March 21, 2005

21R Great God, the Followers of Your Child

Original Title: "Great God, the Followers of Thy Son," Henry Ware, Jr. (1819), HEBRON, L.M., Lowell Mason (1830); New Title: "Great God, the Followers of Your Child," rev. REH (2006), SEWALL, L.M., Frank Sew­all, The Magnificat (New York 1910). Henry Ware, Jr., was a Unitarian minister, and pastor of Second Church in Boston; Sewall was pastor of the Swedenborgian National Church in Washington, D.C. "God's feet," Exodus 24:10; "The truth will set you free," John 8:32. John 3:21, "[W]ho lives by the truth will come to the light." Mark 10:52 (NRSV), "Jesus said to him,, 'Go; your faith has made you well.' Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way." "When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him," Luke 5:11 (NRSV). The hymn appears neither in The New Century Hymnal nor in Singing the Living Tradition.

SEWALL (L.M.)

1. Great God, the fol-lowers of your child,
we bow be-fore your ho-ly seat,
to wor-ship you, O Mer-cy Mild,
and pour our wish-es at your feet.


2. O grant your bless-ings here to-day!
O give your peo-ple joy and peace!
The to-kens of your love dis-play,
and fa-vor that shall ne-ver cease.


3. We seek the truth that Je-sus brought;
the path of light we long to tread;
here are the ho-ly teach-ings taught;
and their pur-est in-flu-ence shed.

4. May faith and hope and love a-bound;
ev-ils and er-rors be for-given;
and all on your great day be found
child-ren of God and heirs of heaven!

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4. ...

May faith and hope and love abound;
Our sins and errors be forgiven;

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May 02, 2005

50S Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Original Title: "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," Charles Wesley (1747), first tune, HYFRYDOL, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Rowland Hugh Pritchard (1855), second tune, BEECHER, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., John Zundel (1870); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), BEECHER, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7. The hymn first appeared in Hymns For Those That Seek, and Those That Have Redemption (1747). Charles Wesley, father of the Methodist movement, who wrote over 6,500 hymns, is said to have been inspired by the song "The Song of Venus" from John Dryden's play King Arthur. The hymn originally had four verses, and suggested that one could be completely cleansed of sin in this life. This prompted Charles' brother John Wesley to change the lyrics. It appeared with two verses only in Hymns of the Spirit Two (1937). In that version, "Jesus, thou art all compassion," became "Father, thou art all compassion." Here, "Jesus" has been restored, and lines from the original third and fourth verses have been combined to create a third verse. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition (that said, the tune HYFRYDOL should be well known in most Unitarian Universalist congregations all the same, as it is used for no. 140, "Hail the Glorious Golden City," and no. 166, "Years Are Coming," and no. 207, "Earth Was Given As a Garden"). The hymn does appear in The New Century Hymnal to the tune BEECHER (though HYFRYDOL is suggested as an alternative) as no. 43, with four stanzas. 1 John 4:16, "God is Love," Malachi 3:1, "The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts." "And all of us ... seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another," 2 Corinthians 3:18. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation." Luke 7:13, "Jesus had compassion on her;" see also Matthew 14:14; Matthew 20:29-34. "All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it," 1 Corinthians 10:13b (The Message). "[N]ew creation," 2 Corinthians 5:17.

BEECHER (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.)

1. Love Di-vine, all loves ex-cell-ing,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us a hum-ble dwell-ing;
All your faith-ful mer-cies crown!
Jes-us, life of all com-pas-sion,
Pure un-bound-ed love all taught;
Let that love be our sal-va-tion,
En-ter-ing each trem-bling heart.

2. Breathe, O breathe a lov-ing spir-it,
In-to eve-ry trou-bled breast!
Let us all in you in-her-it;
Let us find a prom-ised rest.
Give to us your love of lov-ing,
Al-pha and O-me-ga be;
End of faith, as its be-gin-ing;
Set our hearts at li-ber-ty.

