Hymn for Lent (Day 7): Our Father, who from heaven above
Another hymn of Martin Luther makes its appearance today. The Gospel reading appointed in the Eucharistic lectionary for today includes the Lord’s Prayer. There’s a great evening hymn in the Hymnal 1940 with a paraphrase in the final verse, but that’s not available online, due to copyright. So I give you Luther’s masterful catechetical hymn based on the Lord’s Prayer, thanks to Starke Kirkenlieder.
Our Father, who from heav’n above
Bids all of us to live in love
As members of one family
And pray to You in unity,
Teach us no thoughtless words to say
But from our inmost hearts to pray.
Your name be hallowed. Help us, Lord,
In purity to keep Your Word,
That to the glory of Your name
We walk before You free from blame.
Let no false teaching us pervert;
All poor deluded souls convert.
Your kingdom come. Guard Your domain
And Your eternal righteous reign.
The Holy Ghost enrich our day
With gifts attendant on our way.
Break Satan’s pow’r, defeat his rage;
Preserve Your Church from age to age.
Your gracious will on earth be done
As it is done before Your throne,
That patiently we may obey
Throughout our lives all that You say.
Curb flesh and blood and ev’ry ill
That sets itself against Your will.
Give us this day our daily bread
And let us all be clothed and fed.
Save us from hardship, war, and strife;
In plague and famine, spare our life,
That we in honest peace may life,
To care and greed no entrance give.
Forgive our sins, Lord, we implore,
That they may trouble us no more;
We too will gladly those forgive
Who hurt us by the way they live.
Help us in our community
To serve each other willingly.
Lead not into temptation, Lord,
Where our grim foe and all his horde
Would vex our souls on ev’ry hand.
Help us resist, help us to stand
Firm in the faith, a mighty host,
Through comfort of the Holy Ghost.
From evil, Lord, deliver us;
The times and days are perilous.
Redeem us from eternal death,
And, when we yield our dying breath,
Console us, grant us calm release,
And take our souls to You in peace.
Amen, that is, so shall it be.
Make strong our faith in You that we
May doubt not, but with trust believe
That what we ask we shall receive.
Thus in Your name and at Your Word
We say, “Amen, O hear us, Lord!”
Text: Martin Luther (1483-1546). English translator unknown.
Give a listen to Georg Böhm’s breathtaking setting of the chorale melody, “Vater Unser im Himmelreich”.