April 03, 2005

26R O Source Divine and Life of All

Original Title: "O Source Divine and Life of All," John Sterling (1839), SONG 34 (GIBBONS), L.M., Orlando Gibbons, Rhythm altered (1623); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. The version of SONG 34 here differs slightly from the version of the tune that appears in Hymns of the Spirit Two. Sterling was born on the Isle of Bute, in Scotland. "For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart." Psalm 36:10-11 (KJV). The hymn appears neither in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. This is particularly notable given the line in the third stanza, "through the ceaseless web to trace," words so redolent of the so-called "Seventh Principle" of the Unitarian Universalist Association's Principles and Purposes.

SONG 34 (GIBBONS)

1. O Source di-vine, and Life of all,
the Fount of be-ing’s won-drous sea!
Thy depth does ev-ery heart e'er call
that we may see love's dream in thee.

2. We shrink be-fore thy vast a-byss,
where worlds on worlds e-ter-nal brood.
We know thee tru-ly but in this--
That thou be-stow-est all our good.

3. And so, mid bound-less time and space,
O grant us still in thee to dwell,
and through the cease-less web to trace
thy pre-sence work-ing all things well.


4. Nor let thou life’s de-light-ful play
thy truth’s trans-cend-ent vi-sion hide;
Nor strength and glad-ness lead a-stray
from thee, our na-ture’s on-ly guide.

5. Be-stow on all our joy-ous thrills
thy deep-er tones of reve-rent awe:
Make free thy child-ren’s world-ly wills,
and in-cline hearts toward hol-ier law.

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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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April 08, 2005

31R Thou Art O God the Life and Light

Original Title: "Thou Art, O God, the Life and Light," Thomas Moore (1816), MACH'S MIT MIR, GOTT, 8.8.8.8.8.8., Johann Hermann Schein (1645), harmony by J. S. Bach; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), OLD 113TH, 8.8.8.8.8.8., Matthäus Greiter (1500-1552). Thomas Moore was a Roman Catholic and Irish Nationalist. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal. "With thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light," Psalm 36:9. "The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come," The Song of Songs 2:12. "Clouds of heaven," Daniel 7:13, Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62.

OLD 113TH (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. Thou art, O God, the Life and Light
of all this won-drous world we see;
Its glow by day, its smile by night,
are but re-flec-tions caught from thee;
Wher-e'er we turn, thy glo-ries shine:
all things beau-teous and bright are thine.

2. When day, with fare-well beam, de-lays
a-mong the open-ing clouds of even,
and we can al-most think we gaze
through gold-en vis-tas in-to heaven,
those hues, that make the sun's de-cline
so soft, so ra-diant, God, are thine.

3. When budd-ing spring a-round us breathes
thy spir-it warms a fra-grant sigh,
and eve-ry flower the sum-mer wreathes
is born be-neath that kind-ling eye--
Wher-e'er we turn, thy glo-ries shine:
all things beau-teous and bright are thine.

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April 15, 2005

38R The Harp at Nature's Advent Strung

Original Title: "The Harp at Nature's Advent Strung," John Greenleaf Whittier, EVAN, C.M., William Henry Havergal, arranged by Lowell Mason (1850); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), LLANGLOFLAN, 8.6.8.6., Welsh Hymn Melody. Whittier was an anti-slavery Quaker and poet, who was secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Though born in Boston, he lived in Philadelphia where he edited the Pennsylvania Freeman. The complete, original poem, called "The Worship of Nature" contains ten verses, rather than the six below, or the five in Hymns of the Spirit Two and the five in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 74 (It is not contained in The New Century Hymnal). Though anthologized in The Complete Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1894), the poem was first published in 1867. "All the earth . . . make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, . . . Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 98:4-7 "You have kept the good wine until now," John 2:10, Nehemiah 8:10.

LLANGLOFLAN (8.6.8.6.)

1. The harp at Na-ture's ad-vent strung
has never ceas-ed to play;
the song the stars of morn-ing sung
has ne-ver died a-way.
And prayer is made, and praise is given,
by all things near and far;
the o-cean look-eth up to heaven,
and mirr-ors eve-ry star.

2. Its waves are kneel-ing on the strand,
as kneels the hu-man knee,
their white locks bow-ing to the sand,
the priest-hood of the sea!
The green earth sends its in-cense up
from many a moun-tain shrine;
from fold-ed leaf and de-wy cup
and pours a sacr-ed wine.

3. The blue sky is the tem-ple's arch,
its tran-sept earth and air,
the mu-sic of its star-ry march
the cho-rus of a prayer.
So Na-ture keeps the re-verent frame
with which the years be-gan,
and all the signs and voi-ces shame
the prayer-less heart a-gain.