3. Come, al-migh-ty to de-liv-er,
Let us all your life re-ceive;
Gra-cious-ly re-turn and ne-ver,
Ne-ver more your tem-ples leave.
Her-ald-ing a new cre-a-tion;
Heaven and earth take now their place;
Let us see that great sal-va-tion;
Lost in won-der, love, and praise.

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July 28, 2005

129S O Mothering Father, God in Heaven

"O Mothering Father, God in Heaven," from the Lord's Prayer, rev. REH (2005), THIS ENDRIS NIGHT (C.M.D.), English carol (15th Cent.), arr. R. V. Williams (1906). Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4. The traditional version versus the lyrics here are compared below:

"Our Father, who art in Heaven" O Mothering Father, God in heaven
"Hallowed be thy Name" All hallowed be The Name
"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven" May Love's reign come, God's will be done, on earth ever the same
"Give us this day our daily bread" O Holy One give humankind in every place its bread; it is from Life's bounty each day that all souls should be fed
"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" Forgive our transgressions, and teach compassion so we know that wholeness comes forgiving sins of each and every foe
"And lead us not into temptation" And lead us not into evil
"But deliver us from evil" And save us from all sin
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen" That glory, reign and power be, for endless worlds; Amen

THIS ENDRIS NIGHT (C.M.D.)

1. O Mothe-ring Fa-ther, God in heaven, all hal-lowed be The Name;
May Love's reign come, God's will be done, on earth ev-er the same;
O Ho-ly One give hu-man-kind in eve-ry place its bread;
It is from Life's boun-ty each day that all souls should be fed.

2. For-give our trans-gres-sions, and teach com-pas-sion so we know
that whole-ness comes for-giv-ing sins of each and eve-ry foe;
And lead us not in-to ev-il, and save us from all sin;
That glo-ry, reign and pow-er be, for end-less worlds; A-men

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December 02, 2005

204R Strong Son of God, Immortal Love

Original Title: "Strong Son of God, Immortal Love," Alfred Tennyson, SONG FIVE, L.M., First Tune in Hymns of the Spirit Two, Orlando Gibbons (1623), ERNAN, L.M., Second Tune in Hymns of the Spirit Two, Lowell Mason; New Title: "One Born of God, Immortal Love," alt. REH (2005), hymn tune: SONG FIVE, L.M., (1623). Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal, but the hymn does appear in The Hymnal (1940) of the (then thusly named) Protestant Episcopal Church, and other hymnals published throughout the Anglican Communion. Alfred Tennyson was a 19th Century English Anglican and British Poet Laureate from 1850 until his death; his most famous work was perhaps The Charge of the Light Brigade. One hears in the lyrics, "for we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NRSV). Also implicit therein is an answer to the question of Jesus, "who do they say I am?" Matthew 16:13.

SONG FIVE (L.M.)

1. Strong Son of God*, im-mor-tal love,
whom we, that have not seen thy face,
by faith, and faith a-lone, em-brace,
be-liev-ing where we can-not prove.

2. Thou seem-est hu-man and di-vine,
the high-est, hol-iest hu-man, thou.
Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Ours wills are ours, to make them thine.

3. Our lit-tle sys-tems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be;
They are but bro-ken lights of thee,
And thou, O Love, art more than they.

*or 'Thou born of God'

