Preserve Thy holy church, O Lord,
From ev’ry strife and all discord
That pure and holy she may be
To sing Thy praise eternally.
Grant doctrine pure that she may stand
Against the foes on ev’ry hand –
They seek to slay Thy truth outright
And fill the church with falsehood’s blight.
O heav’nly Truth please dwell herein
So that Thy bride be kept from sin;
Defend from all satanic wiles,
And purge all error which beguiles.
Defiling masses press us sore,
And heretics sprout all the more
When purely preached, Lord, is Thy word;
Thy church thence crieth, “Come quicly Lord!”
Chief Shepherd come so that at length
We my be guarded by Thy strength;
Repel each error by Thy stave,
And us from all th’impious save.
Man’s pride is great – Lord it subdue,
For it doth war ‘gainst all that’s true!
It seeks to cast o’er Christ a shade,
‘Tis only curbed by heav’nly aid.
Our pride it also wars within;
It brings us doubt so that we sin.
We think we’re wise, and e’en so bold
To tell Thee how to guide Thy fold.
Our aid is Christ, who tarrieth not
For He removeth ev’ry blot,
He too doth end His bride’s lament
By means of Word and Sacrament.
We know that Thou defendest us
And so our gladness shall be thus –
That of Thy Church Thou art the guide
For she came forth from Thy riv’n side.
This consolation standeth e’er
That Christ shall always be with her.
He is the best and trusty One,
The Overseer who leads from heav’n.
O Christ we know what the truth is,
And our confession shall be this:
“A holy Christian church shall be
On earth and through eternity.”