Sunday, October 08, 2006

Be Still, My Soul

I first learned this song when I was a teenager in Ft. McMurray. A young woman in our church put together a small singing group and asked me to sing bass (thanks for the memory, Michelle). I loved the hymn, though it was some work for me to learn the bass part. The harmonies are beautiful, but the words are even better. It is a melancholy hymn, but with a realistic note of home. Verses three and five are new to me. I particularly like verse 5, but they are both welcome additions.

If you don't remember the tune, you can hear it here.

1. Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds
still know His voice Who ruled them
while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

5. Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy works and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well-pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Katharina A. von Schlegel
(b. 1697)

Public Domain

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