Commissioned Hymn

“What Joyous Song Unfolding”

As part of ALCM’s 25th anniversary celebration, a hymn text was commissioned. The new hymn by Susan Palo Cherwien celebrates the role of music in the church’s life and ministry. “What Joyous Song Unfolding” has been set to the Finnish tune ‘Noormarkku.’ This tune appeared in Lutheran Book of Worship (#384) in an alternate accompaniment/harmonization by Richard Hillert.

What Joyous Song Unfolding   TIF files:  harmony   melody

Intonation on Noormarkku from the Finnish Hymnal 1910

Choral & instrumental resources related to Noormarkku


What Joyous Song Unfolding

What joyous song unfolding
Has called us in the night;
What loving voice imploring
Has drawn us into light:
The voice of God is singing,
The heartbeat of the spheres;
It echoes in all being
And calls us still to hear.

The mountains sing the story;
The forests clap their hands;
The stars sing forth God’s glory;
The seas, the hills, the lands.
Shall we alone be silent?
Shall we not sing God’s praise,
Whose song is ever present,
Whose voice enchants our days?

Then let us breathe together
To praise the God of Life,
And so conspire to sunder
Disharmony and strife,
That sighing cede to singing,
And beauty life renew;
That wisdom tune our being,
And love all fear subdue.

God, may our hearts be grateful,
And may our words be true.
May all our songs be noble
And draw us deep in you,
That singing holy stories,
More holy we become,
Transposed into like spirits
To be your loving home.

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Text copyright (c) 2011 Susan Palo Cherwien
September 11, 2011
Commissioned for the 25th anniversary
of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
Tune: Noormarkku