Sunday, August 12, 2018

From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee

From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee

The above version is to the tune of Martin Luther's Austiefer Not.  Our church sings the contemporary tune by Indelible Grace.  
 Lyrics and music by Martin Luther 1523
One of Luther’s earliest compositions was “From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee,” a paraphrase of Psalm 130 (Aus tiefer Not schrei’ ich zu dir, LSB 607).  He wrote this hymn in 1523, around the time that he was revising the Latin Mass.  Near the end of the year Luther wrote a letter to George Spalatin, the court chaplain to Elector Frederick the Wise and encouraged Spalatin to compose German hymns based on the Psalms.  He enclosed “From Depths of Woe” as an example.  Little did Luther know that a few short years later in 1525 that same hymn would be sung at Elector Frederick’s funeral.  It was also sung at the funeral of Frederick’s successor, Elector John the Steadfast, in 1532.” -Lutheran Reformation.org

From depths of woe I raise to Thee
The voice of lamentation;
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me
And hear my supplication;
If Thou iniquities dost mark,
Our secret sins and misdeeds dark,
O who shall stand before Thee?

To wash away the crimson stain,
Grace, grace alone availeth;
Our works, alas! are all in vain;
In much the best life faileth:
No man can glory in Thy sight,
All must alike confess Thy might,
And live alone by mercy.

Therefore my trust is in the Lord,
And not in mine own merit;
On Him my soul shall rest, His Word
Upholds my fainting spirit:
His promised mercy is my fort,
My comfort, and my sweet support;
I wait for it with patience.

What though I wait the livelong night,
And till the dawn appeareth,
My heart still trusteth in His might;
It doubteth not nor feareth:
Do thus, O ye of Israel’s seed,
Ye of the Spirit born indeed;
And wait till God appeareth.

Though great our sins and sore our woes,
His grace much more aboundeth;
His helping love no limit knows,
Our utmost need it soundeth.
Our Shepherd good and true is He,
Who will at last His Israel free.
From all their sin and sorrow.



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