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December 03, 2005

205R Jesus, the Very Thought of You

Original Title: "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee," Bernard of Clairvaux (12th Century), trans. Edward Caswall (1858), WINDSOR, C.M., Damon's Psalmes (1591); New Title: "Jesus, the Very Thought of You," rev. REH (2005), FIRST MODE MELODY, C.M.D., Thomas Tallis (1505-1585). Bernard in his time was seen as the embodiment of its ideal: that of medieval monasticism at its highest development; he is considered both a saint in the Roman and Anglican churches (he is the patron of bees, beekeepers, candles and wax). The original Latin title is "Jesu, Dulcis Memoria." Caswall was an English Anglican priest, who converted to Roman Catholicism. Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition, but the hymn does appear under the name "Jesus-The Very Thought to Me," to the tune ST. AGNES in The New Century Hymnal. The lyrics speak of of the Pauline epistles, who tell us to find the joy of God through Jesus. 1 Peter 1:8, Philemon 2:1-11, Romans 5:11, Philippians 2:9-11. Ephesians 3:19, "to know the love of Christ . . . that you may be filled with all the fullness of God," compare with the lyrics "Jesus ... with sweetness fills the breast."

FIRST MODE MELODY (C.M.D.)

1. Je-sus, the ve-ry thought of you
with sweet-ness fills the breast;
But sweet-er far your face to view,
and in your pre-sence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
nor can the mem-ory find
a sweet-er sound than your blest name,
bear-er of hu-man-kind!

2. When once you do vi-sit the heart,
then truth be-gins to shine,
then earth-ly van-i-ties de-part,
then kind-les love di-vine.
O Je-sus, light of all be-low,
and fount of liv-ing fire,
sur-pass-ing all the joys we know,
and all we can de-sire.

3. O Je-sus, you beau-ty im-part
of an-gel worlds a-bove;
Your name is mu-sic to the heart,
in-flam-ing it with love.
Je-sus, the ve-ry thought of you
with sweet-ness fills the breast;
But sweet-er far your face to view,
and in your pre-sence rest.

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December 04, 2005

206R O Love! O Light!

Original Title: "O Love! O Light!", John Greenleaf Whittier (1866), ST. AGNES, C.M., John Bacchus Dykes (1866); New Title: "O Love! O Light!," rev. REH (2005), Same hymn tune. The hymn is not included in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal, but the tune does appear as no. 281 and nos. 507-08 in the latter. Whittier was an 19th Century American Quaker poet, and a well-known advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. The biblical sources of the names used in the hymn are numerous; John 13:13, John 1:1, John 15:15. Also there is a resonance of St. Paul's hymn that speak of peering "through a glass, darkly." 1 Corinthians 13:12. The feast of Transfiguration is again a topic here.

ST. AGNES (C.M.)

1. O Love! O Life! Our faith and sight
your pres-ence now makes one,
as through trans-fig-ured clouds of white
we trace the noon-day sun.

2. So, to our mor-tal minds sub-dued,
flesh-veiled, but not con-cealed,
we know in you the par-ent-hood
and heart of God re-vealed.


3. We faint-ly know, dim-ly per-ceive,
in dif-fering phrase we pray;
In you, dim or clear, we own free
the Light, the Truth, the Way!


4. To do your will is more than praise,
as words are less than deeds;
and sim-ple trust can find your ways
we miss with chart of creeds.

5. Our friend, our kind-red, and our word,
What may your ser-vice be?
Nor name, nor form, nor ri-tual heard,
but fol-low-ing free-ly.


6. Your li-ta-nies, sweet of-fi-ces
of love and gra-ti-tude;
your sa-cred, di-vine li-tur-gies,
the joy of do-ing good.

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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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December 06, 2005

208R O Jesus, Let Me Walk With You

Original Title: "O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee," Washington Gladden (1879), First Tune in Hymns of the Spirit Two, PLAISTOW, L.M., from Magdalen Hymns (c. 1760), Second Tune in Hymns of the Spirit Two, MARYTON, L.M., Henry Percey Smith (1874); New Title: "O Jesus, Let Me Walk With You," alt. 2008, MARYTON, L.M. Neither the hymn nor the tunes appear in Singing the Leaving Tradition, but the hymn, under the name "O Savior, Let Me Walk With You," to the tune MARYTON, is included in the United Church of Christ's New Century Hymnal as no. 503. Gladden was a Congregationalist minister, well known for his writings and lectures on social concerns during the 19th Century. The metaphor of walking or otherwise following occurs in the Christian Scriptures, in John 1:43, "Follow me," in Ephesians 4:1, where we are told to "lead a life worthy" to that we have been called, and in 1 John 2:6, in the line immediately after the lectionary reading for Easter 2B, in which we are told we "ought to walk as [Christ] walked;" see also Luke 5:11. In the Hebrew Bible, famously, Micah 6:8 tells us what is required is that we "walk humbly" with our God. See also Mark 10:51-52 (NRSV), "Then Jesus said to him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' The blind man said to him, 'My teacher, let me see again.' Jesus said to him, 'Go; your faith has made you well.' Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way."


