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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December 14, 2005

218R Where Cross the Crowded Ways (of Life)

Original Title: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life," Frank Mason North (1905), AUCORITATE SAECULI, L.M., Angers Church Melody; New Title: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways (of Life)," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition. North was a Methodist, served as president of the Federal (now National) Council of Churches, and was a native of New York City, whose bustling pace is manifest in these lyrics. Though at odds with Hymns of the Spirit Two, cyberhymnal.org gives the date of publication as 1903 in The Christian City (with the tune as GERMANY, which is how it appears as hymn no. 543 in the United Church of Christ's New Century Hymnal). The site enigmatically notes a biblical allusion to Matthew 22:9. Less obscure might be Matthew 10:40-42 (NRSV): "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me ... and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward;" see also Mark 9:41. Revelation 21:10, "And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God," see also Revelation 21:2, Hebrews 11:16. The lyrics "from famished souls ... your heart has never known recoil," bring to mind the story of the persistent Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:26-30. Though an "gentile," and thus ritually "unclean," Jesus agrees to heal her child all the same.

AUCTORITATE SAECULI (L.M.)

1. Where cross the crowd-ed ways of life,
where sound out cries, hearts race and run;
a-bove the noise of self-ish strife,
we hear your voice, Be-lov-ed One.

2. In haunts of wretch-ed-ness and need,
on shadow-ed thresh-olds full with fears,
from paths where hide the lures of greed,
we catch the vi-sion of your tears.

3. From ten-der child-hood's help-less-ness,
from lone-some grief, and burd-ened toil,
from fam-ished souls, from sor-row's stress,
your heart has ne-ver known re-coil.

4. The cup of wa-ter given for you,
still holds the fresh-ness of your grace;
Yet long these mul-ti-tudes to view
the true com-pas-sion of your face.

5. O Teach-er, from the moun-tain-side
make haste to heal these hearts of pain;
a-mong these rest-less throngs a-bide;
O tread the ci-ty's streets a-gain.


6. Till all earth's child-ren learn to love
and fol-low where your feet have trod,
till, glo-rious from your heaven a-bove,
shall come the Ci-ty of our God!

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218S Entre el vaivén de la ciudad

Título original: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life," Frank Mason North (1905), traductor anónimo, AUCTORITATE SAECULI, 8.8.8.8., Angers Church Melody; Título nuevo: "Entre el vaivén de la ciudad," rev. REH (2005), misma tonada. El himno aparece en el himnario metodista Mil voces para celebrar (1996), como no. 296, y como no. 325 en El Himnario (Church Publishing, 1998), pero con la tonada GERMANY (L.M.). Mateo 10:42 (CST), "Y cualquiera que dé un simple vaso de agua al más humilde de mis discípulos por el hecho de ser discípulo mío, no quedará sin recompensa," véase también Marcos 9:41, Mateo 22:9. Apocalipsis 21:10 (RVR 1995),"Me llevó en el Espíritu a un monte grande y alto y me mostró la gran ciudad, la santa Jerusalén, que descendía del cielo de parte de Dios," véase también Apocalipsis 21:2, Hebreos 11:16. Marcos 7:26, La mujer sirofenicia fue a rogar a Jesús, para que sanara su hija.

AUCTORITATE SAECULI (8.8.8.8.)

1. En-tre el vai-vén de la ciu-dad,
más fuer-te a-ún que su ru-mor;
en lid de ra-za y so-cie-dad,
tu voz o-í-mos, Re-den-tor.


2. Do-quie-ra e-xis-ta ex-plo-ta-ción,
fal-te tra-ba-jo, no haya pan;
en los um-bra-les del te-rror,
Ra-bi-no, vé-mos-te llo-rar.


3. Un va-so de a-gua pue-de ser,
hoy de tu gra-cia, la se-ñal;
mas ya las gen-tes quie-ren ver
tu com-pa-si-va y san-ta faz.

