Click to enlargeBuilt on the Rock (SATBB a cappella)

Built on the Rock, the church doth stand (KIRKEN) is a Danish hymn that came into use in Lutheran churches in the United States through the translation efforts of Rev. Carl Doving. With a melody in a minor key, it is in the minority among hymns in general, and especially among hymns of Scandinavian origin. The tune well fits the subject matter, however, and it has became a favorite among many denominations.

The men handle most of the first stanza, and after a simple key change device, the treble voices sing the most of the melody of the second stanza over a hummed accompaniment by the men.

The third stanza follows yet another key change device. The text chosen here is not in common use by very many churches, but led to ending this arrangement in quiet contemplation.

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Built on the Rock the Church doth stand,
Even when steeples are falling;
Crumbled have spires in ev'ry land-
Bells still are chiming and calling,
Calling the young and old to rest,
Calling the souls of men distressed,
Longing for life everlasting.

Surely in temples made with hands
God the Most High is not dwelling;
High in the heav'ns His temple stands,
All earthly temples excelling;
Yet He who dwells in heav'n above
Deigns to abide with us in love,
Making our bodies His temple.
Making our bodies His temple.

Through all the passing years, O Lord,
Grant that when church-bells are ringing
Many may come to hear Your word,
Where You this promise are bringing:
"I know My own, My own know Me,
You, not the world, My face will see;
My peace I leave with you.
My peace I leave with you."
Amen.

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MP3 sound sample: entire piece (syntehsizer/midi).



BUILT ON THE ROCK by Ludwig Lindeman, lyrics by Nicolai Grundtvig, translated by Carl Doving revised by Fred C. M. Hansen, arranged by Tom Kirkland for SATBB choir, comes in a pdf file of 226K, with an nine-page score and a license page, ten pages in all. Performance time should be about 3:30.


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Last update: 27 September 2017