MARYTON (L.M.)

1. O Je-sus, let me walk with you,
In sim-ple paths of ser-vice true;
Tell me your se-cret; help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care.


2. Help me the slow of heart to move
By some clear, win-ning word of love;
Show me the way-ward feet to stay,
And guide them in the home-ward way.


3. Show me your pa-tience; with me be
In clo-ser, dear-er, com-pa-ny,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
In trust that tri-umphs ov-er wrong.

4. In hope that sends a shin-ing ray
Far down the fu-ture’s broad-ening way,
In peace that tru-ly you can give,
With you, O Je-sus, let me live.

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December 07, 2005

209R O You Great Friend

Original Title: "O Thou Great Friend," Theodore Parker (1846), LANGRAN, 10.10.10.10., James Langran (1863); New Title: "O You Great Friend," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Neither the tune nor the hymn appears in Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal. Theodore Parker was a 19th Century Unitarian minister and social reformer, leader within the "Transcendentalist" school and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, perhaps best known for "The Permanent and Transient in Christianity," a sermon given in 1841, on Luke 21:33 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my word shall not pass away." That "word," that is, the "truth" which "is still the light," is found in these lyrics; these constitute as well a liberal religious take on John 14:6a (NRSV), "Jesus said ... 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life.'"

LANGRAN (10.10.10.10.)

1. O you, Great Friend, to all the earth's child-ren,
who once ap-peared in humb-lest guise be-low,
sin to re-buke, to break the cap-tive’s chain,
to call the kin-dred forth from want and woe.


2. You would I sing: Your truth is still the light
which guides the na-tions grop-ing on their way,
stum-bling and fall-ing in dis-ast-rous night,
yet hop-ing ev-er for the per-fect day.

3. Yes, you are still the Life; You are the Way;
The hol-iest know— Light, Life and Way of Heaven;
And they who dear-ly hope and deep-ly pray,
toil by the Truth, Life, Way that you have given.

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December 08, 2005

210R A Voice by Jordan's Shore

Original Title: "A Voice by Jordan's Shore," Samuel Longfellow (1864), CAMBRIDGE (S.M.), Ralph Harrison (c. 1784), alt.; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), ST. AUGUSTINE (S.M.D.), from Chorale Songs for Four Voices (1769). Samuel Longfellow, a Unitarian poet, edited the first Hymns of the Spirit (1864); this hymn appeared therein. The hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. The lyrics speak to what in Greek is called "metanoia," or what is misleadingly translated as "repentance" in English. Longfellow chose "reform," which is closer to the mark; this new version includes variations on "re-think," lest there be any taint of overly zealous piety. "Metanoia" cried out both John the Baptist in Matthew 3:2, as well as Jesus in Mark 1:15, "the reign of God is near, be new-minded (i.e., repent, or literally, re-think) and believe in this good news." The Jordan and a "baptism of repentance," and a "voice" in the wilderness, elements in the hymn, are all mentioned in Luke 3:3-4.

ST. AUGUSTINE (S.M.D.)

1. A voice by Jor-dan's shore,
'Be new-mind-ed' I hear:
Re-form, re-think, be just e're-more;
God's grac-es ere draw near.
A voice in Gal-i-lee:
'A new mind' now the cheer;
Love God, and neigh-bor too, for see,
God's mer-cies ere draw near.

