Listen to the beginner piano arrangement of Now Thank We All Our God.
Now Thank We All Our God is a German hymn written around 1636 by Martin Rinkart. It was translated into English in the 19th century by Catherine Winkworth.
Martin Rinkart was a Lutheran minister who lived in Eilenburg, Saxony, during the Thirty Years’ War. The Rinkart home was a refuge for the victims, even though he was often hard-pressed to provide for his own family. During the height of a severe plague in 1637, Rinkart was the only surviving pastor in his city, conducting as many as 50 funerals in a day. He performed more than 4,000 funerals in that year, including that of his wife.
The tune is the Leuthen Chorale and is attributed to Johann Crüger, 1647. It is used in J.S. Bach’s cantatas and the harmonization was composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840. The hymn became one of Germany’s most popular hymns. After the Battle of Leuthen (1757) during the Seven Years’ War, a soldier of the victorious Prussian army started to sing it and soon all 25,000 joined in the hymn!