March 03, 2005

3R Holy Spirit, Source of Gladness

Original Title: "Holy Spirit, Source of Gladness," Paulus Gerhardt (1648), trans. John Christian Jacobi (c. 1725), adapted Samuel Longellow, ALTA TRINITA BEATA, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Laudi Sprituali (14th Century), adapted Robert L. Sanders (1937); New Title: "Holy Spirit, Source of Gladness," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Paulus Gerhart was a 17th Century German Lutheran; Samuel Longfellow was a 19th Century American Unitarian, and editor of Hymns of the Spirit One. The hymn echoes Psalm 4:7, "you have put a gladness in my heart." "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good," 1 Corinthians 12:7. It does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

ALTA TRINITA BEATA (8.7.8.7. D)

1. Ho-ly Spir-it source of glad-ness
come with all thy ra-diance bright,
o'er our wea-ri-ness and sad-ness,
breathe thy life and shed thy light!
Send us thine il-lu-mi-na-tion,
ba-nish all our fears at length;
rest up-on this con-gre-ga-tion,
spir-it of un-fail-ing strength.

2. Let that love which knows no mea-sure,
now in quick-ening showers de-scend,
bring-ing us the rich-est trea-sure
we can wish or God can send.
Hear our earn-est sup-pli-ca-tion,
ev-'ry strug-gling heart re-lease;
rest up-on this con-gre-ga-tion,
spir-it of un-trou-bled peace!

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April 30, 2005

49R Come, Mighty Spirit, Penetrate

Original Title: "Come, Mighty Spirit, Penetrate," Horatius Bonar (1861), TALLIS' ORDINAL, C.M., Thomas Tallis (1567); New Title: Same hymn title, no changes to lyrics, same hymn tune. Bonar (1808-1889) was a Presbyterian, who eventually joined the Free Church of Scotland. He wrote of 600 hymns, and thus is aptly called "the prince of Scottish hymnwriters." At his memorial service, it was said "His hymns were writ­ten in very var­ied cir­cum­stances, some­times timed by the tink­ling brook that bab­bled near him; some­times at­tuned to the or­dered tramp of the ocean, whose crest­ed waves broke on the beach by which he wan­dered; some­times set to the rude mu­sic of the rail­way train that hurried him to the scene of du­ty; some­times mea­sured by the si­lent rhy­thm of the mid­night stars that shone above him." 2 Timothy 1:7 (NRSV), "God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline." "Uphold me with thy free spirit," Psalm 51:12 (KJV). "Spirit of might," Isaiah 11:2. Psalm 68:9, "Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary," see also Psalm 72:6, Hebrews 6:7, Psalms 104:8. Psalms 4:6, "Lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us," see also Isaiah 2:5. Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." The hymn is not included in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

TALLIS' ORDINAL (C.M.)

1. Come, Migh-ty Spir-it, pe-ne-trate
this heart and soul of mine,
and my whole be-ing with thy grace
per-vade, O Life Di-vine!

2. As this clear air sur-rounds the earth
thy grace a-round me roll
as the fresh light per-vades the air,
so pierce and fill my soul.

3. As from these clouds drops down in love
the pre-cious sum-mer rain,
so from thy-self pour down the flood
that fresh-ens all a-gain.

4. Thus life with-in our life-less hearts
shall make its glad a-bode,
and we shall shine in beau-teous light,
filled with the light of God. A-men.

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June 04, 2005

73R Shekinah In Her Holy Place

Original Title: "The Lord Is In His Holy Place," William Channing Gannett (1873), ST. BERNARD, C.M., Tochter Sion (1741); New Title: "Shekinah In Her Holy Place," rev. REH (2005), RESIGNATION, C.M.D., Traditional American; Southern Harmony (1835). 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. Though "Shekinah" does not appear in the original title of the hymn, it does occur as a reference to the glory of God in the lyrics of the first stanza (itself remarkable for a hymn composed in 1873). The reference to Exodus 40:35 is likewise original to Gannett. The word "Shekinah" does not appear as such in the Bible, but it does appear in Talmudic literature; e.g., "Whenever ten are gathered for prayer, there Shekinah rests," Talmud Sanhedrin 39a. A feminine word in Hebrew, many have suggested that the name Shekinah represents the female attributes of the presence or glory of God (though there would seem to be some competition with Wisdom/Sophia and the Spirit/Ruah, also feminine in Hebrew, or perhaps even St. Julian of Norwich's views on the mothering qualities of Christ). "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail," Job 38:22 (NRSV). "If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents," Song of Songs 1:8 (KJV); see also Jeremiah 6:3. "Gethsemane," Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:32. "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you?," Acts 3:12 (NIV). "Do not I fill heaven and earth?, declares the Lord," Jeremiah 23:24. The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymn nor in Singing the Living Tradition.

RESIGNATION (C.M.D.)

1. She-ki-nah* in her ho-ly place,
in all things, near and far;
She-ki-nah of the snow-flake, too,
finds glo-ry in the star.
She finds her-self with-in the love
of those whom we love best;
the smiles and tones that make our homes
are shrines by her poss-essed.

2. Our art may build its house of God,
our feet on Si-nai stand,
but ho-li-est of ho-lies knows
no tread, no touch of hand.
She tents with-in the lone-ly heart
and shep-herds eve-ry thought;
We find her not by seek-ing long,
we lose her not, un-sought.

3. The liste-ning soul makes Si-nai still
wher-ev-er we may be,
and in the vow "Thy will be done,"
lies all Geth-se-ma-ne.
O eve-ry-where her ho-ly place,
if love un-seals the eyes,
and eve-ry-where the wait-ing face
to wel-come and sur-prise!

* Shekinah, the visible glory of God; see, e.g., Exodus 40:35

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June 06, 2005

75R Light of Ages and of Nations

Original Title: "Light of Ages and of Nations," Samuel Longfellow, AUSTRIA, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Franz Joseph Haydn (1797); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2006), IN BABILONE, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Traditional Dutch melody (c. 1710). The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal, but does appear in Singing the Living Tradition, to the tune AUSTRIA as no. 190 and IN BABILONE as no. 189. Colossians 3:11 (ESV), "Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all." Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." 1 Corinitians 12:13, "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit." Roman 10:12, "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him;" see also Romans 3:9, 2:14-15, 1:14-16. Jeremiah 31:33 (NRSV), "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts." Psalms 27:1 (KJV), "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalms 36:9, "For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light." James 5:10, "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience," see also Luke 1:67, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Chronicles 33:18, Ezekiel 3:11, Luke 4:17, Acts 13:15.

IN BABILONE (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.)

1. Light of a-ges and of na-tions,
eve-ry race and eve-ry time
has re-ceived your in-spi-ra-tions,
glimp-ses of your truth sub-lime.
al-ways spir-its in rapt vi-sion
passed the heaven-ly veil with-in,
al-ways hearts bow-ed in con-tri-tion
found sal-va~tion from their sin.


2. Rea-son's no-ble as-pi-ra-tion
truth in grow-ing clear-ness saw;
Con-science spoke its con-dem-na-tion,
or pro-claimed th'e-ter-nal law.
While your in-ward re-ve-la-tions
told your saints their prayers were heard,
pro-phets to the guil-ty na-tions
spoke your ev-er-las-ting word.

3. Lo, that word a-bi-deth ev-er,
re-ve-la-tion is not sealed.
An-swering now to our en-dea-vor,
truth and right are still re-vealed.
That which came to an-cient sa-ges,
Greek, Bar-bar-ian, Ro-man, Jew,
writ-ten in the soul's deep pa-ges,
shines to-day, for-ev-er new!

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