2. O voice of du-ty, still
speak forth, I hear with awe;
With you I trust a sove-reign will,
o-bey an in-ner law.
O high-er voice of love,
yet speak a word in me;
Through du-ty let me up-ward move,
to your pure li-ber-ty!


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December 09, 2005

211R Not Long on Hermon's Holy Height

Original Title: "Not Long on Hermon's Holy Height," Theodore Claudius Pease (1891), ANGELUS, L.M., Cantica Spiritualia (1847), melody by Georg Joseph (1657); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Pease was a 19th Century American Congregationalist. Hermon is the name of a mountain, or chain of mountains, in northern Palestine, as in: "The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name," Psalm 89:12 (KJV). The location of the transfiguration in the New Testament is not explicit; see Matthew 17:1-6; Mark 9:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36; Origen (and other early Church scholars) believed that it occurred, in fact, on Mount Tabor (and close followers of Origen, an early Universalist, are welcome to substitute "Tabor" for "Hermon"). The hymn and the hymn tune do not appear in The New Century Hymnal nor in Singing the Living Tradition.

ANGELUS (L.M.)

1. Not long on Her-mon's ho-ly height,
the heaven-ly vi-sion fills our sight,
we may not breathe that pur-er air,
nor build our tab-er-nac-les there.

2. If with the Teach-er we would go,
our feet must thread the vale be-low,
where dim the lone-ly path-ways wind,
the gold-en glo-ry left be-hind.


3. Where hung-ry souls ask to be fed,
where wand-er-ers cry to be led,
where help-less hearts in chains are bound,
the One Be-loved is ev-er found.


4. There, bend-ing pa-tient o'er a task,
no rai-ment white our eyes shall ask,
con-tent while through each cloud we trace,
the glo-ry of the Rab-bi's face.


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December 10, 2005

212R Christ Calls 'Take Up the Cross'

Original Title: "Thou Say'st, 'Take Up Thy Cross,'" Francis Turner Palgrave (1865), ST. THOMAS, S.M., Aaron Williams (1763); New Title: "Christ Call 'Take Up the Cross,'", rev. REH (2005), OLD 134TH (S.M.), Genevan Psalter (1543), arr. William Crotch (1836). The tune is also known as ST. MICHAEL and CALVIN. The text resonantes with Matthew 4:19(b): "Jesus ... said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.'" Matthew 4:19b (NRSV); see also Luke 5:11. Palgrave was a English Anglican, and also held a chair as professor of poetry at Oxford. The hymn appears neither in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

OLD 134 (S.M.)

1. Christ calls: 'Take up the cross,
O friends, then fol-low me,'
the night is dim,
the soles worn thin,
yet we fol-low free-ly.

2. Come faint and far the voice,
from vales of Gal-i-lee;
Vi-sion ere fades
in an-cient shades;
how do we serve free-ly?

3. O hea-vy cross of faith,
in what we can-not see,
as once re-store
the self of yore
as we fol-low free-ly.

4. If not as once you came
in true hu-man-i-ty
come yet with-in
as guest a-gain
so we fol-low free-ly.


5. With-in our heart of hearts,
in near-est near-ness be:
Set up a throne
with-in your own,
Christ, we fol-low free-ly.

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December 11, 2005

213S We Who Would Valour See

Original Title: "He Who Would Valiant Be," John Bunyan (1684), mod. Percy Dearmer in the English Hymnal (London 1906), MONKS GATE, 6.5.6.5.6.6.6.5., English Traditional Melody, adapt. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906); New Title: "We Who Would Valour See," based on John Bunyan's original words, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. John Bunyan, a Congregationalist and Baptist preacher in England, wrote these words in prison, in his work Pilgrim's Progress, for refusing to conform to the state church. This version uses Bunyan's original capitalization, and makes no use of Dreamer's modifications. The text of resonates with Acts 4:13 and Acts 4:29, in which the "servants" of Jesus are recognized as acting with "boldness" or "constancy," the exact term varying with the translation.

