April 01, 2005
24R Peace Be To This Congregation
Original Title: "Peace Be To This Congregation," adapted from Charles Wesley, LOBT DEN HERRN, DIE MORGENSONNE, 22.214.171.124., from Naue's Choralbuch (1829); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), ST. MABYN, 126.96.36.199., Arthur H. Brown. Brown was a figure in the Oxford Movement, and led the way for the return of plainchant and Gregorian music in Anglican worship services in the late 19th century. The lyrics here echo Phillipians 4:7, Isaiah 48:18, 66:12. They do not appear in either The New Century Hymnal nor in Singing the Living Tradition.
1. Peace be to this con-gre-ga-tion!
Peace be to each heart there-in!
Peace, the earn-est of sal-va-tion;
peace, the fruit of for-given sin.
2. Peace, that speaks the heaven-ly giv-er;
peace, to world-ly minds un-known;
peace, so flow-ing as a riv-er
from th'e-ter-nal source a-lone.
3. O God of Sweet Peace be near us,
fix with-in our hearts your home;
With your bright ap-pear-ing cheer us,
in your bless-ed free-dom come.
4. Come with all your re-ve-la-tions,
truth which we so long have sought;
Come with your deep con-so-la-tions;
Peace of God which pass-es thought!
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Posted by rehurst at April 1, 2005 12:52 AM
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Can you enlighten me as to the St. Mabyn connection with this hymn?
Posted by: Andy Titcomb at November 17, 2006 01:08 PM
I can only speculate, but I do have a theory. The composer Arthur H. Brown (who died, at least according to the English Hymnal, in 1926) may or may not have had an actual connection to your St. Mabyn's, but I know of none. He seems to have fancied the names of early saints, not well-known to us, and at least with some connection to hymns or hymn-writing. For example, ST. ANATOLIUS, which appears in the English Hymnal, is the name of a saint from the early church, the fifth century, to whom hymn tunes are attributed. This is what the website www.earlybritishkingdoms.com has this to say about St. Mabena, which apparently is an alternate spelling of Mabyn (which it seems is the Welsh version):
(Born circa AD 474)
(Welsh: Mabyn; Latin: Mabena; English: Mabon)
St. Mabena was one of the many daughters of King Brychan Brycheiniog who evangelized Northern Cerniw (Cornwall). She lived as a hermitess worshipping in a little chapel in the parish of St. Mabyn near Wadebridge, probably at Treveglos (Paul's Ground). She died on 18th November, around AD 550, and was buried in the parish church. She had her own hymn at St. Mabyn which the locals used to sing, celebrating her virtues and those of her twenty-three siblings.
So it would seem St. Mabyn too (I cannot help but notice this is in Cornwall) was an early hymn-writer of the church; this would comport with Arthur H. Brown's pattern of naming hymns after such distant yet esteemed musicians from the past (this would likewise seem to coincide with Brown's interest in reviving older forms of church music, such as plainchant and Gregorian chant). Other examples would include the hymn tunes Brown wrote and entitled ST. JOHN DAMASCENE (last of the Greek Fathers, lived in the 7th century, wrote three hymns still used in English), ST. SOPHRONIUS (7th century Patriarch of Jerusalem who wrote the hymn translated into English as "O Joyous Light"), and ST. AUSTELL (St. Mabyn's sister, who I can only surmise must have had her own musical talents).
Posted by: Richard Hurst at December 30, 2006 06:07 PM