Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun (ELW 557)
1 Awake, my soul, and with the sun
thy daily stage of duty run;
shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
to pay thy morning sacrifice.
2 All praise to thee, who safe hast kept
and hast refreshed me while I slept.
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake,
I may of endless light partake.
3 Lord, I my vows to thee renew.
Disperse my sins as morning dew;
guard my first springs of thought and will;
and with thyself my spirit fill.
4 Direct, control, suggest, this day,
all I design or do or say,
that all my pow’rs, with all their might,
in thy sole glory may unite.
5 Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise God, all creatures here below;
praise God above, ye heav’nly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
During the “ordinary time” of summer months, I would sometimes select hymns for Sunday worship by inviting people to request their favorite, together with the reason it was meaningful to them.
This hymn was a favorite of my friend, David Helgen, who died in 2020 at the age of 94. David was a retired pastor, and with his impish Norwegian grin he would say that this hymn was a favorite because he had a lot of “dull sloth” to be shaken off.
Thomas Ken (1637-1711), a pastor in the Church of England, wrote this morning hymn for his students at Winchester College. The ELW includes five of the original fourteen stanzas. The fourth, asking God to “direct…all I design or do or say” fits with this week’s theme of seeking justice for our neighbor. It serves as our prayer for the day.
The final stanza is often sung by itself as “The Doxology”—and thus may be the most sung hymn stanza in English.
Gracious God, direct, control, suggest, this day, all I design or do or say, that all my pow’rs, with all their might, in thy sole glory may unite. Amen.