Psalm 84

84A: How Lovely is Your Dwelling

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1084 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • The following article is from the Psalter Hymnal Handbook.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st.1 = Ps. 84:1-2
st.2 = Ps. 84:3
st.3 = Ps. 84:4-7

Taken form Psalm 84:1-7, “How Lovely Is Your Dwelling” is a prayer of longing for God’s house and for the blessing of serving God there. Stanza 1 describes the beauty of God’s house and the soul’s longing for the joy and comfort of that holy place. Stanza 2 highlights God’s care of his people, combining the images of sparrow and swallow from Psalm 84:3 with the image of God’s sheltering wings found in other psalms (36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 91:4). Stanza 3 extols the blessedness of being God’s people in Zion or the New Jerusalem.

The versification is form the 1912 Psalter, the original first line read “O Lord of hosts, how lovely.”

Liturgical Use:
Beginning of worship; expressions of longing for the New Jerusalem.

Tune Information:

The original form of ST. EDITH (also known as ST. HILDA) was composed in 1793 by Justin Heinrich Knecht for the text “Der neidern Menschhiet Hülle.” It was published in Vollstandige Sammlung … Choralmelodien (1799), edited by Johann Friedrich Christmann and Knecht, who composed ninety-seven of the tunes in the collection.

Knecht (b. Biberach, Germany, 1752; d. Biberach, 1817) mastered the flute, oboe, trumpet, violin, and organ. He taught literature in Biberach and became the town’s music director in 1792, pioneering the use of program notes in his public concerts. After serving as director of the theater orchestra in Stuttgard (1807-1809), he returned to Biberach for the rest of his life. Knecht was a prolific composer of songs for the stage, church music for the organ and choir, and instrumental pieces. He also wrote several theoretical works on music and method books for organ playing.

Edward Husband (b. Hampshire, England, 1843; d. Folkestone, Kent, England 1908) exchanged two lines of the original tune with two lines of his own in 1871 to produce the current setting. Educated at St. Aidan’s College, Birkenhead, Husband was ordained in the Church of England in 1867. He was a pastor in Atherton from 1866 to 1872, after which he served at St. Michael and All Angels’ Church in Folkestone. In 1885 he compiled an Appendix of hymn tunes for the Folkestone church. An organ teacher as well as a pastor, Husband edited The Mission Hymnal (1874) and Supplemental Tunes to Popular Hymns (1882).

The tune title refers to the tenth-century British virgin Edith of Wilton (near Salisbury, Wiltshire), who refused various important positions and instead served the poor. Sing this tune in four broad phrases with rhythmic precision.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, MERLE’S TUNE

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalter, 1912, alt., P.D.
  • Music (ST. EDITH 7.6.7.6 D): Justin H. Krecht, 1799; rev. Edward Husband, 1871, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: both are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint this song.

84B: Better Is One Day

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 84 and Psalm 27:4; Matt Redman © 1996 Kingsway's Thankyou Music, admin. EMI CMG Publishing
  • Music: Matt Redman © 1996 Kingsway's Thankyou Music, admin. EMI CMG Publishing
  • Reprint Information:

84C: How Lovely, Lord, How Lovely

Performance Notes:

Other Resources:

  • Purchase an arrangement of this song that is written by Roy Hopp and published by MorningStar Publishers.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, MERLE’S TUNE

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Arlo D. Duba © 1986 Hope Publishing Company
  • Music (MERLE'S TUNE 7.6.7.6 D): Hal H. Hopson © 1983 Hope Publishing Company; harm. Hal H. Hopson © 2011 Hope Publishing Company
  • Reprint Information:

84D: Almighty Lord, How Lovely is that Place

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1085 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • The following article is from the Psalter Hymnal Handbook.

Tune Information:

Ralph Vaughan Williams composed SINE NOMINE for this text and published it in the English Hymnal in 1906. Vaughan Williams wrote two harmonizations¬–one for unison stanzas and one for choral stanzas. The tune's title means "without name" and follows the Renaissance tradition of naming certain compositions "Sine Nomine" if they were not settings for preexisting tunes.

Equipped with a "walking" bass, SINE NOMINE is a glorious marching tune for this great text. Many consider this tune to be among the finest of twentieth-century hymn tunes (it is, perhaps, the cathedral's equivalent to “When the Saints Go Marching In”). Allowing the "alleluia" phrase to enter before our expectation of it is a typical and very effective Vaughan Williams touch.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, SINE NOMINE

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Burkhardt, Michael  As Though the Whole Creation Cried  vol. 2. Morningstar MSM-10-606 [2009]
  • Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9190 [1964]
  • Sowerby, Leo. Ten Hymn Tune Descants. H.W.Grey CMR 2838 [1965]
  • Wilkinson, John T. One Hundred and Four Descants for “The Hymn Book”. enThusia [1980]
  • Winn, Cyril. 41 Descants to Familiar Hymn Tunes. Oxford [1961]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Stephen P. Starke © 1991 Stephen P. Starke, admin. Concordia Publishing House
  • Music (SINE NOMINE 10.10.10 with alleluias): Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net.
    • Music: The Music is in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint the music.

84E: How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1085 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, BROTHER JAMES’ AIR.

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 [1995]
  • Mawby, Colin. Hymns for Occasions. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0-86209-568-9 [1994]
  • Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 [1991]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

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

Copyright Information:

  • Words: sts. 1, 2, and opt. st. Scottish Psalter, 1650; sts. 3 and 4 Carl P. Daw Jr. (b. 1944) © 1982 Hope Publishing Company
  • Music (BROTHER JAMES' AIR 8.6.8.6.8.6): J. L. Macbeth Bain (1840-1925), harm. Gordon Jacob (1895-1984). Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.
  • Reprint Information:

84F: A Responsorial Setting

Other Resources:

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

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 84
  • Music: Thomas Pavlechko, based on music by Johannes Brahms, from Psalter for Worship, Cycle C © 1997 Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Psalm Text: from Evangelical Lutheran Worship © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin. Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Tone: from Psalter for Worship, Cycle C © 1996 Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net.
    • When reprinting the Psalm Text and Tone, please use the correct copyright line.