MONKS GATE (6.5.6.5.6.6.6.5.)

1. We who would Va-lour see
Let us come hi-ther;
One here will Con-stant be,
Come Wind, come Wea-ther.
There's no Dis-cour-age-ment,
Shall make us once Re-lent,
Our first a-vow'd In-tent,
To live as Pil-grims.

2. Who so be-set us round,
With dis-mal Sto-ries,
Do but them-selves Con-found;
Our Strength the more is.
No Li-on can us fright,
We'll with a Gi-ant Fight,
But we will have a right,
To live as Pil-grims.


3. Hob-gob-lin, nor foul Fiend,
Can daunt our Spir-it:
We know, we at the end,
Shall Life In-her-it.
Then Fan-cies fly a-way,
We'll fear not what they say,
We'll la-bour Night and Day,
To live as Pil-grims.


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December 12, 2005

213R We Who Would Valiant Be

Original Title: "He Who Would Valiant Be," John Bunyan (1684), mod. Percy Dearmer in the English Hymnal (London 1906), MONKS GATE, 6.5.6.5.6.6.6.5., English Traditional Melody, adapt. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906); New Title: "We Who Would Valiant Be," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. John Bunyan, a Congregationalist and Baptist preacher in England, wrote these words in prison, in his work Pilgrim's Progress, for refusing to conform to the state church; the original title then was "Who Would True Valour See." Dreamer added the phrases "follow the Master" and "Lord, thou dost defend us with thy Spirit" only in 1906. These both become "Savior" in the United Church of Christ version published in the New Century Hymnal, paired with with tune ST. DUNSTAN'S, as no. 494. The version in Singing the Living Tradition, though as here set to the tune MONKS GATE as no. 206, eschews explicit identification of the Divine, in some senses truer to Bunyan than Dreamer (See no. 213S herein). The Dearmer version resonates with John 12:26a (NRSV): "Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also." "When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him," Luke 5:11

MONKS GATE (6.5.6.5.6.6.6.5.)

1. We who would va-liant be, come wind, come wea-ther,
fol-low in con-stan-cy the Day-star ev-er.
There’s no dis-cour-age-ment shall make us once re-lent
our first a-vowed in-tent to live as Pil-grims.

2. Who so be-set us round with dis-mal sto-ries
do but them-selves con-found— our strength the more is.
No foes shall stay our might; though we with gi-ants fight,
we will make good our right to live as Pil-grims.

3. Since, God, you e'er de-fend us with your spir-it,
we know we at the end, shall life in-her-it.
Then fanc-ies flee a-way! We’ll fear not what they say,
we’ll lab-or night and day to live as Pil-grims.

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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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December 14, 2005

215R Not Always on the Mount May We

Original Title: "Not Always On the Mount May We," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1912), TRANSYLVANIA, L.M., arranged from a 16th Century Hungarian Chorale, by Robert Levine Sanders; New Title: Same title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but TRANSYLVANIA is paired therein with hymn no. 322, "Thanks Be for These," by the Gilberts. In some ways, the hymn in Singing the Living Tradition is a rewrite of the present hymn using more humanistic images (though not lacking suggestions of the Divine), for example substituting "the Spirit's tidal ebb and flow" with "moments of grief, days of delight, triumph and failure intertwine." Hosmer was an American Unitarian; Richard Seward Gilbert and Joyce Timmerman Gilbert are 20th Century Unitarian Universalists. It is worth pointing out that the earlier hymn fits into what must be an exceedingly limited collection of music, that being "hymns written by Unitarians in North America for Transfiguration Sunday" (the Sunday immediately prior to Ash Wednesday); See Luke 9:29-31.

TRANSYLVANIA (L.M.)

1. Not al-ways on the mount may we
rapt in the heaven-ly vi-sion be:
The shores of thought and feel-ing know
the Spir-it's ti-dal ebb and flow.

