The story behind “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation” involves the contributions of two individuals: Joachim Neander and Catherine Winkworth.
Joachim Neander, a German Reformed theologian and hymn writer, composed the original hymn in German titled “Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren” in the late 17th century. Neander drew inspiration for his hymn from Psalm 103, which speaks of praising and exalting the Lord.
Neander’s hymn gained popularity in Germany and eventually caught the attention of Catherine Winkworth, an English translator and hymnologist. Winkworth was passionate about bringing German hymns into the English-speaking world, as she recognized the depth and beauty of German hymnody.
In the mid-19th century, Winkworth translated Neander’s hymn into English and included it in her collection of translated hymns, “Lyra Germanica.” Her translation, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation,” aimed to retain the original meaning and spirit of Neander’s hymn while making it accessible to English-speaking congregations.
Winkworth’s collection gained popularity in England and the United States, and her translation of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” became widely sung and loved within Protestant worship traditions. The hymn’s powerful and uplifting lyrics, coupled with a memorable melody composed by an unknown source, contributed to its enduring popularity.
Throughout the years, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” has been included in numerous hymnals across different Christian denominations. Its message of praise, adoration, and trust in God’s power and goodness continues to resonate with worshippers worldwide.
The story of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation” exemplifies the collaborative effort between Neander, the original composer, and Winkworth, the translator who brought the hymn to a wider audience. Their combined contributions have resulted in a beloved hymn that has stood the test of time and continues to inspire and uplift people in their worship of God.