March 04, 2005

4R Sing Praise to the Sovereign

Original Title: "Praise the Lord of Heaven," Thomas Briarly Brown (1844), WARUM SIND DIE THRÄNEN, 6.5.6.5.6.5.6.5., Johann Abraham Peter Schultz (1785); New Title: "Sing Praise to the Sovereign," rev. REH (2008), ST. DENIO, 11.11.11.11., Welsh Melody (1839).

ST. DENIO (11.11.11.11.)

1. Sing praise to the Sove-reign who reigns in the height;
Prais-es sing, all an-gels, sing praise, stars of light;
Sing praise, skies, and wa-ters which a-bove the skies,
When the word com-mand-ed, firm-ly did a-rise.

2. Prais-es sing, all foun-tains of the deeps and seas,
Rocks and hills and moun-tains, ce-dars and all trees;
Sing praise, clouds and va-pors, snow and hail and fire,
Stor-my wind ful-fil-ling on-ly one de-sire.

3. Sing praise, fowls and cat-tle, all queens and all kings;
Sing praise, men and wo-men, all cre-a-ted things;
For the name of God is ex-cel-lent a-lone;
On the earth, a foot-stool; o'er heav-en, a throne.

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The hymn lyrics constitue a paraphrase of Psalm 148; see also Pslam 29. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

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Below are alternative lyrics (rev. REH, 2006) that follow the original not quiet as closely, but which do undertake a more environmental message:

1. Sing praise to the Sove-reign that dwells in the heights;
Sing prais-es, all an-gels; sing praise, stars and lights;
Sing praise, skies and wa-ters; sing praise, bees and flies;
As the Word com-mands us, as ste-wards we rise.

2. Sing praise to the One that moves deeps and the seas,
Rocks, hills and the moun-tains; green ce-dars and trees;
Sing praise, clouds and va-pors; snow, hail and swift fire;
Sing praise by Earth ten-ding: ere E-den's de-sire.

3. Sing praise to the Day-spring, all flo-ra and beasts!
Sing prais-es all peo-ples, phy-si-cians and priests!
For in the di-vine name, we ev-er shall toil,
With pro-mis-es to keep, to air, shore and soil.

The download files below need to be changed to reflect several changes to the lyrics above:

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March 05, 2005

5R O Holy Angels Bright

Original Title: "Ye Holy Angels Bright," Richard Baxter (1681), DARWALL'S 148TH, 6.6.6.6.4.4.4.4., John Darwall (1770); New Title: "O Holy Angels Bright," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Baxter was a 17th century Anglican "Nonconformist." John Darwall's tune is called simply DARWALL in Hymns of the Spirit Two, a frequently used alternative title for the same piece of music. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. See Revelation 5:11, "the voice of many angels."

DARWALL'S 148TH (6.6.6.6.4.4.4.4.)

1. O ho-ly an-gels bright,
who wait at God's sure hand,
or through the realms of light
fly on di-vine com-mand,
as-sist our song,
for else the theme
too high does seem
for mor-tal tongue.

2. Let not the prais-es grow
on pros-perous heights a-lone,
but in val-leys be-low,
let the great love be known.
Let no dis-tress
curb and con-trol
my wing-ed soul
and praise sup-press.

3. My soul, O bear your part,
tri-umph in God a-bove,
and with a well-tuned heart,
O sing the songs of love.
Let all your days
till life shall end,
what-ever is sent,
be filled with praise. A-men.


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March 17, 2005

17R Holy, Holy, Holy

Original Title: "Holy, Holy, Holy, (Lord God Almighty)," Reginald Heber (arr.)(1826), NICAEA, 11.12.12.10, John Bacchus Dykes (1861); New Title: "Holy, Holy, Holy," arr., same hymn tune. Heber was an Anglican bishop, and the hymn tune name, NICAEA, gives a clue as to the trinitarian impulses of his original words. Unitarians have rearranged his words, omitting references to the Trinity, since at least 1848. Even the 1917 Universalist hymnal, Hymns of the Church, includes, as does Hymns of the Spirit Two, only three verses of Heber's original, with no trinitarian references. Singing the Living Tradition recasts the same three verses as no. 26, "Holy, Holy, Holy, (Author of Creation)," while The New Century Hymnal in four verses gives us "Holy, Holy, Holy, (God the Almighty). The verse regarding "cherubim and seraphim," excised from Unitarian and Universalist hymnody for centuries now, has been restored here. "Holy, holy, holy," are words addressed above in Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8, and in communion prayers in many settings.

