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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June 07, 2005

76R It Sounds Along the Ages

Original Title: "It Sounds Along the Ages," William Channing Gannet, alt. (1937), CRÜGER, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., arranged by W. H. Monk from J. Crüger's Neues Wolllkömiisches Gesangbuch (1640); New Title: Same hymn title, BRITISH GRENADIERS, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., Traditional English Melody. It would seem that Gannett entitled the piece "The Word of God." William Channing Gannett (1840-1923) was an American Unitarian minister, particularly active within the Western Unitarian Conference. He was author of a document of great historical importance to the WUC entitled "Things Commonly Believed Among Us". He played a particularly important role in the women's suffrage movement in the United States; Susan B. Anthony was amongst his congregants. "Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit," 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV); see also 1 Corinthians 12:17, Colossians 3:11, Galatians 3:28. "The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything," John 14:26 (NRSV); see also John 16:13. The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal, but does appear in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 187, to the tune FAR OFF LANDS, 7.6.7.6. D, Melody of the Bohemian Brethren, Rock Island, Illinois (1892).

BRITISH GRENADIERS (7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6.)

1. It sounds a-long the a-ges,
soul an-swer-ing to soul;
It kin-dles on the pa-ges
of eve-ry Bi-ble scroll;
The psalm-ist heard and sang it,
from mar-tyr lips it broke,
and pro-phet tongues out-rang it
till sleep-ing na-tions woke.

2. From Si-nai's cliffs in ech-oed,
it breathed from Bud-dha's tree,
it charmed in Ath-en's mar-ket,
it hal-lowed Gal-i-lee;
The ham-mer stroke of Lu-ther,
the Pil-grims' sea-side prayer,
the or-a-cles of Con-cord:
one ho-ly Word de-clare.

3. It calls, and lo, new Jus-tice!
It speaks, and lo, new Truth!
In ev-er no-bler sta-ture
and un-ex-haus-ted youth.
For-ev-er on it sound-eth,
knows naught it-self of time,
our laws but catch the mus-ic
of its e-ter-nal chime.

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January 04, 2006

413R In Christ There Is No East or West

Title: "In Christ, There Is No East or West," Words: John Oxenham (1908), rev. REH (2006); Music: McKEE (C.M.D.), African-American spiritual, arranged by Harry T. Burleigh. "Then [Jesus] took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." Mark 9:36-37.

McKEE (C.M.D.)

1. In Christ there is no East or West,
In Christ no South or North;
But one great com-mon-wealth of love
through-out the whole-wide earth.
In Christ shall true hearts eve-ry-where
their true com-mun-ion find;
Christ's ser-vice is the gol-den cord,
close bind-ing hu-man-kind.


2. Join hands, then, mem-bers of all faiths,
what-ever your na~tion may be!
Who serves the Sove-reign as a child
is sure-ly kin to me.
In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Christ meet North and South;
All faith-ful souls are one in love,
through-out the whole-wide earth.

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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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