May 24, 2005

65R You Whose Spirit Dwells In All

Original Title: "Thou Whose Spirit Dwells In All," John White Chadwick (1890), UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, 7.7.7.7., Henry John Gauntlett (1852); New Title: "You Whose Spirit Dwells In All," alt. REH (2006), same hymn tune. "For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same . . . They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals," Ecclesiastes 3:19 (NRSV). Genesis 2:7, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," Genesis 7:15, "And [the animals] went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life." "You own the cosmos-you made everything in it, everything from atom to archangel," Psalm 89:11 (The Message); "The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: The world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them," Psalm 89:11 (ASV). "Behold, the nations are esteemed as a drop of the bucket, and as the fine dust on the scales; behold, he taketh up the isles as an atom," Isaiah 40:15 (The Darby Translation); Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust," Isaiah 40:15 (ESV). "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?," 1 Corinthians 3:16 (KJV). "[Christ] has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth," Ephesians 1:9-10. "God [is] All in All," 1 Corinthians 15:28. Love is as strong as death," Song of Solomon 8:6. "Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!," Numbers 11:29 (RSV). For an alternate tune for this hymn, see no. 35 herein, VIENNA, 7.7.7.7. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE (7.7.7.7.)

1. You whose spir-it dwells in all,
pri-mal source of life and mind,
through-out earth and in each soul,
ev-er full and un-con-fined!

2. What shall sep-a-rate from you?
None of earth's cre-a-ted things!
Joy and sor-row, good and ill,
each from you its es-sence brings.

3. Yours, the at-om's faint-est thrill;
Yours, the humb-lest crea-ture's breath;
Pro-phet soul in eve-ry kind,
yearn-ing still through life and death.

4. Yearn-ing for the crown-ing race:
We, in whom at last un-fold
all your se-crets strange and sweet
from the farth-est days of old.

5. Se-crets too of things to be,
in the cy-cles on be-fore:
Love that strong-er is than death,
Life with you for-ev-er-more.


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Change tune to VIENNA (no. 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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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

431R All Souls, O God, Are Thine

Original Title: "All Souls, O Lord, Are Thine," Epes Sargent (1813-1880), LANGRAN, 10.10.10.10., James Langran (1863); New Title, "All Souls, O God, Are Thine," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Sargent was a Universalist minister in the United States. "[Christ] has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth," Ephesians 1:9-10. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man," Hebrews 2:9. "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world," 1 John 2:2. "The Savior of all, especially those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:10. "God [is] All in All," 1 Corinthians 15:28. The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal nor (astonishingly) in Singing the Living Tradition.

LANGRAN (10.10.10.10.)

1. All souls, O God, are thine, as-sur-ance blest!
Thine, not our own to rob of help di-vine;
not ours to doom by an-y hu-man test,
but thine, O gra-cious God, and on-ly thine.

2. Thine, by thy va-rious dis-ci-plines, to lead
to heights where heaven-ly truths im-mort-al shine,
truths none e-ter-nal-ly shall fail to heed;
for all, O God, are thine, for-ev-er thine.

3. For-give the thought, that ev-er-last-ing ill
to a-ny can be part of thy de-sign;
fi-nite, im-per-fect, er-ring, guil-ty-- still
all souls, great God, are thine-- and mer-cy thine. A-men.

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January 05, 2006

546R Faith of the Martyrs, Living Still

Original Title: "Faith of Our Fathers, Living Still," adapted from Frederick William Faber (1849), ST. CATHERINE, 8.8.8.8.8.8., Henri Frederick Hemi (1865); New Title: "Faith of the Martyrs," rev. REH (2006), same hyme tune. Though the son of an Anglican cleric, Faber was a Roman Catholic priest. The hymn speaks of the persecution of Catholics in Britain; the original spoke of "Mary's prayers" that would set Britain free. Its position in Hymns of the Spirit Two (1937) is of note; as no. 546, it is the first hymn in the section marked "SUPPLEMENT." Many of these hymns were reckoned to be tunes of lesser quality, popular with the more rural Universalists. Oddly, however, "Faith of Our Fathers" does not appear in the prior hymnal published by the Universalists, Hymns of the Church (Boston: 1917) (though Reginald Heber's "Forth From the Dark and Stormy Sky" appears therein to ST. CATHERINE, a tune which does not appear anywhere other than at no. 546 in Hymns of the Spirit Two). It may be that its Catholic pedigree (Universalists were generally less anti-Catholic than Unitarians and other Protestants of the day) and the theme of persecution made the hymn appropriate for the "Universalist" section. In New England, the Unitarians were originally part of the "Standing Order" of (state-supported) Puritan/Congregational churches until in some cases the middle part of the 19th century; such standing did not apply to the (relatively speaking, persecuted) Universalists. The lyrics echo Hebrews 11:1-2 (NRSV), "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval." They also obliquely refer to the story in Mark regarding John the Baptist, "she rushed back to the king and requested, 'I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter,' . . . Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter," Mark 6:25-28. One too is reminded of Job in the Hebrew Bible, "But [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold," Job 23:10. "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: . . . Gird up your loins . . . I will question you, and you shall declare to me," Job 38:1-3. "Then Job answered the Lord: 'I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted,'" Job 42:1-2. The hymn's lyrical change to "Faith of Our Mothers" is more than fanciful political correction; while the Congregational Church claims the first woman ordained to Christain ministry in the United States, the Universalists claim the first woman approved to the ministry at the denominational level, in the person of Olympia Brown. In the Midwest, female preaching "circuit riders" (including the celebrated Iowa Sisterhood) famously spread the liberating gospel of the faith. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but does appear as "Faith of the Martyrs, Living Still," as no. 381, in The New Century Hymnal.

