Hymn #23: All Creatures of our God and King

Lyrics: St. Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Sun: translated by William Draper.

Music: LASST UNS ERFREUEN (German hymn tune); harmony by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Theme:

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for he commanded and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever;
he gave a decree that will never pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and maidens,
old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
Psalm 148:3-13

By the way if you’ve never seen the Franco Zeffirelli film biography of St. Francis called Brother Sun, Sister Moon, I recomend it. I saw that movie when I was a teen, and I was so impressed. I taught myself to play Brother Francis’s theme song from the film on my flute.

Such lovely filmography, and a beautiful song. I’m also quite fond of All Creatures.

Brenda: “Spent many an Easter morning singing this one. Reminds me of the Resurrection!”

Jennifer, Snapshot: “In the hymnal that we use in our Bible Study Fellowship’s leadership group, there’s a verse that I don’t often see in hymnals (or online), and I love it. I’d love it to be sung at my funeral. It’s verse 6 of 7 that is listed.”

Roger Mugs: “Moon, sun, fire. All of these things have been worshiped themselves in the past and very very wrongfully. Why worship the creation when you could worship the creator? Not everyone understood the creator I suppose.
But how right it then seemed that Francis of Assisi would then turn and write this song. Saying basically, “Look, even those things you worship give their worship to our God and King.”

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voices, let us sing:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam,
Refrain:
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
ye lights of evening, find a voice,
Refrain

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for thy Lord to hear,
Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
that givest man both warmth and light,
Refrain

Dear mother earth, who day by day
unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise him, Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
let them his glory also show:
Refrain

And all ye men of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care:
Refrain

And thou, most kind and gentle death,
waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
and Christ our Lord the way hath trod:
Refrain

Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:
O praise ye! O praise ye!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Congregations can add the Doxology to All Creatures, same tune, thus:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
O praise him, Alleluia!
Praise Him above ye heavenly host!
Praise Father, SOn, and Holy Ghost!
O praise ye! O praise ye!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

David Crowder Band:

2 thoughts on “Hymn #23: All Creatures of our God and King

  1. Pingback: Scary Creatures of the Night: Vampires From the Twilight World | Twilight Blogger

  2. I completely agree with Jennifer’s comment in support and praise of the Death verse. I can’t decide how much of its exclusion from most hymnals is because of the word “Death” (and its description as “gentle”) and how much is due to hymnal editors’ desire to cut everything down to four verses, but in any event this hymn ought to be sung entire, and I too would be happy to have it sung at my memorial service (I don’t anticipate having a funeral per se).

    Haruo aka Leland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>