NICAEA (11.12.12.10)

1. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! O God Al-migh-ty!
Ear-ly in the morn-ing our song shall rise to thee;
Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly, mer-ci-ful and migh-ty!
Per-fect in power, in love, and pu-ri-ty.

2. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! All the saints a-dore thee,
Cast-ing down their gol-den crowns a-round the glass-y sea;
Che-rub-im and se~raph-im fall-ing down be-fore thee,
Who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be.

3. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! though the night-fall hide thee,
hin-dered by our va-ni-ties we have not eyes to see;
On-ly thou art ho-ly; there is none be-side thee,
Per-fect in power, in love, and pu-ri-ty!

4. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! O God Al-migh-ty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly; mer-ci-ful and migh-ty!
Who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be.

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April 06, 2005

29R You Hide Within the Lily

Original Title: "He Hides Within the Lily," William Channing Gannett (1873), MUNICH, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., Meiningen Gesangbuch (1693); New Title: "You Hide Within the Lily," rev. REH (2007), KING'S LYNN, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., Traditional English Melody, arranged Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906). "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not." Matthew 6:28; see also Luke 12:27. "A mortal ... comes up like a flower." Job 14:1-2. It should be noted, of course, that the Song of Songs (the Song of Solomon) discusses flowers and lilies throughout. Micah 6:8 (KJV), "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?," see also Proverbs 2:13, Proverbs 11:1, 1 Kings 3:11-12, Ecclesiastes 5:8, Jeremiah 22:15. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

KING'S LYNN (7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6.)

1. You hide with-in the li-ly a strong and ten-der care
that wins the earth-born a-toms to glo-ry of the air;
You weave the shin-ing garm-ents un-ceas-ing-ly and still
a-long the qui-et wa-ters, in ni-ches of the hill.

2. We lin-ger at the vi-gil with one who bent the knee
to watch the an-cient li-lies in dis-tant Gal-i-lee;
And still the wor-ship deep-ens and quick-ens in-to new,
and bright-ening down the a-ges God's se-cret thrills us through.

3. O Toi-ler of the li-ly, with you the heart e'er sings;
No leaf that dawns to pe-tal but hints of an-gel wings.
The flower hor-i-zons o-pen, the blos-som vast-er shows;
We hear your wide worlds e-cho, 'See how the li-ly grows.'


4. The yearn-ings of the na-tions, un-fold-ing, thought by thought,
to hol-ier lives are lift-ed, to vi-sions clear are wrought:
May all ad-vance in jus-tice, while e-vils fade and fall,
till cha-os blooms to beau-ty, your pur-pose crown-ing all.

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April 20, 2005

42R Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Original Title: "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," Henry Van Dyke (1908), JOY, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., arranged from Ludwig van Beethoven; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Van Dyke was an American Presbyterian. The hymn tune is known as HYMN TO JOY in Singing the Living Tradition; no. 29 is a three-verse version of "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee;" no. 327 in the 1993 hymn is entitled "Joy, Thou Goddess," with original German lyrics for two stanzas of "Freude, schöner Götterfunken." The latter hymn, by Friedrich Schiller, constitutes the "original" lyrics insofar as they inspired Beethoven's composition. The New Century Hymnal has four verses (without sibling references) as no. 4, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You." See Psalm 145:10, "All your works shall give thanks to you," see also Psalm 71:23; Isaiah 49:13, "Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing!"

JOY (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.)

1. Joy-ful, joy-ful, we a-dore thee, God of glo-ry, God of love;
Hearts un-fold like flowers be-fore thee, open-ing to the sun a-bove.
Melt the clouds of sin and sad-ness; drive the dark* of doubt a-way;
Giv-er of im-mort-al glad-ness, fill us with the light of day!


2. All thy works with joy sur-round thee, earth and heaven re-flect thy rays,
stars and an-gels sing a-round thee, cent-er of un-brok-en praise.
Field and for-est, vale and moun-tain, flow-ery mead-ow, flash-ing sea,
sing-ing bird and flow-ing foun-tain call us to re-joice in thee.

