April 26, 2005

46R God of All Majesty and Might

Original Name: "Lord of All Majesty and Might," George Wallace Briggs (1933), VATER UNSER, 8.8.8.8.8.8., later form of melody in V. Schumann’s Gesangbuch (1539), harmony by J.S. Bach; New Name: "God of All Majesty and Might," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Briggs was an English Anglican priest, born in 1875. The title echoes "In thine hand is power and might," 1 Chronicles 29:12; the "unfathomed deep" of the lyrics seems to correlate with Psalm 95:4, "In [God's] hand are the deep places of the earth." The last verse seems to take from Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:9, "for we know in part, and we prophesy in part." The Imago Dei is echoed in verse four, from Genesis 1:27. The discussion of wisdom in verse 2 resonantes with the passages "Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom," Job 36:5 and "God only wise," Romans 16:27a. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal.

VATER UNSER (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. God of all maj~es-ty and might,
Whose pres-ence fills th'un-fathom-ed deep,
Where-in un-count-ed worlds of light
through count-less a-ges vi-gil keep;
E-ter-nal One, can such as we,
Frail mor-tal souls, know aught of thee?

2. Be-yond all know~ledge thou art wise,
With wis-dom that trans-cends all thought;
Yet still we seek with strain-ing eyes,
Yea, seek as our an-ces-tors sought;
Nor will we from the quest de-part,
Til we shall know thee as thou art.


3. Frail though our form,~and brief our day,
Our mind has bridged the gulf of years,
Our pu-ny ba-lan-ces can weigh,
The mag-ni-tude of star-ry spheres:
With-in us is e-ter-ni-ty;
Whence come this, O God, but from thee?


4. For when thy wond~rous works we scan,
And mind gives ans-wer back to mind,
Thine im-age shines in the hu-man;
And seek-ing we shall sure-ly find.
Mor-tals, our her-i-tage we claim;
Shall not thy child-ren know thy name?


5. We know in part;~e-nough we know
to walk with thee, and walk a-right;
And thou shalt guide us as we go,
And lead us in-to full-er light,
Til when we stand be-fore thy throne,
We know at last as we are known. A-men.

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December 08, 2005

210R A Voice by Jordan's Shore

Original Title: "A Voice by Jordan's Shore," Samuel Longfellow (1864), CAMBRIDGE (S.M.), Ralph Harrison (c. 1784), alt.; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), ST. AUGUSTINE (S.M.D.), from Chorale Songs for Four Voices (1769). Samuel Longfellow, a Unitarian poet, edited the first Hymns of the Spirit (1864); this hymn appeared therein. The hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. The lyrics speak to what in Greek is called "metanoia," or what is misleadingly translated as "repentance" in English. Longfellow chose "reform," which is closer to the mark; this new version includes variations on "re-think," lest there be any taint of overly zealous piety. "Metanoia" cried out both John the Baptist in Matthew 3:2, as well as Jesus in Mark 1:15, "the reign of God is near, be new-minded (i.e., repent, or literally, re-think) and believe in this good news." The Jordan and a "baptism of repentance," and a "voice" in the wilderness, elements in the hymn, are all mentioned in Luke 3:3-4.

ST. AUGUSTINE (S.M.D.)

1. A voice by Jor-dan's shore,
'Be new-mind-ed' I hear:
Re-form, re-think, be just e're-more;
God's grac-es ere draw near.
A voice in Gal-i-lee:
'A new mind' now the cheer;
Love God, and neigh-bor too, for see,
God's mer-cies ere draw near.

2. O voice of du-ty, still
speak forth, I hear with awe;
With you I trust a sove-reign will,
o-bey an in-ner law.
O high-er voice of love,
yet speak a word in me;
Through du-ty let me up-ward move,
to your pure li-ber-ty!


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July 12, 2006

608R Soon God's Redeeming Grace Will Come

Title: "Soon God's Redeeming Grace Will Come," Anonymous, rev. REH (2006), WINCHESTER NEW, L.M., Musikalisches Handbuch (1690). Based on Psalm 85:9-13. The original hymn, which does not appear in Hymns of the Spirit Two (1937), is entitled "Lord, Thou Hast Greatly Blessed Our Land," Anonymous, REPENTANCE, L.M., Theodore E. Perkins (1831-1912). Psalm 85, or parts thereof, constitutes a lectionary reading for Proper 14A/Ordinary 19A, Advent 2B, Proper 10B/Ordinary 15B, and Proper 12C/Ordinary 17C.

WINCHESTER NEW (L.M.)

1. Soon God's re-deem-ing grace will come;
all souls new-mind-ed will be-come;
and glo-ry through our land shall dwell,
when we do heed Love's teach-ings well.

2. Now truth a-grees with mer-cy's bliss;
the law and peace come forth to kiss;
be-hold the truth from earth a-rise,
with jus-tice shin-ing from the skies.

3. The Ho-ly will send bles-sings down;
green har-vests all the land shall crown;
wide whole-some-ness be-fore us lies;
our sure foot-steps are Life's sur-mise. A-men.

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