April 05, 2005

28R God of the Earth, the Sky, the Sea

Original Title: "God of the Earth, the Sky and the Sea," Samuel Longfellow (1864), WINCHESTER NEW, L.M., Hamburger Musikalisches Handbuch (1690); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), ST. CATHERINE, 8.8.8.8.8.8., Henri F. Hemy (1865). Psalm 24:1-2, "The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains . . . For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers." Genesis 1:27, "[I]n the image of God . . . male and female [God] created them;" see also Genesis 9:6. "God's likeness," 2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 Corinthians 15:49. The Indwelling God, John 15:4. Proverbs 22:2, "The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all." The hymn is not contained in The New Century Hymnal, but is found in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 25, to the tune DUKE STREET, L.M.

ST. CATHERINE (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. God of the earth, the sky, the sea,
Mak-er of all a-bove, be-low,
cre-a-tion lives and moves in thee,
thy pre-sent life in all doth flow.
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing;
O Ho-ly One, our praise we bring!

2. Thy love is in the sun-shine’s glow,
thy life is in the quick-ening air;
When light-ning flash-es and storm winds blow,
there is thy power; thy law is there.
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing;
O Ho-ly One, our praise we bring!

3. We feel thy calm at even-ing’s hour,
thy grand-eur in the march of night;
And when thy morn-ing breaks in power,
we hear thy word, “Let there be light.”
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing;
O Ho-ly One, our praise we bring!

4. But high-er far, and far more clear,
thee in our spir-its we be-hold;
Thine im-age and thy-self are there—
Th’in-dwell-ing God, pro-claimed of old!
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing;
O Ho-ly One, our praise we bring!

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April 27, 2005

47R Come Thou Almighty Will!

Original Title: "Come Thou Almighty Will," Hymns of the Spirit One (1864), ITALIAN HYMN, 6.6.4.6.6.4., adapted from Felice Giardini (1769); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Hymns of the Spirit One (1864) was edited by Samuel Longfellow. The hymn recites numerous names and titles for the spirit of God; "Almighty Will," echoing the spirit that blowest "where it listeth," John 3:8 (KJV); "Calm of faith's confidence," recalling the title "Comforter" from John 4:16 and John 15:26; "most Tender Love," suggesting the "Love of God" in 1 John 4:9 and the equivalence of "God is Love" from 1 John 14:16; see also Romans 5:5, "Light serene," remembering too that "God is light," 1 John 1:5; Psalm 27:1. "Quickener," as quicken is now in most translations "revive," suggests the "giver of life" from the historic creeds, or the "spirit of life," Romans 8:2 (NRSV); Revelations 11:11 (KJV) and the "breath of the almighty," Job 33:4. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal.

ITALIAN HYMN (6.6.4.6.6.6.4.)

1. Come, thou Al-might-y Will!
Our faint-ing bos-soms fill
with thy great power:
Strength of our good in-tents,
our tempt-ed hour's de-fense,
calm of faith's con-fi-dence,
come, in this hour!

2. Come, thou most ten-der Love!
With-in our spir-its move,
their sweet-est guest:
Ex-alt each low de-sire,
trans-form-ing pas-sion's fire,
to deeds of love in-spire,
Quicken-er and Rest!

3. Come, Light ser-ene and still!
Our gloom-y spir-its fill
with thy clear day:
Guide of the fee-ble sight,
Star of grief's low-est night,
re-veal the path of right,
show us thy way! A-men.


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May 21, 2005

62R Rise, My Soul, and Stretch Your Wings

Words: Robert Seagrave (1742), alt. REH (2005); Music: AMSTERDAM, 7.6.7.6.7.7.7.6., James Nares, Foundery Collection (1742). Seagrave was English and Anglican. "In My Father’s house there are many rooms . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you," John 14:2. This 18th century hymn is by no means the oldest in Hymns of the Spirit Two, but its lyrics do seem decidedly "unmodern" for the collection. Despite their relatively late composition, they might best be viewed through both pre- and post-modern sensibilities. We are counseled to rise above "transitory things" toward a life of our final destination, toward a life of our ultimate meaning-- toward "heaven." Rather than speaking of "the eternal life," which conjures up images of eternal activity, Seagrave speaks instead of "rest," what the heart and mind and soul seek from time to time in this life too. The sun's daily return does indeed promise the possibility of that elusive paradise, particularly in these days when our "modern," overscheduled lives would seem to leave so little room for rest, or play, or relaxation of any unscripted sort. Rise, and stretch! The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition or The New Century Hymnal.

AMSTERDAM (7.6.7.6.7.7.7.6.)

1. Rise, my soul, and stretch your wings, your bet-ter por-tion trace.
Rise from tran-si-to-ry things towards heaven, your des-tined place!
Sun and moons and stars de-cay; time might soon this earth re-move:
Rise, my soul, and haste a-way to seats pre-pared a-bove.