ST. CATHERINE (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. Faith of the mar-tyrs, liv-ing still,
in spite of dun-geon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
when-e'er we hear that glo-rious word!
Faith of the mar-tyrs, ho-ly faith!
We will be true through life and death.

2. Faith of our fa-thers, we will strive
to dwell with all souls peace-ful-ly;
and through the truth that comes from God,
we all shall then be tru-ly free.
Faith of our fa-thers, ho-ly faith!
We will be true through life and death.

3. Our for-bears chained in pri-son dim
were still in heart and con-science free;
and blessed would be our own lives' fate
if we, like them, should live for thee.
Faith of our for-bears, ho-ly faith!
We will be true through life and death.

4. Faith of our mo-thers, we will love
both friend and foe in all our strife;
and preach thee, too, as love knows how
by kind-ly words and vir-tuous life.
Faith of our mo-thers, ho-ly faith!
We will be true through life and death.

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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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December 31, 2006

620R God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces

Title: "God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces," Edward Moran (2005), alt., CONVERSE, 8.7.8.7. D, C. C. Converse (1868). Moran is a Presbyterian who lives in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, New York; many of the lyrics of the hymns he has written can be found in the "Hymn Texts" section of the website run by The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Moran describes the work below as addressing "often-divisive issues of sexual diversity in the light of traditional images of Incarnation and Trinity." The lyrics have been edited lightly here. The second stanza originally read as a statement rather than a question, i.e., "Born of virgin, Word made flesh, dead and buried, still He rises!" The third stanza likewise read "Easter garments, at His order, Swaddle Her beloved One," without a question mark. Finally, the last stanza here reads "unbound God" in lieu of "Threesome God" as in Moran's original. The lyrics remain under copyright all the same, (c) Edward Moran 2006. They appear here by his kind permission. Users may wish to request permission to reproduce the hymn for local or congregational worship, or other purposes, by writing him at EMoran8688@aol.com. "Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart ... Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead," Deuteronomy 6:6, 8 (NRSV), see also Deuteronomy 11:18. "It is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil." Ecclesiastes 3:13. "My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away," Song of Songs 2:10. "Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt," 1 Samuel 18:3-4; see also 2 Samuel 1:26. "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law," Romans 13:8, see also Romans 14:10, 12:4, 8:21. "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me," 1 Corinthians 11:24, see also 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 13:13. "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb," John 20:2. "She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger," Luke 2:7, John 1:1. "Thus says the Lord ... I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert," Isaiah 43:16, 19.

CONVERSE (ERIE) (WHAT A FRIEND)(8.7.8.7. D)

1. God of queer, trans-gress-ive spa-ces:
Lav-ish man-ger, emp-ty tomb,
wine-dark loaves and pre-cious gra-ces
bend our bar-ren lives to bloom.

2. God’s own de-vi-ance is Jes-us:
Born of vir-gin, word made flesh,
dead and bur-ied, and still ris-es?
What ab-norm-al world-li-ness!

3. Thank God for this grave dis-ord-er:
Shroud and sor-row fall un-done;
East-er gar-ments, at whose or-der,
swad-dle the be-lov-ed one?

4. Broth-ers, bind ye to each oth-er,
Sis-ters, too, and have no shame.
Sing with God our Fath-er-Moth-er,
Love that dares now speak its name.

5. With our un-bound* God con-fess-ing:
Turn all frac-ture in-to praise,
be-ne-dic-tion in-to bless-ing,
fab-u-lous and full of days.

* or 'threesome,' as in the original

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