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Whate’er my God ordains is right: his holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er he does, and follow where he guideth.
He is my God; though dark my road, he holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to him I leave it all, wherefore to him I leave it all.Samuel Rodigast (1675)
It seems right that such an incredible hymn stands alone and does not have a distracting story to draw us away from its glories. The story of Samuel Rodigast is simply one of a man taking time to encourage a friend who was in the midst of a trial. Rodigast was born in Gröben near Jena in Germany in 1649. He was the son of a pastor and became a teacher and pastor himself. It is believed that Rodigast wrote only two hymns during his life. Whate’er My God Ordains is Right was written in 1676 to comfort a sick friend and cantor, Severus Gastorius. Gastorious requested the song be written and sung for his funeral. However, he recovered from his illness and ended up composing the original tune to Rodigast’s hymn. Originally written in German, the version we sing today was translated beautifully by Catherine Winkworth.
The tune we have chosen to sing with this hymn is a modern composition by Keith Getty and Mathew Merker written in 2018. We felt that the beauty and depth of the lyrics were best suited to this new tune and that it was the most singable of the current options. Inside scoop: We test this out by singing it a-capella, and if it seems too easy to get lost or there are too many pauses for instrumentation, we go with something that is easier to follow. He have included a variety of tunes however in our YouTube playlist. Feel free to choose one that your family and/or church feels comfortable with.
HOW WE DO HYMN OF THE MONTH
If you are new to this community, welcome! It is a great time to join in and make family worship a priority if you haven’t already. You may or may not be familiar with this hymn. Either way, we invite you to spend this month singing it and meditating on its truths.
To get you started, we’ve provided free printable lyrics, music and copywork — all found here!
You can find fresh versions of the hymn on our YouTube channel that you and your family can sing along with. There are loads of fresh versions of our favorite hymns on our hymn of the month playlist.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
When we began singing hymns with our littles about 12 years ago, we kept it simple… We prayed and sang one hymn together every night at bedtime for a whole month. At the end of that month, our toddler knew just about every verse of the hymn and was even able to join us in singing it at church! Everyone’s family rhythm is different, so we welcome you to gather up your families, for just a few minutes each day, to sing, discuss and memorize this hymn (following your daily time in the Scriptures and in prayer) whether it is first thing in the morning, or around the dinner table or before bedtime – whatever works best for your family. We would so love to know how learning this hymn is going for you! If you have a moment, let us know how it’s going by posting either a video or a photo on Instagram. Just tag it with #happyhymnody! As always, if you have any questions or if you’d like to share your heart with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
God bless you all this month as you worship and follow Jesus together as a family!
Singing along with you,