Psalm 30

30A: I Worship You, O LORD

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1080 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • The following article is by Emily Brink and Bert Polman and is from Reformed Worship.

Text

The superscript of this psalm states that it is "for the dedication of the temple." Most likely this superscript refers to the dedication of the second temple by the returned exiles (see Ezra 6:16). In that case the "I" of the psalm came to refer to the repatriated community and the "healing" experienced in restoration from exile. Still later the Jews included this psalm in the liturgy for Hanukkah, the festival that celebrates the rededication of the temple in the days of Judas Maccabeus after its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

In singing this thanksgiving psalm, we praise God for deliverance from the brink of death (st. 1) and call all "who know his name" to praise God for unfailing mercies (st. 2). Recalling the Lord's chastisement for proud self-reliance (st. 3), the psalmist reiterates a prayer offered while standing at death's door (st. 4) and closes in praise to God for turning sadness into gladness (st. 5).

The unrhymed versification by James E. Seddon (b. Ormskirk, Lancashire, England, 1915; d. London, England, 1983) was first published in Psalm Praise (1973). Psalm Praise, first published in England and subsequently in the United States, broke new ground in psalm singing by providing contemporary settings of the psalms and other portions of Scripture.

Seddon received his musical training at the London College of Music and Trinity College in London and his theological training at the Bible Churchmen's Theological College (now Trinity College) in Bristol. He served various Anglican parishes in England from 1939 to 1945 as well as from 1967 to 1980. Seddon was a missionary in Morocco from 1945 to 1955 and the home secretary for the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society from 1955 to 1967. Many of his thirty hymns are based on missionary themes; he wrote some in Arabic while he lived in Morocco. Seddon joined other Jubilate Group participants to produce Psalm Praise (1973) and Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Calvin Seerveld (b. Bayshore, NY, 1930) provided stanza 4 in 1982 to provide a complete versification of the psalm for the Psalter Hymnal. Seerveld was professor of aesthetics at the Institute tor Christian Studies in Toronto from 1972 until he retired in 1995. Educated at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan; the University of Michigan; and the Free University of Amsterdam (Ph.D.), he also studied at Basel University in Switzerland, the University of Rome, and the University of Heidelberg. Seerveld began his career by teaching at Bellhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi (1958-1959), and at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois (1959-1972). A fine Christian scholar, fluent in various biblical and modern languages, he is published widely in aesthetics, biblical studies, and philosophy. His books include Take Hold of God and Pull (1966), The Greatest Song: In Critique of Solomon (1967), For God's Sake, Run with Joy (19 72), Rainbows for the Fallen World: Aesthetic Life and Artistic Task (1980), and On Being Human (1988). He credits the Dutch musician Ina Lohr for influencing his compositions of hymn tunes. Most of his Bible versifications and hymns were written for the Psalter Hymnal (1987), on whose revision committee he ably served.

st. 1 = vv. 1-3
st. 2 = vv. 4-5
St. 3 = vv. 6-8
st. 4 = vv. 9-10
st. 5 = vv. 11-12

 

Tune

Norman L. Warren (b. London, England, 1934) composed BISHOP TUCKER in 19 71 for Seddon's text; it was also first published in Psalm Praise. The tune name is derived from Bishop Tucker Theological College in Uganda, where Warren and his wife led seminars on worship and counseling. Warren said the tune "is loosely based on a wisp of melody from Rachmaninov's D-flat Piano Concerto." BISHOP TUCKER is a tune of six very similar phrases, in which phrases 1 and 2 interchange to become phrases 5 and 6, and phrase 4 is a sequence of phrase 3. The testimony of God's healing and restoring power may be highlighted by having a soloist sing stanzas 3 and 4.

Warren was educated at Dulwich College, Corpus Christi College, and Ridley Hall Theological College in Cambridge, and was ordained in the Church of England in 1961. He served as vicar of St. Paul's Church, Leamington Spa (1963-1977), rector of Morden (1977-1989), and since 1989 has been archdeacon of Rochester. His publications include Journey into Life (1964) and What's the Point? (1986). Warren was a member of the Jubilate Group committees that published Psalm Praise (1973) and Hymns for Today's Church (1982). He has composed over one hundred hymn tunes.

Text Information:

Praise for God's deliverance from death by healing his servant in answer to prayer.

