This chorale was published in Johann Crüger's "Gesangbuch" (Berlin 1653).
The lyrics of Paul Gerhard were sung initially with Luther's tune on 'Nun freut euch, lieben Christen, g'mein', before in 1736 the Zeitz court cantor Georg Christian Schemelli published his 'Musicalisches Gesang-Buch' in Leipzig; for which the old Bach contributed an aria-like minor melody with considerable demands on the singers for Gerhard's lyrics. Nevertheless, this tune gained popularity and entered the church hymn books.
Hans Gebhard (* 1929) studied church music and composition in Munich and musicology in Kiel. He was a church music director at the Nikolaikirche Kiel and taught choir conducting and organ at Lübeck University of Music.
His graceful, contemplative Aria from 1985 is, conforming to the melody of Bach, written in the style of his 'Schübler-chorales'; the pedal plays the melody.