dutch tradition of singing Psalm 118 on Easter Sunday mornings—especially the verse that started "De steen die door de templebouzvers . . ." ("The stone the builders had rejected is now the foremost cornerstone").

As a young organist in 1946, Wiersma was more interested in having the congregation sing "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" to begin the service, but his minister objected:

De steen die door de templebouwers is five centuries earlier than the first Easter, Jesus himself quoted the psalm to predict his resurrection, Paul and Peter both identify the stone of this psalm as Christ, the Old Testament Easter lesson in the medieval church was this psalm, John Calvin started all festive services with this psalm, and all Dutch Easter services since the Reformation have begun with "De steen die door de templebouwers."

[From Purpaleanie and Other Permutations, by Sietze Buning (pen name of Stanley Wiersnia), Middleburg Press, Box 166, Orange City, IA 5L041]

This psalm was a festal procession sung by the Israelites as the final psalm in the "Hallel," the group of "Hallelujah" psalms sung during Jewish liturgy at the great religious festivals. Because Psalm 118 is structured antiphonally, each time "His love forever is the same" or the equivalent phrase on each verse occurs, it could be sung or played by a different group of people. Sometimes I play that phrase on a different manual to highlight the antiphonal character of the text.

The tune for Psalm 118 is more often associated with Psalm 98. Indeed, in the Genevan Psalter that tune was used for three psalms: 66,98, and 118. But 118 was the original association, set to Clement Marot's versification of Psalm 118 in Calvin's Genevan Psalter of 1543. The first three words of the French text are often given as a tune title: "Rendez a Dieu louange et gloire." The harmony here is the original Goudimel bass line; however, the melody was originally in the tenor, so the other parts have been adjusted to place the melody in the soprano.

Organists may appreciate the following easy compositions based on RENDEZ ADIEU:

-"Intonatie Psalm 98 (66, 118)" by Willem van Twillert (from Muziek voor de Eredienst, published by Ars Nova [1385002], Oranje Nassaulaan 25-1075 AJ Amsterdam).

-"Bread of the World" by Henry Coleman (from Twenty-four Interludes Based on Communion Hymn Tunes).

-"Father, We thank Thee" by Richard Peek (from Hymn Preludes for the Church Year).

Text Information:

Praising God for delivering the people when they were attacked by many nations and for making “the stone the builders rejected” the foremost cornerstone.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-4
st. 2 = vv. 5-14
st. 3 = vv. 15-21
st. 4 = vv. 22-25
st. 5 = vv. 26-29

The last of eight "hallelujah" psalms (111-118), 118 is a hymn of thanksgiving for deliverance from enemies. It presupposes a triumphal procession into the city and the temple of God. Psalm 118 praises God for unfailing love (st. 1) and for deliverance from many enemies (st. 2). In praise to God for bringing victory, the king leads a triumphal entry into God's presence (st. 3); the people celebrate "the day" in which God has set up his corner¬stone–the stone the builders had rejected (st. 4). The people praise and joyfully salute the anointed one, "who comes triumphant in God's name." A final call to praise and thank the LORD for unfailing love echoes the psalm's opening statement (st. 5).

Psalm 118 closes the "Egyptian Hallel" used in Jewish liturgies for the annual religious festivals prescribed in the Torah. At Passover, Psalms 113 and 114 were sung before the meal; 115 through 118 were sung after the meal. As the last song in that liturgy, 118 may have been the hymn sung by Jesus and his disciples at the end of the Last Supper (Matt. 26:30). Jesus applied verse 22 ("the stone the builders rejected") to himself in Matthew 21:42 and Mark 12:10 (see also Acts 4:11).

Stanley Wiersma versified this psalm in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal; he took the refrain from verses 1 through 4 and made it the final line of each stanza. Other settings of Psalm 118 are at 179 and 241.

Liturgical Use:
Times of thanksgiving; Palm Sunday and Easter processionals; many other occasions in Christian worship.

Tune Information:

GENEVAN 98/118 is the one tune in the Psalter Hymnal used for two psalms. It was first published in the 1551 Genevan Psalter as a setting for Psalm 118; in the 1562 edition it was also set to Psalm 98 (hence both numbers in the tune name). The tune is also often named RENDEZ A DIEV, the French incipit for Psalm 118.

This beloved tune is one of the finest and most widely sung of the Genevan psalm tunes (next to GENEVAN 134). Its clear melodic structure and vibrant rhythm call for firm accompaniment with bright organ registration, though some congregations may want to try unaccompanied singing on a stanza or two in the tradition of the sixteenth-century Reformers.

Many modern hymnals set this tune to versifications of Psalm 98 or to hymn texts such as the one at 314. The 1564 harmonization here by Claude Goudimel originally placed the melody in the tenor. See 98 and 314 for other harmonizations of this tune; 314 is placed in the key of F.

 Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • Buy a recording of this song as part of the recording "Cry Out to God!" by The Choral Scholars from iTunes.
  • The following is an alternative accompaniment for this tune, GENEVAN 98/118/RENDEZ Á DIEU.

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Proulx, Richard. Hymn Intonations Preludes & Free Harmonizations. Vol. I Selah 160-720 [1991]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Stanley Wiersma (1930-1986), 1982, alt. © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Music (RENDEZ À DIEU/GENEVAN 98/118 | 9.8.9.8 D): Genevan Psalter, 1551; harm. Claude Goudimel (ca. 1505-1572), 1564, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net or a CCLI License.
    • Music: the Music is in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint it.

118I: Psalm 118:14-24 A Paraphrase for Easter

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Herbert F. Brokering (1926-2009) © 1995 Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Music (EARTH AND ALL STARS fragment): David N. Johnson (1922-1987) © 1968 Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Text: Psalm 118, The Message © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net.
    • When reprinting the Text, please use the correct copyright line.

118J: Surrexit Christus/The Lord is Risen

Other Resources:

  • Purchase this song in a collection or a recording from the community of Taizé and published by GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 118, alt.
  • Music: Jacques Berthier (1923-1994) © 1982, 1998 Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, Taizé Community, France, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent
  • Reprint Information:

118K: This is the Day

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 118:19, 24, 28
  • Music (THIS IS THE DAY): Fijian folk melody; Les Garrett, 1967, © 1967, 1980 Universal Music Brentwood-Benson Songs, admin. Music Services
  • Reprint Information: