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From the Director of Music – Earth & All Stars

As September begins, teachers and students are heading back to school.  One of my favorite hymns to sing at back to school time is Earth and All Stars.  On its surface, Earth and All Stars is one of the stranger texts in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal.  With phrases like “Loud rushing planets!”, or “Loud boiling test tubes!”, or even “Engines and steel! Loud pounding hammers!” you may be asking why on earth are we singing this hymn.  However after a brief history lesson in hymnody one can see the beauty of these phrases and why we sing it in church.

Herbert Brokering’s text, “Earth and All Stars,” calls the universe to unite and “Sing to the Lord a new song.”  In addition to addressing the natural universe that Psalm 148 catalogs (“mountains and hills,” “beasts and cattle,” “birds of the air,” etc.), “Earth and All Stars” also calls on music, industry, construction, education, sports, and philosophy, the entire human enterprise, to join the song.  Each image is bound together by the recurring phrase found in each stanza, “Sing to the Lord a new song!  He has done marvelous things.  I too will praise him with a new song!”

Brokering, a Lutheran minister born in 1926, composed this text in 1964 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of St. Olaf College.  With phrases like “Classroom and labs!” and “Athlete and band!” it is easy to see the academic world references in stanzas four and five.  As our children and teachers return to school it is particularly appropriate to send us out singing this hymn.


Classrooms and labs!

Loud boiling test tubes!

Sing to the Lord a new song!

Athlete and band!

Loud cheering people!

Sing to the Lord a new song!


God has done marvelous things.

I too sing praises with a new song!

One thought on “From the Director of Music – Earth & All Stars

  1. Cynthia O'Connell says:


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