Omnes gentes. Psalm 47
O clap your hands together, all ye people: O sing unto God with the voice of melody. For the Lord is high and to be feared: he is the great king upon all the earth. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. O clap your hands . . .
Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[Psalm 34] Come, ye children, and hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. They had an eye unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
Alleluia, alleluia. [Psalm 47] O clap your hands together, all ye people: sing unto God with the voice of melody. Alleluia
St. Mark 8:1–9
In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
[Psalm 18] Thou shalt save the people that are in adversity, O Lord, and shalt bring down the high looks of the proud: for who is God, but the Lord?
[Psalm 31] Bow down thine ear: make haste to deliver us.
Below are plainsong renditions of the Psalms as published in the Saint Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter.
Christopher Tye, Omnes gentes plaudite manibus
Giovanni Gabrieli, Omnes gentes plaudite manibus
Orlando Gibbons, O clap your hands
Ralph Vaughan Williams, O clap your hands
Philip Moore, O clap your hands
Both the Introit and the Alleluia include the first verse of Psalm 47, which contains many references to the elements of music: clapping, singing, melody, a merry noise, and the sound of a trump(et). That proliferation of musical allusions may account for the large number of settings of this Psalm to music. A setting by Christopher Tye (c.1505 – before 1573) of Psalm 47, Omnes gentes plaudite manibus (“O clap your hands, all people”), presents an early post-Reformation anthem by one of the most influential English composers of his day. The score is available here. It is sung in the recording below by the Choir of New College, Oxford, conducted by Edward Higginbottom.
As one of the superstars of the Venetian School of composition — centered in the ceremonial and liturgy at the Cathedral San Marco — Giovanni Gabrieli (1553-1612) created a large body of elaborate pieces with multiple choirs, alternating with instruments and soloists. Such is the case in his 16-voice setting of Omnes gentes plaudite manibus (“O clap your hands, all people”), which includes most of the verses from Psalm 47. The score is available here. Below this work is sung by the Gabrieli Consort and Choir, conducted by Paul McCreesh.
First performed in 1622 at a ceremony in Oxford when Gibbons and his friend William Heyther received the degree of Doctor of Music, one source states that Gibbons wrote O clap your hands as a qualifying exercise for the degree. The anthem is composed for 8 parts, and uses most of the verses from Psalm 47. It is sung in the performance below by the Oxford Camerata, conducted by Jeremy Summerly.
In 1920, Ralph Vaughan Williams composed an anthem based on verses 1, 2, and 5–8 of Psalm 47. It is scored for a four-part choir, organ, brass, and percussion. The anthem is sung here by the Christ Church Cathedral Choir, directed by Stephen Darlington.
In 2016, the Archbishop of Canterbury awarded organist and composer Philip Moore (b. 1943) the Cranmer Award for Worship “for his contribution to the English choral tradition as a composer, arranger and performer.” In 2018, Moore was commissioned by the ensemble The King’s Six to compose an anthem to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Moore used the text from Psalm 47 for the occasion.
The following poem is from John Keble’s The Christian Year (1827).
From whence can a man satisfy these men
with bread here in the wilderness?
St. Mark viii. 4.
Go not away, thou weary soul:
Heaven has in store a precious dole
Here on Bethsaida’s cold and darksome height,
Where over rocks and sands arise
Proud Sirion in the northern skies,
And Tabor’s lonely peak, ’twixt thee and noonday light.
And far below, Gennesaret’s main
Spreads many a mile of liquid plain,
(Though all seem gathered in one eager bound,)
Then narrowing cleaves you palmy lea,
Towards that deep sulphureous sea,
Where five proud cities lie, by one dire sentence drowned.
Landscape of fear! yet, weary heart,
Thou need’st not in thy gloom depart,
Nor fainting turn to seek thy distant home:
Sweetly thy sickening throbs are eyed
By the kind Saviour at thy side;
For healing and for balm e’en now thine hour is come.
No fiery wing is seen to glide,
No cates ambrosial are supplied,
But one poor fisher’s rude and scanty store
Is all He asks (and more than needs)
Who men and angels daily feeds,
And stills the wailing sea-bird on the hungry shore.
The feast is o’er, the guests are gone,
And over all that upland lone
The breeze of eve sweeps wildly as of old—
But far unlike the former dreams,
The heart’s sweet moonlight softly gleams
Upon life’s varied view, so joyless erst and cold.
As mountain travellers in the night,
When heaven by fits is dark and bright,
Pause listening on the silent heath, and hear
Nor trampling hoof nor tinkling bell,
Then bolder scale the rugged fell,
Conscious the more of One, ne’er seen, yet ever near:
So when the tones of rapture gay
On the lorn ear, die quite away,
The lonely world seems lifted nearer heaven;
Seen daily, yet unmarked before,
Earth’s common paths are strewn all o’er
With flowers of pensive hope, the wreath of man forgiven.
The low sweet tones of Nature’s lyre
No more on listless ears expire,
Nor vainly smiles along the shady way
The primrose in her vernal nest,
Nor unlamented sink to rest
Sweet roses one by one, nor autumn leaves decay.
There’s not a star the heaven can show,
There’s not a cottage-hearth below,
But feeds with solace kind the willing soul—
Men love us, or they need our love;
Freely they own, or heedless prove
The curse of lawless hearts, the joy of self-control.
Then rouse thee from desponding sleep,
Nor by the wayside lingering weep,
Nor fear to seek Him farther in the wild,
Whose love can turn earth’s worst and least
Into a conqueror’s royal feast:
Thou wilt not be untrue, thou shalt not be beguiled.
The following hymn is from Bp. Christopher Wordsworth’s The Holy Year; or Hymns for Sundays and Holy Days throughout the Year (1862).
Seventh Sunday after Trinity
“Neither will I offer burnt Sacrifices unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing.’” First Lesson for the Evening. — 2 Sam. xxiv. 24. I Chron. xxi. 24.
LORD, not with poor and paltry gifts,
And costless offerings,
Approach we to Thy Throne of Grace,
Thou King of kings.
Thy Salem saw the Patriarch come
An only Son to slay,
O make us on Thine altar, Lord,
Our Isaac lay.
There David said, “I serve not God
With that which costs me nought”
So may our best by us to Thee,
O Lord, be brought.
Salem beheld Thy Temple rise
In state magnifical;
May we be Temples, Lord, to Thee,
Who givest all.
There God the Father gave the Son,
The Son His Life did give,
That we by His most precious Death
Might ever live.
O spare not silver, grudge not gold,
That perishable pelf,
But freely give to Him, who gave
For vou Himself
And Salem saw the Holy Ghost
Come down in golden shower;
What gifts can we present to Him
For that blest dower ?
Bring Mary’s ointment, Widows’ mites
Into God’s treasury cast,
And never with a Judas say,
“Wherefore this waste?”
So may we like true Israelites
With joy to Salem come,
And Treasure, House, and Father, have
In Heaven our Home.
To God the Father Praises give.
And Praise to God the Son,
O Praise the Holy Spirit, Praise
The Three in One.