March 09, 2005

9R Our God, Our God, Thou Shinest Here

Original Title: "Our God, Our God, Thou Shinest Here," Thomas Hornblower Gil (1846), CORONATION, 8.6.8.6.8.6., Oliver Holden (1793); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), MORNING SONG, 8.6.8.6.8.6., at­trib­ut­ed to Elkan­ah K. Dare (1782-1826), arranged by C. W. Douglas. Thomas Hornblower Gil was a lay English Unitarian hymn writer, who later joined the Congregational Church. He wrote nearly 200 hymns, and had definitive ideas about what a hymn should be: "Hymns are not meant to be theological statements, expositions of doctrine, or enunciations of precepts; they are utterances of the soul in its manifold moods of hope and fear, joy and sorrow, love, wonder, and aspiration. ... Hymns are meant and made to be sung. The best and most glorious hymns cannot be more exactly defined than as divine love songs." The lyrics here seem to speak of the Gospel of John: "The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world." John 1:9. "[John] came as a witness to testify to the light." John 1:7a. The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal.

MORNING SONG (8.6.8.6.8.6.)

1. Our God, our God, thou shin-est here,
thine own this lat-ter day.
To us thy ra-diant steps ap-pear,
here goes thy glo-rious way!
To us thy ra-diant steps ap-pear,
here goes thy glo-rious way!

2. We shine not on-ly with the light
thou shed-dest down of yore.
On us thou stream-est strong and bright,
thy com-ings are not o'er.
On us thou stream-est strong and bright,
thy com-ings are not o'er.

3. All op-en to our souls shall be
thy glo-ry's hi-ding-place.
Our mo-thers had not all of thee,
new births are in thy grace;
Our fa-thers had not all of thee,
new births are in thy grace.

4. Thou come-est here, thou stand-est by,
our work be-gins to shine.
Thou dwell-est with us migh-ti-ly,
on comes the years di-vine!
Thou dwell-est with us migh-ti-ly,
on comes the years di-vine!

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March 13, 2005

13R Rejoice, You Pure In Heart

Original Title: "Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart," Edward Hayes Pulmptre (1865), MARION, 6.6.8.6.4.6., Arthur Henry Messiter (1883); New Title: "Rejoice You Pure in Heart," rev. REH (2006), ICH HALTE TREULICH STILL, S.M.D., attributed to Bach (1736). The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but does appear in revised form as "Rejoice, You Pure in Heart," as no. 55 to MARION and as no. 71 to VINEYARD HAVEN in The New Century Hymnal. Pulmptre was a 19th century English Anglican. One hears Psalm 20 in lyrics about the "festal banner," the first line of Psalm 147 in the refrain, and Phillipians 4:4 in the title line and the refrain, "Rejoice . . . rejoice."

ICH HALTE TREULICH STILL (S.M.D.)

1. Re-joice, you pure in heart,
re-joice give thanks and sing;
your fes-tal ban-ner wave on high--
the cross of Christ rais-ing.

Refrain.
Re-joice, give thanks and sing; Re-joice, give thanks and sing;
Re-joice, re-joice, re-joice, and sing; Re-joice, give thanks and sing!

2. With all the an-gel choirs,
with all the saints of earth,
pour out the strains of joy and bliss,
true rap-ture, nob-lest mirth. Refrain.


3. Your clear ho-san-nas raise;
And al-le-lu-ias loud;
While an-swer-ing ech-oes up-ward float,
like wreaths of incense cloud. Refrain.

4. With voice as full and strong
as o-cean’s surg-ing praise,
send forth the hymns an-ces-tors loved,
the psalms of an-cient days. Refrain.

5. At last the toil shall end,
the wear-ied ones shall rest,
the pil-grims find the ho-ly home,
where saints are tru-ly blest. Refrain.

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May 24, 2005

65R You Whose Spirit Dwells In All

Original Title: "Thou Whose Spirit Dwells In All," John White Chadwick (1890), UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, 7.7.7.7., Henry John Gauntlett (1852); New Title: "You Whose Spirit Dwells In All," alt. REH (2006), same hymn tune. "For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same . . . They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals," Ecclesiastes 3:19 (NRSV). Genesis 2:7, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," Genesis 7:15, "And [the animals] went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life." "You own the cosmos-you made everything in it, everything from atom to archangel," Psalm 89:11 (The Message); "The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: The world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them," Psalm 89:11 (ASV). "Behold, the nations are esteemed as a drop of the bucket, and as the fine dust on the scales; behold, he taketh up the isles as an atom," Isaiah 40:15 (The Darby Translation); Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust," Isaiah 40:15 (ESV). "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?," 1 Corinthians 3:16 (KJV). "[Christ] has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth," Ephesians 1:9-10. "God [is] All in All," 1 Corinthians 15:28. Love is as strong as death," Song of Solomon 8:6. "Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!," Numbers 11:29 (RSV). For an alternate tune for this hymn, see no. 35 herein, VIENNA, 7.7.7.7. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE (7.7.7.7.)

1. You whose spir-it dwells in all,
pri-mal source of life and mind,
through-out earth and in each soul,
ev-er full and un-con-fined!

2. What shall sep-a-rate from you?
None of earth's cre-a-ted things!
Joy and sor-row, good and ill,
each from you its es-sence brings.

3. Yours, the at-om's faint-est thrill;
Yours, the humb-lest crea-ture's breath;
Pro-phet soul in eve-ry kind,
yearn-ing still through life and death.

4. Yearn-ing for the crown-ing race:
We, in whom at last un-fold
all your se-crets strange and sweet
from the farth-est days of old.

5. Se-crets too of things to be,
in the cy-cles on be-fore:
Love that strong-er is than death,
Life with you for-ev-er-more.


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June 11, 2005

80R Immortal Love, Forever Full

Lyrics: John Greenleaf Whittier (1866), rev. REH (2005); Music: DUNDEE (C.M.), Scottish Psalter (1615). Psalm 89:1 (NRSV), "I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord;" see also Psalm 89:28. Genesis 1:2a, "[A] wind from God swept over the face of the waters." Isaiah 35:6, "[W]aters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;" see also Isaiah 41:17-18, Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13, Ezekiel 47:1-12. John 4:14, "The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life;" see also Revelation 21:6. 2 Corinthians 3:6b, "[T]he letter kills, but the Spirit gives life;" John 1:9, "The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world."

DUNDEE (C.M.)

1. Im-mort-al Love, for-ev-er full,
for-ev-er flow-ing free,
for-ev-er shared, for-ev-er whole,
a nev-er ebb-ing sea!

2. Blow, winds of God, a-wake and blow
the mists of earth a-way:
Shine out, O Light di-vine, and show
thy wide and vast ar-ray.


3. O God and Sove-reign of us all,
what-e'er our name or sign,
we own thy sway, we hear thy call,
we test our lives by thine.

4. The let-ter fails, the sys-tems fall,
and ev-ery sym-bol wanes;
The Spir-it o-ver-brood-ing all,
E-ter-nal Love re-mains.

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June 12, 2005

81R Thou Life Within My Life

Original Title: "Thou Life Within My Life," Eliza Scudder (1871), ELLERS, 10.10.10.10., Edward John Hopkins (1868); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), FARLEY CASTLE, 10.10.10.10., Henry Lawes (c. 1637-38).

FARLEY CASTLE (10.10.10.10)

1. Thou Life with-in my life, than self more near,
Thou veil-ed Pres-ence in-fi-nite-ly clear,
From all il-lu-sive shows of sense I flee,
I find my cen-ter and my rest in thee.


2. Be-low all depths thy sav-ing mer-cy lies,
Through thick-est glooms I see thy light a-rise;
A-bove the high-est heavens thou art not found,
More sure-ly than with-in this earth-ly round.

3. Face earn-est-ly in life the doubts that rise,
And seek to know all e'en in dis-tant skies;
Face earn-est-ly in life the self that dares;
As-sume the bur-den of thy sins and cares.

4. How shall I call thee who art al-ways here?
How shall I praise thee who art still most dear?
What may I give thee save what thou hast given?
And whom but thee have I in earth or heaven?

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"Whom have I in heaven but thee?," Psalm 73:25 (KJV); "No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day," John 1:18 (The Message).

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Original lyrics from verse three as they appear in Hymns of the Spirit Two:

3. Take part with me against these doubts that rise,
And seek to throne thee far in dis-tant skies;
Take part with me against this self that dares;
As-sume the bur-den of these sins and cares.


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December 04, 2005

206R O Love! O Light!

Original Title: "O Love! O Light!", John Greenleaf Whittier (1866), ST. AGNES, C.M., John Bacchus Dykes (1866); New Title: "O Love! O Light!," rev. REH (2005), Same hymn tune. The hymn is not included in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal, but the tune does appear as no. 281 and nos. 507-08 in the latter. Whittier was an 19th Century American Quaker poet, and a well-known advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. The biblical sources of the names used in the hymn are numerous; John 13:13, John 1:1, John 15:15. Also there is a resonance of St. Paul's hymn that speak of peering "through a glass, darkly." 1 Corinthians 13:12. The feast of Transfiguration is again a topic here.

ST. AGNES (C.M.)

1. O Love! O Life! Our faith and sight
your pres-ence now makes one,
as through trans-fig-ured clouds of white
we trace the noon-day sun.

2. So, to our mor-tal minds sub-dued,
flesh-veiled, but not con-cealed,
we know in you the par-ent-hood
and heart of God re-vealed.


3. We faint-ly know, dim-ly per-ceive,
in dif-fering phrase we pray;
In you, dim or clear, we own free
the Light, the Truth, the Way!


4. To do your will is more than praise,
as words are less than deeds;
and sim-ple trust can find your ways
we miss with chart of creeds.

5. Our friend, our kind-red, and our word,
What may your ser-vice be?
Nor name, nor form, nor ri-tual heard,
but fol-low-ing free-ly.


6. Your li-ta-nies, sweet of-fi-ces
of love and gra-ti-tude;
your sa-cred, di-vine li-tur-gies,
the joy of do-ing good.

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December 31, 2006

620R God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces

Title: "God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces," Edward Moran (2005), alt., CONVERSE, 8.7.8.7. D, C. C. Converse (1868). Moran is a Presbyterian who lives in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, New York; many of the lyrics of the hymns he has written can be found in the "Hymn Texts" section of the website run by The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Moran describes the work below as addressing "often-divisive issues of sexual diversity in the light of traditional images of Incarnation and Trinity." The lyrics have been edited lightly here. The second stanza originally read as a statement rather than a question, i.e., "Born of virgin, Word made flesh, dead and buried, still He rises!" The third stanza likewise read "Easter garments, at His order, Swaddle Her beloved One," without a question mark. Finally, the last stanza here reads "unbound God" in lieu of "Threesome God" as in Moran's original. The lyrics remain under copyright all the same, (c) Edward Moran 2006. They appear here by his kind permission. Users may wish to request permission to reproduce the hymn for local or congregational worship, or other purposes, by writing him at EMoran8688@aol.com. "Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart ... Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead," Deuteronomy 6:6, 8 (NRSV), see also Deuteronomy 11:18. "It is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil." Ecclesiastes 3:13. "My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away," Song of Songs 2:10. "Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt," 1 Samuel 18:3-4; see also 2 Samuel 1:26. "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law," Romans 13:8, see also Romans 14:10, 12:4, 8:21. "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me," 1 Corinthians 11:24, see also 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 13:13. "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb," John 20:2. "She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger," Luke 2:7, John 1:1. "Thus says the Lord ... I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert," Isaiah 43:16, 19.

CONVERSE (ERIE) (WHAT A FRIEND)(8.7.8.7. D)

1. God of queer, trans-gress-ive spa-ces:
Lav-ish man-ger, emp-ty tomb,
wine-dark loaves and pre-cious gra-ces
bend our bar-ren lives to bloom.

2. God’s own de-vi-ance is Jes-us:
Born of vir-gin, word made flesh,
dead and bur-ied, and still ris-es?
What ab-norm-al world-li-ness!

3. Thank God for this grave dis-ord-er:
Shroud and sor-row fall un-done;
East-er gar-ments, at whose or-der,
swad-dle the be-lov-ed one?

4. Broth-ers, bind ye to each oth-er,
Sis-ters, too, and have no shame.
Sing with God our Fath-er-Moth-er,
Love that dares now speak its name.

5. With our un-bound* God con-fess-ing:
Turn all frac-ture in-to praise,
be-ne-dic-tion in-to bless-ing,
fab-u-lous and full of days.

* or 'threesome,' as in the original

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