Be Still My Soul

About This Arrangement

Full organ pipes wide in a wide shot

Some Notes

  • The tune for this hymn is also known by the name Finlandia
  • The most well-known composition of Jean Sibelius
  • Originally written as a patriotic hymn for the Finnish people
  • The words to the Christian hymn Be Still My Soul were written in 1752 by Katharina von Schlegel and translated to English in 1855 by Jane Borthwick
  • Several Christian hymns, including this one, are commonly sung using the melody of Finlandia
  • I originally wrote this arrangement as a clarinet and flute duet with piano accompaniment
  • Arranged as an organ solo/prelude to use regularly in church meetings
  • One of Kathy’s favorite hymns
A closeup of an organ keyboard and stops

More Background Behind This Arrangement

This hymn arrangement was originally drafted as a clarinet and flute duet with piano accompaniment. I liked the arrangement so much I adapted it to the organ for regular use in church meetings. It is interesting to note that this hymn is part of a larger orchestral work that premiered in Finland in 1899. Sibelius’s composition represents the struggle of the Finnish people to gain their independence from Russia, which occurred during the composer’s lifetime. This hymn appears at the end of the piece and provides a calm contrast at the end of an otherwise rousing and turbulent composition.

The text for the Christian hymn Be Still My Soul, which is commonly sung to the tune of Finlandia, is about finding peace during the turbulent and trying times of life through the placing of one’s faith and trust in God. We may not know all the details regarding when or how our difficult times will end. What we can be assured of is that God loves us, is aware of us and will never leave us alone in our trials. He will cause things to work for our good and cause our struggles to make us more refined, patient, compassionate and grateful. Through our faith in Him we can receive the peace we seek during times of trial and uncertainty in our lives. Many people enjoy my arrangement of this hymn and find the words and music of this hymn to be comforting and calming during times of trial. This is one of my most favorite hymns.

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