Oh Blest the House Whate'er Befall (My House and I will Serve the Lord)

This hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 128, ending with a quote from Joshua 24:15.  It was originally written in German by Christopher Carl Ludwig von Pfeil (1712-84).   This English translation was made by English Unitarian educator, hymn-writer and women's rights activist, Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878).

With long meter (8 8 8 8), tunes that it has been set to include:
  • WO GOTT ZUM HAUS - the original tune, by J. Klug, published in Geistliche Lieder, Wittenberg, 1535
  • RETREAT (Hastings), by Thomas Hastings (1842)
  • HARMONY GROVE by Henry Kemble Oliver (1800-1885)
  • WAREHAM
  • ROCKINGH by CPE Bach, 1790

Downloads




Examples


Small group with light organ backing:



CCM band, live in a worship-service:



Instrumental - small orchestra:



Instrumental - organ with on-screen lyrics:


Lyrics

Traditional

1. Oh blest the house, whate'er befall,
Where Jesus Christ is All in All;
Yea, if He were not dwelling there,
How poor and dark and void it were!

2. Oh blest that house where faith ye find,
And all within have set their mind
To trust their God and serve Him still,
And do in all His holy will.

3. Blest, where their prayers daily shall rise
As fragrant incense to the skies,
While in their lives the world is taught
That forms without the heart are naught.

4. Blest, where the busy hands fulfil
Their proper task with ready skill,
While through their different works ye see
One spirit run of unity.

5. Blest such a house, it prospers well,
In peace and joy the parents dwell,
And in their children's lot is shown
How richly God can bless His own.

6. Then here will I and mine today
A solemn covenant make, and say,
Though all the world forsake Thy Word,
I and my house will serve the Lord.

Modern English

1 Oh, blest the house, whate'er befall,
Where Jesus Christ is all in all!
For if he were not dwelling there,
How sad and poor and dark it is!

2 Oh, blest that house where faith is found
And all in charity abound
To trust their God and serve him still
And do in all his holy will!

3. Blest, where their prayers daily shall rise
As fragrant incense to the skies,
While in their lives the world is taught
That works without the heart are naught.

4. Blest, where the busy hands fulfil
Their daily tasks with ready skill,
While through their different works you see
One spirit, all in unity.

5 Oh, blest that house; it prospers well!
In peace and joy the parents dwell,
And in their children’s lives is shown
How richly God can bless his own.

6 Then here will I and mine today
A solemn covenant make and say:
Though all the world for sake his Word,
My house and I will serve the Lord.

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