March 10, 2005

10R Ruler and Power On High

Original Title: "Come, Thou Almighty King," Anonymous (before 1757), ITALIAN HYMN, 6.6.4.6.6.6.4., Felice Giardini (1769); New Title: "Ruler and Power on High," rev. REH (2007), same hymn tune. The hymn first appeared in George Whitefield's Collection of Hymns for Social Worship (1757); some attribute the hymn to Charles Wesley. The tune ITALIAN HYMN was written specifically for the hymn. "God reigneth over the nations; God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness." Psalm 47:8; see also Revelation 19:6, Isaiah 52:7. "Wisdom has built her house . . .She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls from the highest places in the town," Proverbs 9:1-3. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but it does appear in The New Century Hymnal as "Come Now, Almighty God," as no. 275.

ITALIAN HYMN (6.6.4.6.6.6.4.)

1. Rul-er and power on high,
to you our prais-es fly;
Your name we raise,
Fa-ther all-glo-ri-ous,
Mo-ther vic-to-ri-ous,
come and reign o-ver us,
An-cient of Days.

2. Come now all-gra-cious Lord,
by heaven and earth a-dored;
our prayer at-tend;
Wis-dom, your chil-dren bless,
give your good word suc-cess;
Make your own ho-li-ness
on us des-cend.

3. Ne-ver from us de-part,
but rule in ev-ery heart;
hence, e-ver-more.
Your sove-reign ma-jes-ty
may we in glo-ry see,
and to e-ter-ni-ty,
love and a-dore. A-men.

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March 18, 2005

18R O Friend, You Are Calling

Original Title: "Father, Thou Art Calling," James Vila Blake (1880), BROMLEY COMMON, 12.13.12.10, Martin Shaw (1915) (alternative tune: NICAEA, Irregular, John Bacchus Dykes (1861)); New Title: "O Friend, You Are Calling," rev. REH (2006), NICAEA. The revised lyrics do not banish "Father," which one still finds in the body of the hymn. The holy is in addition addressed, however, as "Lady Wisdom." James Vila Blake was an American Unitarian. Neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal contains it. "The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters." Psalm 29:3; see also Job 38:1-41.

NICAEA (Irregular)

1. O Friend, you are call-ing, call-ing to us plain-ly,
to the spir-it comes your lov-ing mes-sage ev-er-more;
Ho-ly One up-lift us, nor for-ev-er vain-ly, stand call-ing us
and wait-ing at the door.

2. In the whirl-ing tem-pest, and the storm you've lived in,
in the rain, and in the sweet-ness of the af-ter-glow;
sum-mer's gold-en boun-ty, win-ter's snow you've giv-en,
and bloom-ing mea-dows where sweet wat-ers flow.


3. Clear-er still and dear-er is your voice ap-peal-ing,
deep with-in the spir-it's se-cret be-ing speak-ing low.
En-ter La-dy Wis-dom, now the truth re-veal-ing:
From all van-i-ty free us as we go.

4. In you, liv-ing, mov-ing, un-to you up-lift-ing
all your joy-ous, hope-ful trust that gives our
hearts re-pose; Fa-ther, we a-dore you, ask-ing naught
nor fear-ing; Far we wan-der not from your Soul of souls. A-men.

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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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April 07, 2005

30R Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Original Title: "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise," Walter Chalmers Smith (1876), ST. DENIO, 11.11.11.11., Welsh Melody (1839); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2007), same hymn tune. Smith was Scottish. The tune and hymn appear as "Immortal, Invisible" in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 273, with the exception of the final stanza; it appears here. The hymn appears without parental metaphors in The New Century Hymnal as no. 1. The lyrics resonate with some of the images in Psalm 139, as well as Psalm 36:5-6, 103:14-17, and 104:27-39; but most directly the lyrics are based on 1 Timothy 1:17. The webdesigner graciously thanks Haruo for his assistance with the minor revisions to Smith's lyrics below.

ST. DENIO (11.11.11.11.)

