O Praise Him!

God has given us so many ways to rest and recharge our spirit on this beautiful planet. The more adventurous among us might head to the beach during summer to surf, or hit the slopes during winter for some snowboard action. But a simple hike in the woods with good friends can be just as energizing. For a real treat, take a drive out of the city, away from the lights, and do some serious stargazing. The universe is God’s majestic palette!

One of Saint Francis’ gifts was his sense of awe for sacred creation. According to legend, he lived in peace with animals and even preached the Good News to them. He spoke gratefully of Brother Sun and Sister Moon. He was also a poet, and one of his texts was handed down to us in the hymn, All Creatures of Our God and King.

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Bright burning sun with golden beams,
Soft silver moon that gently gleams,
O praise him! O praise him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The melody associated with this text is a traditional hymn tune that is commonly played on the organ. Composer and arranger Rick Modlin created a contemporary setting that makes this grand old song soar on guitar and piano. Give it a listen and imagine your contemporary choir taking off with it.

This song, like many in the new edition of Spirit & Song is an answer to the request from choir directors and youth ministers far and wide, asking for the traditional repertoire of the Church alongside the songs of contemporary composers. These traditional hymns have been given a fresh arrangement, and I am looking forward to sharing them here on Spirit Spot from time to time.

God is ever ancient yet always new, inspiring us through tradition to put on the new life of Christ. May our hymnody reflect the vast repertoire of Christianity and inspire people of all generations to sing praise to the God of the universe!

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