A Hymn of Thanksgiving

A Hymn of Thanksgiving

Lutheran pastor Martin Rinckart, served in a German town named Eilenburg that became a refuge for military and political fugitives during the Thirty Years War. Eilenburg became overcrowded with refugees who were victims of famine, and victims of the Black Plague epidemic that arrived in 1637. Pastor Rinckart buried two of the town’s four pastors on the same day and the third one fled to a healthier climate.

As the sole remaining pastor, Rinckart conducted as many as forty to fifty funeral services a day, totaling to about 4,480 funerals. While living in this town that was dominated by death, Pastor Rinckart is best known for writing this hymn:

Now thank we all our God with heart and hand and voices, Who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices; Who, from our mother’s arms, hath blessed us on our way With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today. O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us, With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us; Preserve us in his grace, and guide us when perplexed, And free us from all ills in this world and the next.


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Written by
Carolyn Humphreys, O.C.D.S.