Scripture References:
st. 1 =vv. 1-3
st. 2 =vv. 4-5
st. 3 =vv. 6-8
st. 4 = vv. 9-10
st. 5 = vv. 11-12

The superscript of this psalm states that it is "for the dedication of the temple." Most likely this superscript refers to the dedication of the second temple by the returned exiles (Ezra 6: 16). In that case the "I" of the psalm came to refer to the repatriated community and the "healing" experienced in restoration from exile. Still later the Jews included this psalm in the liturgy for Hanukkah, the festival that celebrates the rededication of the temple in the days of Judas Maccabeus after its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

In singing this thanksgiving psalm, we praise God for deliverance from the brink of death (st. 1) and call all "who know his name" to praise God for unfailing mercies (st. 2). Recalling the LORD's chastisement for proud self-reliance (st. 3), the psalmist reiterates a prayer offered while standing at death's door (st. 4) and closes in praise to God for turning sadness into gladness (st. 5). James Seddon prepared this versification sometime before 1969; it was first published in Psalm Praise (1973). Calvin Seerveld provided stanza 4 in 1982 to provide a complete versification of the psalm for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Easter; occasions for testimony upon restoration from serious illness or difficulty.

Tune Information:

Composed in 1969 by Norman L. Warren for this text, BISHOP TUCKER was published in Psalm Praise (1973). The tune name is derived from Bishop Tucker Theological College in Uganda, where Warren and his wife led seminars on worship and counseling. Warren said the tune "is loosely based on a wisp of melody from Rachmaninov's D-flat Piano Concerto." BISHOP TUCKER is a tune of six very similar phrases, in which phrases 1 and 2 interchange to become phrases 5 and 6, and phrase 4 is a sequence of phrase 3. The testimony of God's healing and restoring power may be highlighted by having a soloist sing stanzas 3 and 4.

Other Resources:

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

Copyright Information:

  • Words: sts. 1-3, 5 James E. Seddon © 1973 The Jubilate Group, admin. Hope Publishing Company;  st. 4 Calvin Seerveld © 1982 Calvin Seerveld
  • Music (BISHOP TUCKER 6.6.6.6.6.6): Norman L. Warren © 1990 The Jubilate Group, admin. Hope Publishing Company
  • Reprint Information:

30B: Te Ensalzaré, Señor / I Will Praise You, O God

Performance Notes:

Psalm 30 is a joyful testimony of deliverance, of moving from the depths to the heights, from weeping in the night to joy that comes in the morning. The Revised Common Lectionary assigns this psalm for the sixth Sunday after the Epiphany in Year B (this year on February 12, 2012). The psalm most typically would follow the Old Testament reading scheduled for that Sunday, which is the story of Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-14), who reluctantly followed Elisha’s direction to go down into the Jordan—seven times!—and came up healed from his leprosy.

The psalmist also tells a story of deliverance from a time of trouble: he cried out to God and God lifted him “out of the depths” by healing him. The response of the psalmist to this great deliverance is to joyfully go to the temple to give God thanks in public: “You have turned my mourning into dancing.” We join in that joyful response to this story, which is a microcosm of the great rhythm of the Christian story: we are “buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Rom. 6:4).

This setting of Psalm 30 by John Bell certainly invites dancing; the music swings! Here are three possible ways to sing and/or read the entire psalm:

1.  The music provided here is a refrain that the congregation could sing before and after the responsive reading of Psalm 30.

2.  The refrain is actually part of a longer anthem (GIA G-5156) with the refrain for choir and the psalm verses sung by a cantor in a more chant-like but still rhythmic singing of the entire psalm adapted by John Bell. But like any new practice, it takes time to settle in.

3.  The simplified refrain could also be combined with the chanting of the text to the psalm tone provided. Each pointed verse is divided into two half verses that correspond to the two parts of the Tone melody. (The second half verse is indented.) Each half verse has a red dot within it indicating when the singers move from the reciting tone (v) and continue with the rest of the melody.

A competent and confident pianist is needed to help the music swing. Whatever way you sing Psalm 30, enjoy the exuberant melody, adding if possible a flute and trumpet (from the choral score) for an even more festive song of praise.

Other Resources:

Copyright Information:

  • Words and Music: John L. Bell (b. 1949) © 1999 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Psalm Text: from Evangelical Lutheran Worship © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin. Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net.
    • Please use the correct copyright line when reprinting the Psalm Text and Tone. Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the Tone for use in a worship setting.

30C: All With Joyful Exultation

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1080 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: sts. Michael Morgan © 1999, 2011 Michael Morgan, admin. Faith Alive Christian Resources; ref. Hal H. Hopson © 2008 Birnamwood Publications, a division of MorningStar Music Publishers, Inc.
  • Music (YISRAEL V'ORAITA 8.7.8.7 with refrain): traditional Hasidic melody; arr. © 2006 Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Reprint Information:

30D: O choro pode durar/Though Weeping and Deepest Sorrow

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1080 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 and Music: Simei Monteiro © 2000 Simei Monteiro, admin. General Board of Global Ministries t/a GBGMusik
  • Reprint Information: