Now Thank We All Our God
Our closing hymn, NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD, was written by Martin Rinkart in 1636 in the midst of the famine, pestilence and destruction of the Thirty Year’s War. For some time he was the only pastor in the walled city of Eilenburg in Saxony. Many people in the city were casualties of the war or victims of hunger or illness. During the great pestilence of 1637, Rinkart ministered to the people of the city and conducted 4,500 burial services, sometimes as many as forty or fifty a day. One of them was for his wife.
Rinkart’s sturdy faith is reflected in the lines of the hymn. The first stanza is an expression of thanksgiving for the blessings of God. The second is a petition for God’s care and keeping, and the final stanza is a doxology, praising the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The German text was translated into English in 1858.