Psalm 81

81A: A Responsorial Setting

Other Resources:

  • For more information about this song, refer to the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, BICENTENNIAL.

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • David, Anne Marie. Let It Rip! At the Piano. vol. 2 Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]
     

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Malawian traditional; tr. Clara Henderson (b. 1955) © World Council of Churches
  • Music (NDIMITIMA): Malawian traditional
  • 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:
    • Words: please contact World Council of Churches
    • 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.

 

  • Words: Omer Westendorf, 1976, © 1977 Archdiocese of Philadelphia, published by International Liturgy Publications
  • Music (BICENTENNIAL refrain 8.6.8.6): Robert E. Kreutz, 1976, © 1977 Archdiocese of Philadelphia, admin. International Liturgy Publications
  • Tone: © 2011 International Liturgy Publications
  • Reprint Information for the Alternative Refrain:
    • Words and Music: permitted with a CCLI License.
    • Tone: Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the tone for use in a worship setting; please use the correct copyright line.

81B: Strike Up the Music!

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1084 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: Psalm 81
  • Music: Julie Howard; arr. Vera Lyons © 1992 Liturgical Press
  • Reprint Information:

81C: Sing a Psalm of Joy!

Performance Notes:

Text Information:

An exhortation to Israel to renew their faithfulness to God as they celebrate the LORD's deliverance out of Egypt.

Scripture References:
st. l = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-5
st. 3 = vv. 6-7
st. 4 = vv. 8-9
st. 5 = v. 10
st. 6 = vv. 11-15
st. 7 = vv. 8, 16

The psalmist addresses the people of Israel at an annual festival celebrating their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. He begins with a call to joyful celebration (st. 1) and praise of the LORD (st. 2), remembering God's saving answer to the people's cry in bondage and God's test of their faith in the wilderness (st. 3). As God's spokesperson, the psalmist calls Israel once again to be faithful to the LORD and to reject all false gods (st. 4). In remembering the Exodus, Israel is reminded of its own unfaithfulness in the wilderness and how God dealt with them. The LORD, who brought them out of Egypt and who has supplied all their needs, will surely bless the people if they wholly trust in him (st. 5). God's great desire is for the people to obey and trust him, so that they may enjoy his protection and abundant blessings (st. 6-7).

In singing this psalm we too need to respond obediently to God's call. In the post-exilic temple liturgy this psalm was sung during the morning sacrifice on the fifth day of the week. Marie J. Post versified Psalm 81 in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Call to commitment or rededication.

Tune Information:

GENEVAN 81 was first published in the 1562 edition of the Genevan Psalter; Dale Grotenhuis composed the harmonization in 1985. This bright tune in Ionian mode (major) has short phrases, two of which are repeated (AB, AC, CD), making it one of the simplest in the Genevan Psalter. For that reason, generations of Dutch children started their weekly school program of memorizing psalms with this one, beginning with the stanza that included "Open wide your mouth, surely I will fill it." The psalm should be sung with much energy, though the mood shifts between stanzas 5 and 6. The text suggests antiphonal performance: stanzas 1 and 2 to be sung by everyone, stanzas 3 through 7 by a solo voice or smaller group (possibly ending with a unison repeat of stanza 1 by all).

Other Resources:

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

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Marie J. Post, 1984, © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources, *st. 3 Martin Tel © 2011 Martin Tel, admin. Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Music (GENEVAN 81 |5.6.5.5.5.6): Genevan Psalter, 1562; harm. Dale Grotenhuis, 1985, © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Text: Exodus 20 © THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • Reprint Information: