March 14, 2005

14R Unto Thy Temple, Lord, We Come

Original Title: "Unto Thy Temple, Lord, We Come," Robert Collyer (1873), DUKE STREET, L.M., John Hatton (1793), New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (verse 5), same hymn tune. Coll­yer was born in England and later moved to the United States; he first served Methodist churches, then Unitarian congregations. He wrote this hymn for the ded­i­ca­tion of Un­i­ty Church (Unitarian) in Chi­ca­go. He became the first pastor of that church in 1859. "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys," Isaiah 41:18, see also Isaiah 43:20. "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am." Matthew 18:20. The hymn under the same name appears with verses 1, 2 and 4 in Singing the Living Tradition; it does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

DUKE STREET (L.M.)

1. Un-to thy tem-ple, Lord, we come
with thank-ful hearts to wor-ship thee;
And pray that this may be our home
un-til we touch e-ter-ni-ty.

2. The com-mon home of rich and poor,
of bond and free, and great and small;
large as thy love for-ev-er more,
and warm and bright and good to all.

3. And dwell thou with us in this place,
thou and thy Christ, to guide and bless!
Here make the well-spring of thy grace
like foun-tains in the wil-der-ness.


4. May thy whole truth be spo-ken here;
Thy gos-pel light for-ev-er shine;
Thy per-fect love cast out all fear,
and hu-man life be-come di-vine.


5. Mo-ther-ing Spir-it gath-'ring all,
thy gen-tle arms do us em-brace;
O Womb of time, life heeds thy call;
Thy frame holds strong this ho-ly space.

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March 15, 2005

15R O God to Whom in Ancient Time

Original Title: "O Thou to Whom in Ancient Time," John Pierpont (1824), LUTON, L.M., George Burder (1760); New Title: "O God to Whom in Ancient Time," rev. REH (2005), ST. BARTHOLOMEW, L.M., Ed­ward H. Thorne, Se­lect­ion of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1858). A Unitarian, Pierpont wrote this hymn for the dedication of the 1824 dedication of the In­de­pend­ent Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church in Bar­ton Square, Sa­lem, Mass­a­chu­setts. "[W]orship the Father in spirit and in truth," John 4:23. "Praise Him with the Lute and Harp," Psalm 150:3b. Genesis 26:15-18, Isaac re-digs Abraham's wells. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

ST. BARTHOLOMEW (L.M.)

1. O God to whom, in an-cient time,
the lyre of He-brews' bards was strung,
whom roy-als praised in song sub-lime,
and pro-phets praised with glow-ing tongue.

2. Not now in Zi-on's height a-lone
the fa-vored wor-ship-er may dwell,
nor where, at sul-try noon, thine own
sat wea-ry by the el-ders' well.


3. From eve-ry place be-low the skies,
the grate-ful song, the fer-vent prayer,
the in-cense of the heart, may rise
to heaven, and find ac-cep-tance there.

4. O God to whom, in an-cient time,
the lyre of pro-phet bards was strung,
to whom at last in ev-ery clime,
shall tem-ples rise and praise be sung!

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March 22, 2005

22R In This Peaceful House of Prayer

Original Title: "In This Peaceful House of Prayer," from Hymns of the Spirit One (1864), SONG 13, 7.7.7.7., Orlando Gibbons, adapted (1623); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), CALVARY (MONK), 7.7.7.7., William Henry Monk (1875). Monk edited Hymns Ancient and Modern, which has sold over 60 million copies. The lyrics appear in the first Hymns of the Spirit, edited by Samuel Longfellow in 1864. It does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. "God's feet," Exodus 24:10. "The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!" 1 Kings 8:27. "Where is the House you will build me?" Isaiah 66:1. "Mothering" in the lyrics is a translation of what is normally translated from the Hebrew as "merciful," or literally "womb-like." The phrase occurs in a number of hymns in the various versions of Music For Liturgy and other elements of worship produced by St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church (typically for unrestricted local reproduction) in San Francisco, California.

CALVARY (MONK) (7.7.7.7.)

1. In this peace-ful house of prayer,
strong-er faith, O God, we seek;
Here we bring each earth-ly care,
you, the strength'-ning mes-sage speak!

2. In our great-est tri-als, we calm,
through you, the way have trod;
In the small-est, may we feel
you are still our hel-per, God.

3. Of your pres-ence and your love,
we more stead-fast feel-ing need,
Till the high and ho-ly thought
hal-low ev-ery sim-ple deed.


4. Mothe-ring Fa-ther, at your feet,
we would lay our earth-born care;
Help us in our need, for you know
the weight that each must bear.

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March 23, 2005

23R Enter In the Holy Temple

Original Title: "God Is In His Holy Temple," from Hymns of the Spirit One (1864), edited by Samuel Longfellow, STUTTGART, 8.7.8.7., Chrisitian Friedrich Witt, adapted (1715)(alternatively AUTUMN, 8.7.8.7., published by Françoise Barthélémon (before 1793)); New Title: "Enter In the Holy Temple," rev. REH (2006), PORTSEA, William Boyce, A Collection of Melodies for the Psalms of David According to the Version of Christopher Smart A.M. ­(circa 1765). The lyrics echo Psalm 122. The hymn appears neither in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

PORTSEA (8.7.8.7.)

1. En-ter in the ho-ly tem-ple,
earth-ly thoughts be si-lent now,
while in rev-erence we as-sem-ble,
and be-fore the Pre-sence bow.

2. O Love is with us for-ev-er,
when we call up-on the Name,
aid-ing ev-ery good en-deav-or,
guid-ing ev-ery up-ward aim.

3. God is in the ho-ly tem-ple,
in the pure and ho-ly mind,
in the reve-rent heart and sim-ple,
in the soul from sense re-fined.

4. Then let ev-ery low e-mo-tion
ban-ished far and sil-ent be,
and our souls in pure de-vo-tion,
Sove-reign, wor-thy tem-ples be!


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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, 8.7.8.7., from Naue's Choralbuch (1829); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), ST. MABYN, 8.7.8.7., 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.

ST. MABYN (8.7.8.7.)

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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April 04, 2005

27R Where Ancient Forests Round Us Spread

Original Title: "Where Ancient Forests Widely Spread," Andrews Norton (1833), WAINWRIGHT, L.M., Richard Wainwright; New Title: "Where Ancient Forests Round Us Spread," rev. REH (2005), AGINCOURT (DEO GRATIAS), Traditional English Melody (1415). Andrews Norton, an American Unitarian, is famous for having said that Ralph Waldo Emerson’s [Harvard] Divinity School Address represented "the newest form of infidelity." As beloved a figure as Emerson is for many, Norton's provocation takes nothing away from his own place in Unitarian Universalist hymnody. The full form of the hymn was anthologized in 1900 by Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833-1908) in his An American Anthology 1787-1900, as no. 51, where it is called "Hymn for the Dedication of a Church." In that collection, it began "Where ancient forests round us spread," as does the revised version here. Compare 2 Kings 19:22-24. Genesis 28:17, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." The Universe is filled by God, in God "we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:28.; see also Psalm 84. "The Lord has blessed the household of Obededom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God," 2 Samuel 6:12, suggesting, as in the lyrics, there are places where "human thought burns clearer" given their chosen status. Tradition has it that the AGINCOURT was written to laud the victory of the English at Normandy. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

AGINCOURT (DEO GRATIAS) (L.M.)

1. Where an-cient for-ests round us spread,
where bends~the cat'-ract's o-cean fall,
on the lone moun-tain's si-lent head,
there are your tem-ples, God of all!

2. Be-neath the dark-blue, mid-night arch,
whence my~riad suns pour down their rays,
where pla-nets trace their cease-less march,
O Life! we praise you as we gaze.

3. All space is ho-ly, for all space
is filled~by you; And hu-man thought
burns clear-er in some chos-en place,
where your own words of love are taught.

4. May we be taught, and may we know
a faith~your ser-vants knew of old
which on-ward bears through weal and woe,
till Death the gates of heaven un-fold.

5. Nor we a-lone, may those whose brow
shows yet~no trace of hu-man cares,
here-aft-er stand where we do now,
and raise to you still hol-ier prayers!


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July 24, 2006

613R Behold, O My Whole Heart

Title: "Behold, O My Whole Heart," Brady & Tate (1696), Psalm 138, adapted by REH (2007), MORNING SONG (CONSOLATION), C.M.D., Repository of Sacred Music (1813). Psalm 138 is a lectionary reading for Epiphany 5C, Proper 12C/Ordinary 17C, Proper 16A/Ordinary 21A, Proper 5B/Ordinary 10B. Most English versions translate the Hebrew in the first verse as "gods," though it equally means "goddess;" this is reflected in the lyrics below. Alternative hymn tunes include OLD 29TH, C.M.D., ALL SAINTS NEW, C.M.D., ST. THEODULPH, C.M.D.

MORNING SONG (CONSOLATION)(C.M.D.)

1. Be-hold, O my whole heart I'll bring,
and praise to God pro-claim;
be-fore the Queen of life I'll sing,
and bless the liv-ing name.
I'll cel-e-brate the sa-cred lights,
where-ev-er Love is found,
and bow my heart toward ho-ly sites,
where Wis-dom's words a-bound.

2. O God, you lend a lis-tening ear
when I cry out my heart;
and when my strength lies stuck in fear,
Love makes my dread de-part.
When lead-ers Wis-dom do pur-sue:
their hearts shall shout out praise.
Souls sing-ing of a king-dom true
shall show us of Love's ways.

3. The Most High treats the proud with scorn;
the poor, God tends their way:
And when in life as dan-gers warn,
grant safe-ty, come what may!
O Love whose pur-pos-es do last,
shall be my dwell-ing place;
And, mind-ful of each pro-mise past:
O Love, fill Earth and space.

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