4. Has-ta que triun-fe tu dul-zor
y el mun-do pue-da o-ír tu voz
y de los cie-los, mi a-mor,
des-cien-da la Ciu-dad de Dios.

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January 01, 2006

262R Now Thank We All Our God

Original Title: "Now Thank We All Our God," Martin Rinkart (1636), trans. Catherine Winkworth (1858), NUN DANKET, 6.7.6.7.6.6.6.6., Johann Crüger (1647), harm. Mendelssohn; New Title: "Now Thank We All Our God," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. One of the best-known hymns of the Church Universal. It appears as a two-stanza hymn in Singing the Living Tradition, at no. 32; it appears without parental metaphors in The New Century Hymnal, at no. 419. It echoes both Psalm 67, and other psalms.

NUN DANKET (6.7.6.7.6.6.6.6.)

1. Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voi-ces,
who won-drous things has done, in whom this world re-joi-ces;
who from our par-ents’ arms has blessed us on our way
with count-less gifts of love, and still is ours to-day.


2. O may this boun-teous God through all our life be near us,
with ev-er joy-ful hearts and bless-èd peace to cheer us;
and keep us in true grace, and guide us when per-plexed;
and free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

3. All praise and thanks to God the Fa-ther and the Mo-ther;
The one E-ter-nal God, who joins us to each oth-er;
The all-re-deem-ing Life, whom earth and heaven a-dore;
for thus it was, is now, and shall be ev-er-more.

Some congregations may wish to attempt one or more of the original German stanzas (the editors of the website would be happy to create scores for these upon request):

1. Nun dank-et al-le Gott
mit Herz-en, Mund und Händ-en,
der gro-sse Ding-e tut
an uns und al-len End-en;
Der uns von Mut-ter-leib
und Kind-es-bein-en an
un-zäh-lig viel zu gut
bis hie-her hat ge-tan.

2. Der e-wig reich-e Gott
woll uns in uns-erm Leb-en
ein Imm-er fröh-lich Herz
und ed-len Fried-en geb-en,
und uns in sein-er Gnad
er-halt-en fort und fort
und uns aus al-ler Not
er-lös-en hier und dort.

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January 05, 2006

531S Psalm 67: Bless Us, O God

Original Title: "God Be Merciful Unto Me," Anonymous, first setting, Anonymous, second setting, William Croft; New Title: "Psalm 67: Bless Us, O God," Christine Robinson (2006), arranged by REH (2006), first setting, Anonymous. Christine Robinson is a minister at First Unitarian Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico; her adaptation of the psalms has been part of her daily spiritual exercises since 2003. During a sabbatical from parish ministry, she began to write these psalms on a blog entitled Psalms for a New World, an adaptation using "inclusive language and through modern lenses of ecological awareness, Taoist sensibilites, and post-modern theology." Though the style of these adaptations would generally not be suited for metrical psalms or "four-square" hymn paraphrases, Hymns of the Spirit Two does contain a few Anglican-style plainchants that do not require rigorous rhyming or metrical schemes. This is one of those selections, and the Reverend Robinson's work has been adopted for inclusion here. She has graciously granted permission for same. The normal copyright restrictions on local and congregational use apply as noted below. Psalm 67 is the revised common lectionary psalm for Proper 15A/Ordinary 20A/Pentecost 13A and Easter 6C.

PSALM 67 (Chant)

1. Bless us, O God; whisper~in~our hearts and light our times.
2. Help~us~to~understand~your~love and your law; and~bring~them~to bear on the world’s ills.
3. Let~all~the~people~of~the earth praise you with~all their di-verse voi-ces.
4. Let~them~call~out~the~ten thou-sand names; let~all~nations~praise~you~with the best of their ways.
5. Let~the~peoples~of~the~earth bless the earth and~heal~earth~together;~let~us~all~enjoy each oth-er’s wis-dom.
6. Bless~us,~O~God,~with~your~presence in our hearts; and~in~the~soul~of our na-tion. A-men.

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