2. Riv-ers to the o-cean run, nor stay in all their course;
Fire as-cend-ing seeks the sun; both speed them to their source:
So my soul, de-rived from God, longs to view God's glo-rious face,
For-ward tends to that a-bode, to rest in that em-brace.

3. Cease, O pil-grims, cease to mourn, press on-ward to the prize;
The Dawn's dai-ly sure re-turn pro-mis-es par-a-dise:
There is ev-er-last-ing peace; rest, may this day's rest, be heaven;
There too ev-en sor-rows cease, and crowns of joy be given.

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June 09, 2005

78R Who Fathoms the Eternal Thought

Original Title: "Who Fathoms the Eternal Thought," John Greenleaf Whittier; ST. BERNARD, C.M., Tochter Sion (1741). Psalm 46:10 (KJV), "Be still, and know that I am God;" Psalm 100:3, "Know ye that the Lord he is God;" see also Deuteronomy 4:35, 1 Kings 18:39, Ezekiel 34:30, Exodus 18:11. Isaiah 2:11, [T]he haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day;" see also 2 Corinthians 10:5. 1 Kings 19:12, "And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice;" 1 John 4:8-16 "God is Love." Psalm 78:41, "And still again they tried God, and set bounds to the Holy One of Israel;" see also Psalms 74:17, 148:6; Job 26:10, 38:10.

ST. BERNARD (C.M)

1. Who fath-oms the E-ter-nal Thought?
Which mor-tal hath all planned?
For God is God, who need-eth not
the schemes of hu-man hand.

2. I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground
ye tread with bold-ness shod;
I dare not fix with mete and bound
the love and power of God.

3. I know not what the fu-ture hath
of mar-vel or sur-prise,
as-sured a-lone that life and death
God's mer-cy un-der-lies.

4. I know not where God's is-lands lift
their frond-ed palms in air;
I on-ly know I can-not drift
be-yond such love and care.

5. And so be-side the si-lent sea
I wait the muf-fled oar;
no harm shall ev-er come to me
on o-cean or on shore.

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June 14, 2005

83S Espíritu de luz y amor

Título: "Espíritu de luz y amor," Anónimo, rev. REH (2006), MARCHING, 8.7.8.7., Martin Fallas Shaw (1915). Aparece como no. 52 en El Himnario (Church Publishing, Inc. 1998), con la tonada DOMINUS REGIT ME, 8.7.8.7., John B. Dykes. "Dios es luz," 1 Juan 1:5 (BLS); "Dios . . . ha llenado de luz nuestro corazón," 2 Corintios 4:6 (Castilian); "Dios, . . . me has librado de la muerte, para que siempre, en tu presencia, camine en la luz de la vida," Salmos 56:13 (NVI). "Sobre Dios extiende su luz y cubre con ella las profundidades del mar," Job 36:30 (RVR 1995). "Dios es amor; y el que vive en amor, vive en Dios, y Dios en él," 1 Juan 4:16 (RVA); veáse también 1 Juan 4:7-8, 12, Efesios 2:4, Romanos 15:30. "Se les aparecieron entonces unas lenguas como de fuego," Hechos 2:3 (NVI); Isaías 30:27.

MARCHING (8.7.8.7.)

1. Es-pí-ri-tu de luz y~a-mor,
es-cu-cha nues-tro rue-go;
in-fla-ma nues-tro co-ra-zón
con tu ce-les-te fue-go.

2. Ven a los que~en do-lor es-tán,
sus al-mas vi-vi-fi-ca;
y~a los que por ti vi-ven
y a-lé-gra-les la vi-da.

3. Pro-me-sa de di-vi-na paz,
y dá-di-va del buen Dios,
con tu po-der, con tu vir-tud,
vi-sí-ta-nos, no tar-des.

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December 05, 2005

207R When Love's Sovereign Sojourned (Here)

Original Title: "When the Lord of Love Was Here," Stopford Augustus Brooke (1881), MISERICORDE (7.7.5.7.7.5.), Robert L. Sanders (1932); New Title: "When Love's Sovereign Sojourned (Here)," rev. REH (2005), Same hymn tune. Neither hymn nor tune appears in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. Brooke was a 19th Century Irish writer and churchman, first ordained in the Church of England, but later he officiated as a Unitarian minister at Bedford chapel, Bloomsbury. The hymn recollects the words of Jesus that we are to "love God," and "love our neighbors" (even our enemies) as ourselves, and that all the law and prophets rest on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27. Also echoed in the hymn is 1 John 4:19-21, which records that Jesus "loved us" before we loved him. The "parables of God" of which Brooke speaks are found through out the gospels, but above all in Mark, chapter 4:1-20, in a series of stories regarding seeds, birds, soil, and the transforming and self-producing power of the earth. "The outcasts" thronging to the Healer bring to mind the story of the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:26-30, who, comparing herself with a "dog," argues with Jesus that he heal her daughter as even "dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs;" Jesus agrees. The UUA's Skinner House advises that it considers MISERICORDE to be in the public domain.

MISERICORDE (7.7.5.7.7.5.)

1. When Love's Sove-reign so-journed here,
hap-py hearts grew ev-er near,
though one heart was sad;
Worn and lone-some for our sake,
yet still turned a-side to make
all the wea-ry glad.

2. One who walked the fields, and drew
from the flowers and birds and dew
pa-ra-bles of God;
For with-in that heart of love
all the souls on earth did move,
God had an a-bode.

3. All the out-casts thronged to hear,
all the sor-row-ful drew near
to the Hea-ler's care;
deep and ear-thy were the ways
from which lov-ing grew to praise,
and from giv-ing, prayer.

4. O, be ours that power to keep
in the ver-y heart of grief,
and in tri-al, love;
In our weak-ness to be wise,
and through sor-rows to a-rise
to our God a-bove. A-men.

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January 08, 2007

621R In Love I Put My Highest Trust

Title: In Love I Put My Highest Trust, Psalm 71:1-6, from The New Verson, Brady and Tate (1698), adapted REH (2007); OLD 29TH, C.M.D., Anglo-Genevan Psalter (1556), harmony, Scottish Psalter (1635). Alternative (and perhaps better known) hymn tunes to consider include Vaughn Williams' KINGSFOLD, C.M.D., and FOREST GREEN, C.M.D., both of which may be found in Singing the Living Tradition and in The New Century Hymnal. Psalm 71 is an appointed Revised Common Lectionary reading for Epiphany 4C and Proper 16C/Ordinary 21C, as well as for the Tuesday during Holy Week. The lyrics also echo Psalm 139:13 (NRSV), "You knit me in my mother's womb." The lyrics address, in a broad way, the often unchurchly topic of bullying, an area of resurgent concern for young men and women in the Internet age. Advice to bullies and their victims might include: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all," Romans 12:19; see also Proverbs 24:7. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you," Luke 6:27-28. This ode to Love echoes too the Greek Testament, in words that have come to us as "Deus caritas est," or "God is Love," words of particular significance for many Universalists. 1 John 4:16

OLD 29TH (C.M.D.)

1. In Love I put my high-est trust,
de-fend-ing hearts from chains;
And who but you can save my soul
as I cry out your names?
You are the strong and sweet-est place,
to which all souls re-sort;
And Love's de-mands do keep me safe;
they are my rock and port.

2. From cru-el taunt and cru-el word,
from earl-iest days of youth,
my heart you ev-er soothed, O God;
My life still lives in you.
Love's tough-ened care did safe-ly guard
my ten-der school-yard days;
You knit me deep with-in your womb;
Now life is con-stant praise!

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February 07, 2007

623R All Who With Full Intent and Mind

Words: William Kethe (circa 1561), Psalm 91:1-2, 8-16, adapted REH (2007) ; Music: WER DA WONET (L.M.D.), Vehe’s Gesangbüchlein (1537); Alternative: ANGLO-GENEVAN PSALM 91, L.M.D., French melody (1561). Lent 1C, Proper 21C, Proper 24B. God is Love, 1 John 4:8, 16.

WER DA WONET (L.M.D.)

ANGLO-GENEVAN PSALM 91 (L.M.D.)

1. All who with full in-tent and mind
in Love's high peaks by faith do dwell:
whose gra-cious pow-er all shall find
the saf-est place to serve them well.
Now say un-to our God will I,
"O you in-deed are hope most sure:
For God is Love, thus will I cry
my trust in you for-ev-er more!"

2. O all shall cer-tain-ly be-hold
what jus-tice have the self- ish earned;
but when true Love is your strong-hold,
lo, hence to Life the soul is turned.
Then will no dan-gers vis-it you,
nor will your tent or ground-cloth stir;
for come the an-gels forth a-new,
and to their strength all do de-fer.

3. So fierce-ly they shall you de-fend,
that harm you shall be sure of none,
nor you so much as once of-fend,
nor dash your foot a-gainst a stone.
You shall a-mongst the li-ons tread,
the dra-gon and the asp al-so;
O you shall nev-er live in dread,
as you a-mongst them safe-ly go.

4. For so the Sove-reign One a- bove,
bold-ly de-clares, "I know your name."
I thus will lift my praise to Love,
and foes con-found who seek Love's shame.
On me shall Life call when in need,
and I will hear though still in doubt;
in trou-bles I res-pond with speed,
that God be glor-i-fied through-out.

5. The years that shall be Time's de-sire,
that we in grace full-well may spend;
our health and life and love en-tire,
will serve all well and have no end.
All who with full in-tent and mind
in Love's high peaks by faith do dwell:
whose gra-cious pow-er all shall find
the saf-est place to serve them well.

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