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May 23, 2005

63R Mysterious Presence, Source of All

Original Title: "Mysterious Presence, Source of All," Seth Curtis Brooks (1866), WAREHAM, L.M., William Knapp (1736); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), LUCIS CREATOR, L.M., Angers Church Melody. Seth Curtis Beach was an American Unitarian. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." James 1:17 (KJV). Psalm 36:6, "Thy judgments are a great deep." Psalm 73:16, "When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me." Psalm 77:19, "Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known." Romans 11:33, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unserachable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" "God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," Genesis 2:7 (NRSV); see also Genesis 1:30, 6:17, 7:15. "For with you is the fountain of life," Psalm 36:9, see also Psalm 68:26, Proverbs 5:18, 13:14, 14:17, 16:22, 18:4. "They have forsaken the fountain of the living water, the Lord," Jeremiah 17:13. Ezekiel 37:9, "Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy . . . and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." John 3:8 (KJV), "The wind bloweth where it listeth . . . so is everyone that is born of the spirit." Acts 2:2, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven of a rushing mighty wind." The hymn appears in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 92, to WAREHAM, using thee/thou. It does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

LUCIS CREATOR (L.M.)

1. Mys-ter-ious Pre-sence, Source of all;
The world with-out, the soul with-in,
Foun-tain of life, O hear our call,
and pour your liv-ing wat-ers in!

2. You breathe with-in the rush-ing wind;
Your Spir-it stirs in leaf and flower;
Nor will you from the will-ing mind
with-hold your light and love and power.


3. Your hand un-seen to ac-cents clear
a-woke the psal-mist’s tremb-ling lyre,
and touch-ed the lips of holy seer
with flame from your own al-tar fire.

4. That touch di-vine, ev-er im-part;
Still give the pro-phets' burn-ing word;
And, vo-cal in each wait-ing heart,
let liv-ing psalms of praise be heard.

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December 13, 2005

214R Rabbi and Worker of Years Past

Original Title: "O Master Workman of the Race," Jay Thomas Stocking (1912), OLD 137TH, C.M.D., One and Fiftie Psalms of David (1556); New Title: "Rabbi and Worker of Years Past," alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition. Stocking was an American Congregationalist. The source of OLD 137TH is also thought to be John Day's Psalter (1553), although this is not what Hymns of the Spirit Two has to say on the matter. The disciples of Jesus called him "rabbi," translated as "magister" in Latin; this appears variously as master, teacher and rabbi in English versions of the Bible; all speak to Jesus' teaching ministry, but only the final designation in English makes clear his identity as a Jewish teacher. The lyrics seem to echo Luke 2:24b (NKJV): "Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" "For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you," Isaiah 62:5.

OLD 137TH (C.M.D.)

1. Rab-bi and Work-er of years past, the one from Gal-i-lee,
who with the mind of ear-ly youth sub-lime things did per-ceive,
we give thanks for a child-hood faith that shone a whole life through;
"Did you not know it is my work, and our God's work to do?"

2. O Car-pen-ter of Na-za-reth, Buil-der of life di-vine,
who shapes our lives to God’s own law, your own, the true de-sign,
build us a tower of Christ-like height, that we the land may view,
and, lo, like you, our nob-lest work, the Sove-reign's work to do.


3. O one who does the vi-sion send and ere gives each a task,
and with the task suf-fic-ient strength, show us your will, we ask;
Give us a cons-cience bold and good, give us a pur-pose true,
that it may be our high-est joy, our Sove-reign's work to do.


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May 11, 2006

606R O Liberating Love

Title: "O Liberating Love," Sternhold & Hopkins (1812), Psalm 36:5-10, adapted by REH (2007); CAROL, C.M.D., Richard Storrs Willis (1850). These verses constitute the Revised Common Lectionary reading from the Psalms for Epiphany 2C and Holy Week Monday. "Sophia" is Greek for "Wisdom," who appears as a feminine voice of the Divine in Proverbs and other portions of the Bible's Wisdom books. Admittedly an obscure reference for some congregations, it can be replaced by repeating "O Wisdom," though "the Spirit" likewise fits the tune. CAROL is the hymn tune for the well-known Christmas carol "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," written by Unitarian Edmund Sears in 1849.

CAROL (C.M.D.)

1. O Li-ber-at-ing Love as-cends
a-bove the heavens most high,
as pierc-ing Truth it-self ex-tends
up through the cloud-y sky.
Rise, moun-tains migh-ty, high and brave:
Your peaks of jus-tice call!
Earth's an-i-mals, the o-ceans save,
and hu-mans, all in all.

2. O Wis-dom drifts a-bove all things;
So-phi-a* shall ex-cel
the na-tions’ dreams; be-neath God's wings,
all peo-ple rich-ly dwell.
In high-est tem-ple, all are fed,
a-bun-dance at their will,
and tru-est hopes shall there be spread,
and all shall take their fill.

3. O praise the Fount of bless-ings pure
whose flow shall end-less be;
be-neath Love's Fount the soul is sure
the Light of lights to see.
From ev-ery soul who seeks to know,
let not God's grace de-part:
O may the Spir-it's teach-ings show
to all of o-pen heart.


* or 'the Spirit'

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