1. Im-mort-al, in-vi-si-ble, God on-ly wise,
in light in-ac-ces-si-ble hid from our eyes,
most bles-sèd, most glo-rious, the An-cient of Days,
Al-migh-ty, vic-tor-ious, thy great Name we praise.

2. Un-rest-ing, un-hast-ing, and si-lent as light,
nor want-ing, nor wast-ing, thou rul-est in might;
thy jus-tice, like moun-tains, high soar-ing a-bove
thy clouds, which are foun-tains of good-ness and love.


3. To all, life thou giv-est, to both great and small;
In all life thou liv-est, the true life of all;
We blos-som and flour-ish as leaves on the tree,
and with-er and per-ish— but naught chang-eth thee.

4. Great Fath-er, Great Moth-er, O Light of all light,
thine an-gels a-dore thee, all veil-ing their sight;
All laud we would rend-er; O help us to see
’tis on-ly the splen-dor of light hid-eth thee.


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May 30, 2005

70R Lead Us, O Lead Us (In Paths of Peace)

Words: William Henry Burleigh (1868); rev. REH (2005); Music: SONG 24 (10.10.10. D), Orlando Gibbons (1623). Psalm 5:8 (NIV),"Lead me, O Lord." Psalm 23:2-3 (NRSV), "[The Lord] leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake." Luke 1:79, "To guide our feet into the way of peace," see also Isaiah 59:8, Romans 3:27. "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace," Proverbs 3:17. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

SONG 10 (10.10.10. D)

1. Lead us, O lead us, in the paths of peace;
with-out thy guid-ing hand we go as-tray,
and doubts ap-pall, and sor-rows still in-crease;
lead us through Christ, thy true and li-ving way.
Lead us, mothe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace;
Lead us, fathe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace.


2. Lead us, O lead us, in the paths of truth;
un-helped by thee, in er-ror's maze we grope,
while pas-sion strains, and fol-ly dims our youth,
and age comes on, un-cheered by faith and hope.
Lead us, mothe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace;
Lead us, fathe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace.

3. Lead us, O lead us, in the paths of right;
dim-ly we stum-ble when we walk a-lone,
hid in the sha-dows of a fear-some night;
on-ly with thee we jour-ney safe-ly on.
Lead us, mothe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace;
Lead us, fathe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace.

4. Lead us, O lead us, to thy heaven-ly rest,
how-ev-er rough and steep the path-way be;
through joy or sor-row, as fate deem-est best,
un-til our lives are per-fect-ed in thee.
Lead us, mothe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace;
Lead us, fathe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace.

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June 16, 2005

85R Father, Hear the Prayer We Offer

Words: Love Maria Willis (1859), rev. REH (2006); Music: SUSSEX (8.7.8.7.), English melody, adapt. by Ralph Vaughan Williams. "Hear my prayer, O God," Psalm 54:2

SUSSEX (8.7.8.7.)

1. Fath-er, hear the prayer we of-fer:
Nor for ease that prayer shall be,
but for strength, that we may ev-er
live our lives cour-age-ous-ly.

2. Not for-ev-er in green pas-tures,
Shep-herd-ess, we ask to be,
but the steep and rug-ged path-way
may we tread re-joic-ing-ly.

3. Not for-ev-er by still wa-ters
would we id-ly, qui-et stay;
But would smite the liv-ing foun-tains
from the rocks a-long our way.

4. Be our strength in hours of weak-ness,
in our wan-derings be our guide;
Through en-dea-vor, fail-ure, dan-ger,
Sove-reign, O be at our side.

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June 26, 2005

95R O God, the Watches of the Night (Are O'er)

Original Title: "Father, the Watches of the Night Are O'er," Words: from the Disciples' Hymn-Book (c. 1855), rev. REH (2005); Music: BATTLE (10.10.10.10.), Henry Lawes (1638); alternate, Music: SKARA (10.10.10.10), Frank Sewall (c. 1910). Psalm 63:6 (NRSV), "I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;" see also Psalm 74:16, Psalm 19:2, Psalm 55:17, Psalm 104:23. The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

BATTLE (10.10.10.10.)

