~* WHEN MORNING GILDS THE SKIES *~
German hymn, c. 1800
Translated by Edward Caswall, 1814-1878

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 34:1

Forms of worship services vary according to the cultural backgrounds, personalities, and traditions of the believers. Some Christians feel that true worship is best achieved when it is conducted in a highly structured meditative setting. Other believers prefer a more free, spontaneous, informal praise and testimony type worship time. Forms of worship are not important in themselves if and when they are within the bounds of Scriptural conduct. In fact, a variety of worship forms is healthy within the Christian community. However, we must never get so caught up in the forms and means of worship that we fail to focus on the object of all worship--the praise of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ!

One of the important sources of English hymnody is the wealth of worthy hymns translated from earlier Greek, Latin, and German sources during the mid 19th Century. Many English writers' interest in the hymns from these other cultures was largely a part of a movement within the Anglican church known as the Oxford Movement. The rediscovery of earlier and ancient hymns became especially important during this time. One of the leaders of this movement was Edward Caswall, a well-known scholar, minister, and translator. Caswall is also the translator of another important hymn about our Lord, "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee". Throughout his life Caswall kept adding new verses to "May Jesus Christ Be Praised" until eventually this hymn included 28 stanzas, though I was "only" able to find 15 at The Cyber-Hymnal *_*

These words still have an important place in our church services as they direct our attention to the basic purpose of all worship.


When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Whene'er the sweet church bell peals over hill and dell,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
O hark to what it sings, as joyously it rings,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

My tongue shall never tire of chanting with the choir,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
This song of sacred joy, it never seems to cloy,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

To God, the Word on high, the host of angels cry,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let mortals, too, upraise their voice in hymns of praise,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this at meals your grace in every time and place;
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this, when day is past, of all your thoughts the last
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When mirth for music longs, this is my song of songs:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evening shadows fall, this rings my curfew call,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When sleep her balm denies my silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest with this I shield my breast,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

The night becomes as day when from the heart we say:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear when this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

No lovelier antiphon in all high Heavín is known
Than, Jesus Christ be praised!
There to th'eternal Word th'eternal psalm is heard:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Let all the earth around ring joyous with the sound:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
In Heavenís eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Sing, suns and stars of space, sing, ye that see His face,
Sing, Jesus Christ be praised!
Godís whole creation oíer, for aye and evermore
Shall Jesus Christ be praised!

In Heavenís eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea and sky from depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!



*For Today*: Psalm 5:3, 57:7, 69:34; John 14:6 & 9, 20:31; Revelation 11:15, 17:14

What does the term worship mean to you? Is your understanding founded on the praise of Christ? Identify activities in a church service as well as in our own devotional lives that are often substituted for the true worship of God. Determine to praise Christ throughout the day with this hymn.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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