I always try to "do a hymn" for Thanksgiving, and was planning on doing some fancy "Anglican thing" for this hymn, but then I looked at the "original version," so, this is the one I did. I also tried to play it in the "Dutch" or "German-style," or at least what I perceive that to be, so, forgive me (or correct me) if I got it wrong.
The wonderful words were written by Martin Rinkart (Martin Rinkart, or Rinckart (1586 – 1649). He was a Lutheran clergyman and hymnist, and is best known for the text to "Now thank we all our God" (Nun danket alle Gott), which was written ca. 1636. He was a deacon at Eisleben and archdeacon at Eilenburg, where he was born and also died. He served there during the Thirty Years' War and a severe plague in 1637.
The holy and special words were set to music by Johann Crüger (1598 – 1662) about 1647. He was cantor of the Nikolaikirche in Berlin, and composed numerous concert works and wrote extensively on music education. In 1643 he became acquainted with the famous hymn writer Paul Gerhardt, for whom he wrote the music for various hymns.
The splendid translation is by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878).
(A full verse of introduction, with the tune played upon the famous Cornet of the Rugwerk.)
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
Photos of Rinkart, Crüger, and Winkworth are attached.