2. 'O it is good a-bid-ing here,'
We cry, the heaven-ly pre-sence near:
The vi-sion va-nish-es, our eyes
are lift-ed in-to va-cant skies.

3. Yet has one such ex-al-ted hour
up-on the soul re-deem-ing power,
and in its strength, through af-ter days,
we tra-vel our ap-poin-ted ways,

4. Till all the low-ly vale grows bright,
trans-fi-gured in re-mem-bered light,
and in un-ti-ring souls we bear
the fresh-ness of the up-per air.


5. The mount for vi-sion: but be-low
the paths of dai-ly du-ty go,
and no-bler life there-in shall own
the pat-tern on the moun-tain shown.


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216R Onward, Onward, Though the Region

Original Title: "Onward, Onward, Though the Region," Samuel Johnson (1847), STUTTGART, 8.7.8.7., Christian Friedrich Witt in Psalmodia Sacra (Gotha 1715); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition. Prior to its publication in Hymns of the Spirit Two, the hymn was known as "Onward, Christian, Though the Region." Though "Samuel Johnson" is the name of a number of historical figures, indeed even more than one hymnist, this Samuel Johnson was a 19th Century American Unitarian. Beyond the allusion to the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:10, there is likewise an echo of Psalm 91:11 (AIV): "For God will command God's angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."

STUTTGART (8.7.8.7.)

1. On-ward, on-ward, though the re-gion
where you are be drear and lone;
God has set a guar-dian le-gion
ver-y near you; press e'er on.

2. By the thorn road, and none o-ther,
is the mount of vi-sion won;
Tread it, shrink not, sis-ter, bro-ther,
Je-sus trod it; press e'er on.


3. By a trust-ful, calm en-deav-or,
guid-ing, cheer-ing, like the sun,
earth-bound heart, ere shall de-liv-er;
Oh, for their sake, press e'er on.

4. Be this world the wis-er, strong-er,
for a life of pain and peace;
While it needs you, oh, no long-er
pray now for a quick re-lease.

5. Pray that ere your du-ty ful-fill,
that you be the faith-ful one,
by the prayer of Je-sus, 'My will
not, but yours, Ab-ba, be done.'

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217R Not Only Where God's Free Wind Blows

Original Title: "Not Only Where God's Free Wind Blows," Shepherd Knapp (1908), LOBB GOTT, IHR CHRISTEN, 8.6.8.8.6., Nikolaus Hermann, harm. J.S. Bach; New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in the United Church of Christ's New Century Hymnal, though the tune does appear to the broadly theistic hymn "Dear Weaver of Our Lives' Design," by Unitarian Universalist Nancy C. Dorian, as no. 22 in the former. Shepherd Knapp was an American Congregationalist. The lyrics seem to echo John 3:8, wherein Jesus is purported to have said that "the wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (NRSV)

LOBT GOTT, IHR CHRISTEN (8.6.8.8.6.)

1. Not on-ly where God's free winds blow
or in the si-lent wood,
but where the ci-ty's rest-less flow
is ne-ver still, God's love we know,
and find that pre-sence good.

2. Dear God, the sun whose light is sweet,
on hill and plain and sea,
does cheer the ci-ty's bu-sy street,
and they that pass with wea-ry feet
give thanks for light free-ly.

3. O boun-ties from the field and mine
come at the ci-ty's call;
the fire up-on the heart di-vine
and home, where lights of kind-ness shine,
the dear-est gift of all.

4. More near than out-ward gifts art thou,
Sove-reign of hu-man-kind,
yea, those who un-der bur-dens bow
of toil and care thou dost en-dow
with ri-ches of the mind.

5. But in the ci-ty's grief and shame
dost thou re-fuse a part?
Ah, no, for e're burns there a flame
of hu-man help in Christ's dear name;
There, most of all, thou art.

