A Mighty Fortress is our God

“A Might Fortress is Our God”, also known as “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” and “Battle Hymn of the Reformation”,  is Martin Luther’s best know hymn.  Luther composed the hymn sometime between 1527 and 1529.

The words have been translated into many languages and is a paraphrase of Psalm 46.

“A Might Fortress is Our God” is most popular among the Lutheran and Protestant traditions.  However, is has been suggested for Catholic Masses and appeared in the second edition of teh Catholic Book of Worship.

Though the most popular version is A Might Fortress is Our God, another English translation by Thomas Carlyle is also popular and begins  “A safe stronghold our God is still”.

Luther wrote the melody and titled it “Ein feste Burg”.  This original melody is extremely rhythmic and in that way differs from the melody that has been popularized through the version with lyrics.

Psalm 46 follows:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.  He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Lauren Morrow, MT-BC

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