The Lord had made them joyful…to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God. Ezra 6:22
Words: The words were inspired by a prayer said by a deacon during the Lord’s Supper in the Liturgy of Malabar, a 5th Century Nestorian rite of the Mar Thomas Christians on the southern coast of India. Translated from Syriac to English by Charles W. Humphreys & Percy Dearmer in The English Hymnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1906), number 329.
Music: Ach Gott und Herr in As Hymnodus Sacer, edited by Christian Gall (Leipzig, Germany: 1625). Adapted & harmonized by Johann S. Bach (🔊 pdf nwc).
Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands
That holy things have taken;
Let ears that now have heard thy songs
To clamor never waken.
Lord, may the tongues which
Keep free from all deceiving;
The eyes which saw Thy love be bright
Thy blessèd hope perceiving.
The feet that tread Thy holy courts
From light do Thou not banish;
The bodies by Thy body fed
With Thy new life replenish.