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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 02, 2006

349R Eternal Ruler of the Ceaseless (Round)

Original Title: "Eternal Ruler, of the Ceaseless Round," John White Chadwick (1864), first tune, SONG 1, 10.10.10.10.10.10., (alternative FFIGYSBREN), Orlando Gibbons (1623), second tune STOCKPORT (YORKSHIRE), 10.10.10.10.10.10., John Wainwright (1750); New Title: "Eternal Ruler, of the Ceaseless (Round)," rev. REH (2006), STOCKPORT (YORKSHIRE), 10.10.10.10.10.10. Chadwick was a 19th Century American Unitarian minister, who was graduated from Harvard Divinity in 1864, and ordained at Second Unitarian in Brooklyn; he wrote for both the AUA publication The Christian Register and Harper's. The New Century Hymnal and Singing the Living Tradition do not contain the hymn. "The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one," John 17:22 (KJV). Ephesians 2:17-19 (NRSV), "So [Christ] came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God." "Then [Jesus] got into the boat with them and the wind ceased," Mark 6:51," compare "let wind or weather be" in the last verse. 2 Corinthians 5:18, "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation."

STOCKPORT (YORKSHIRE)(10.10.10.10.10.10.)

1. E-ter-nal Ru-ler of the cease-less round
of circ-ling pla-nets sing-ing on their way,
Guide of the na-tions from the night pro-found
in-to the glo-ry of the per-fect day;
rule in our hearts, that we may ev-er be
guid-ed and held by you and loved free-ly.


2. We are all yours, the chil-dren of your love,
the kind-red of your long-ex-pect-ed child;
des-cend, O ho-ly spir-it, like a dove
in-to our hearts, that we be re-con-ciled;
as one with you, to whom we ev-er tend;
as one with your be-lov-èd, our true friend.

3. We would be one in ha-tred of all wrong,
one in our love of all things sweet with care;
one with the joy that e'er breaks in-to song,
one with the grief that tremb-les in-to prayer,
one in the power that makes your chil-dren free
to fol-low truth, ev-er in li-ber-ty.

4. O clothe us with your heaven-ly ar-mor too,
your trus-ty shield, your sword of ho-ly love;
our in-spir-a-tion be your known word's due;
we ask no vic-tor-ies not from a-bove;
give or with-hold, let wind or wea-ther be,
e-nough to know that we do serve free-ly.

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January 14, 2006

602R O Light of Every Nation

Title: "O Light of Every Nation," Johann Franck (1674), originally "Herr Jesu, Licht der Heiden," translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth (1863), rev. REH (2006), VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN, 7.6.7.6 D, Melchior Teschner (1613). The Song of Simeon, or the Nunc Dimittis, is often associated with Candlemas (and typically used as a closing hymn), and is found at Luke 2:29-32. The following hymn, Catherine Winkworth's translation from the German, entitled "O Light of Every Nation," which echoes this passage.

VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN (7.6.7.6. D)

1. O light of eve-ry na-tion, re-deem-er from a-bove,
drawn by the spir-it’s lead-ing, we come with joy and love
into your ho-ly tem-ple and wait with earn-est mind
as Sim-eon once had wait-ed on the Sove-reign to find.

2. O, God, your seek-ers meet you in eve-ry ho-ly place
where your true words have pro-mis-ed that we should find your grace.
To-day you still do grant us who ga-ther 'round you here
in arms of faith to bear you as did that agèd seer.


3. O be our joy and bright-ness, our cheer in loss and pain,
our sun in deep-est ter-ror, the glo-ry of your reign,
a star for sink-ing spir-its, a bea-con in dis-tress,
phy-si-cian, friend in sick-ness, in death our hap-pi-ness.

4. Let us, O God, be faith-ful like Sim-eon to the end,
So that this prayer ex-ul-tant may from our hearts as-cend:
"O God, now let your ser-vant de-part in peace, I pray,
since I have seen th'A-noint-ed here on this ve-ry day."


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