3. Thou art giv-ing and for-giv-ing, ev-er bless-ing, ev-er blessed;
Well-spring of the joy of liv-ing, o-cean depth of hap-py rest!
Lov-ing Sove-reign, Moth-er, Fath-er, all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each oth-er, lift us to the joy di-vine.

4. Mor-tals, join the hap-py chor-us, which the morn-ing stars beg-an;
Christ our Bro-ther reigns a-mongst us; Sis-ter Wis-dom seals the plan.
Ev-er sing-ing, march we on-ward, vic-tors in the midst of strife,
Joy-ful mus-ic leads us sun-ward in the tri-umph song of life.

*or 'storms'

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April 28, 2005

48R Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Original Title: "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart," George Croly (1854), first tune, SONG 12, 10.10.10.10., rhythmed altered from Orlando Gibbons, second tune, MORECAMBE, 10.10.10.10., ascribed to Federick Cook Atkinson (1870); New Title: Same hymn title, no changes to lyrics, SONG 12, 10.10.10.10. Croly was a graduate of Dublin University; he later took holy orders. He left Ireland in 1810 for London. His works include Scenes from Scripture and Other Poems (1851) and Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1854). The original version consisted of five verses; the fourth verse was not included in Hymns of the Spirit Two. "Live by the spirit, I say ... If you are led by the spirit, you are not subject to the law," Galatians 5:16; see also 18-25. "Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay," Job 13:12. Matthew 3:16, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him," see also John 1:32; Matthew 22:37, Acts 8:17. Proverbs 1:28, "Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me." The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but does appear, in revised form in five stanzas, to the tune MORECAMBE, as no. 290, in The New Century Hymnal.

SONG 22 (10.10.10.10.)

1. Spir-it of God, de-scend up-on my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its puls-es move;
Stoop to my weak-ness, might-y as thou art;
And make me love thee as I ought to love.

2. I ask no dream, no pro-phet ec-sta-sies,
no sud-den rend-ing of the veil of clay,
no an-gel vi-si-tant, no open-ing skies;
But take the dim-ness of my soul a-way.

3. Teach me to feel that thou art al-ways nigh;
Teach me the strug-gles of the soul to bear.
To check the ris-ing doubt, the re-bel sigh,
teach me the pa-tience of un-an-swered prayer.

4. Teach me to love thee as thine an-gels love,
one ho-ly pas-sion fill-ing all my frame;
The kind-ling of the heaven-de-scend-ed dove,
My heart an al-tar, and thy love the flame. A-men.

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Shadows for dimness?

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May 19, 2005

60R O You Whose Presence Glows In All

Original Title: "O God, Whose Presence Glows in All," Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham (1828), O SALUTARIS HOSTIA, L.M., Abbè Duguet (1767), alternative tune, WAREHAM, L.M., William Knapp (1738); New Title: "O You Whose Presence Glows in All," rev. REH (2005), O SALUTARIS HOSTIA, L.M. Forthingham (1793-1870), was an American Unitarian and minister at First Church in Boston. The hymn appears in neither The New Century Hymnal nor in Singing the Living Tradition. "May your love and your truth always protect me," Psalm 40:10-11 (NIV), see also Psalm 26:3, 52:3. "Speaking the truth in love," Ephesians 4:15 (Webster's Bible), see also Colossians 1:5. 1 Corinthians 13:6 (NRSV), "[Love] does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth," see also 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:18, 2 John 1:3. "In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them," Isaiah 63:9.

O SALUTARIS HOSTIA (L.M.)

1. O You whose pre-sence glows in all,
with-in, a-round us, and a-bove,
your words we bless; your names we call,
your words are Truth; your names spell Love.

2. The truth be with the heart be-lieved,
of all who seek this sa-cred place,
with power pro-claimed, in peace re-ceived,
our spir-its light, your spir-it's grace.

3. May Love its ho-ly in-fluence pour
to keep us hum-ble; make us true;
and free us with its bless-ings more
round each with all, and all with You.

4. Send down Love's an-gel to our side,
send in Love's calm up-on the breast;
For we would know no oth-er guide;
We have no need of oth-er rest.

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