1. O God, the watch-es of the night are o'er;
To light and life the soul has risen once more;
Praised be, So-phi-a, who through help-less hours,
does keep in deep-est peace her slum-bering powers.

2. Fath-er, the watch-es of the day are here;
More than from those of night have we to fear;
By rude cares troub-led, by temp-ta-tions pressed,
through the day watch-es, dear God, give us rest!

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July 28, 2005

129S O Mothering Father, God in Heaven

"O Mothering Father, God in Heaven," from the Lord's Prayer, rev. REH (2005), THIS ENDRIS NIGHT (C.M.D.), English carol (15th Cent.), arr. R. V. Williams (1906). Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4. The traditional version versus the lyrics here are compared below:

"Our Father, who art in Heaven" O Mothering Father, God in heaven
"Hallowed be thy Name" All hallowed be The Name
"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven" May Love's reign come, God's will be done, on earth ever the same
"Give us this day our daily bread" O Holy One give humankind in every place its bread; it is from Life's bounty each day that all souls should be fed
"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" Forgive our transgressions, and teach compassion so we know that wholeness comes forgiving sins of each and every foe
"And lead us not into temptation" And lead us not into evil
"But deliver us from evil" And save us from all sin
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen" That glory, reign and power be, for endless worlds; Amen

THIS ENDRIS NIGHT (C.M.D.)

1. O Mothe-ring Fa-ther, God in heaven, all hal-lowed be The Name;
May Love's reign come, God's will be done, on earth ev-er the same;
O Ho-ly One give hu-man-kind in eve-ry place its bread;
It is from Life's boun-ty each day that all souls should be fed.

2. For-give our trans-gres-sions, and teach com-pas-sion so we know
that whole-ness comes for-giv-ing sins of each and eve-ry foe;
And lead us not in-to ev-il, and save us from all sin;
That glo-ry, reign and pow-er be, for end-less worlds; A-men

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July 14, 2006

611R Mary, First One to the Tomb

Title: 'Mary, First One to the Tomb," John Newton (1779), rev. REH (2006), GOTT SEI DANK, 7.7.7.7., Johann A. Freylinghausen (1704). Newton's orignal title was "Mary, to her Savior's Tomb." Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-9, Luke 24:10, John 20:1 (KJV), "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre," see also John 20:1-18. The "feast day" of Mary Magdalene, or Mary of Magdala, is July 22, in Roman Catholic and other more "liturgical" churches. All the same, many in the free church sometimes choose to celebrate this woman of vision and courage as a pioneer of faith.

GOTT SEI DANK (7.7.7.7.)

1. Ma-ry, first one to the tomb,
swift-ly at the ear-ly dawn;
spice she brought, and sweet per-fume;
The Be-lov-ed One was gone.


2. The Mag-da-lene weep-ing stood,
struck with sor-row and sur-prise;
shed-ding tears, a plen-teous flood,
for the heart sup-plied her eyes.

3. Jes-us, as if al-ways near,
though too oft-en un-per-ceived,
came, a true lead-er to cheer,
asked to her soul, why she grieved?


4. What a change liv-ing words make,
turn-ing our nights in-to day!
All who e'er weep for Life’s sake,
Love will wipe your tears a-way.

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Many will find that the following version matches the meter better:

1. Ma-ry, first one to the tomb,
Swift-ly at the ear-ly dawn;
Spice she brought, and sweet per-fume;
The Be-loved One had ere gone.

2. There she of Mag-da-la stood,
Struck with sor-row and sur-prise;
Shed-ding tears, a plen-teous flood,
For the heart sup-plied her eyes.

3. Jes-us, as if al-ways near,
Though too oft-en un-per-ceived,
Came, a lead-er true to cheer,
Asked to her soul, why she grieved?

4. What a change di-vine words make,
Turn-ing our nights in-to day;
All who e'er weep for Life’s sake,
Love will wipe your tears a-way!

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