Even though I no longer associate myself with a particular church and really question a lot about religion these days, religious themed music still moves me. There is one hymn that still puts me in a place of contemplation and deep peace. It is called “Be Still My Soul.”
The words were written by Katherina A. Von Schlegel in 1752 with music composed by Jean Sibelius in 1899. The scriptural reference to the song is from Psalm 46:10 “Be Still and Know that I am God.” The music is what adds the power to the verse that Sibelius added from his music Finlandia.
I sometimes feel so moved that I weep because it touches something in my spiritual center. Then in that moment I gain some enlightenment. I love when music can bring me to those places-to the stillness where inspiration happens.
Here are the words:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.
Here are three versions of the song. The first one is performed by Libera. The second one is performed by the BYU Men’s Chorus from my Alma Mater with slightly changed lyrics called I love the Lord. The last one is performed by David Archuleta ( American Idol runner up) who sang it at his church.