March 04, 2005

4R Sing Praise to the Sovereign

Original Title: "Praise the Lord of Heaven," Thomas Briarly Brown (1844), WARUM SIND DIE THRÄNEN, 6.5.6.5.6.5.6.5., Johann Abraham Peter Schultz (1785); New Title: "Sing Praise to the Sovereign," rev. REH (2008), ST. DENIO, 11.11.11.11., Welsh Melody (1839).

ST. DENIO (11.11.11.11.)

1. Sing praise to the Sove-reign who reigns in the height;
Prais-es sing, all an-gels, sing praise, stars of light;
Sing praise, skies, and wa-ters which a-bove the skies,
When the word com-mand-ed, firm-ly did a-rise.

2. Prais-es sing, all foun-tains of the deeps and seas,
Rocks and hills and moun-tains, ce-dars and all trees;
Sing praise, clouds and va-pors, snow and hail and fire,
Stor-my wind ful-fil-ling on-ly one de-sire.

3. Sing praise, fowls and cat-tle, all queens and all kings;
Sing praise, men and wo-men, all cre-a-ted things;
For the name of God is ex-cel-lent a-lone;
On the earth, a foot-stool; o'er heav-en, a throne.

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The hymn lyrics constitue a paraphrase of Psalm 148; see also Pslam 29. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

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Below are alternative lyrics (rev. REH, 2006) that follow the original not quiet as closely, but which do undertake a more environmental message:

1. Sing praise to the Sove-reign that dwells in the heights;
Sing prais-es, all an-gels; sing praise, stars and lights;
Sing praise, skies and wa-ters; sing praise, bees and flies;
As the Word com-mands us, as ste-wards we rise.

2. Sing praise to the One that moves deeps and the seas,
Rocks, hills and the moun-tains; green ce-dars and trees;
Sing praise, clouds and va-pors; snow, hail and swift fire;
Sing praise by Earth ten-ding: ere E-den's de-sire.

3. Sing praise to the Day-spring, all flo-ra and beasts!
Sing prais-es all peo-ples, phy-si-cians and priests!
For in the di-vine name, we ev-er shall toil,
With pro-mis-es to keep, to air, shore and soil.

The download files below need to be changed to reflect several changes to the lyrics above:

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March 06, 2005

6R O Worship Thy God

Original Title: "O Worship Thy King," Robert Grant, LYONS, 10.10.11.11., attributed to Johann Michael Haydn, New Title: "O Worship Thy God," rev. REH (2006), OLD 104TH, 10.10.11.11, Thomas Ravenscroft (1621). As a paraphrase of Psalm 104, a recast version of Robert Grant's hymn is offered here set to OLD 104TH, a tune with which it is sometimes paired. Other versions of Grant's hymn, with inclusive language and set to LYONS, may be found in Singing the Living Tradition as "We Worship Thee, God," as no. 285, and in the New Century Hymnal as "We Worship You, God" as no. 26.

OLD 104TH (10.10.11.11)

1. O wor-ship thy God, all glor-ious a-bove,
and grate-ful-ly sing that pow-er and love;
Our shield and de-fend-er, the An-cient of Days,
pa-vil-ioned in splen-dor, and gird-ed with praise.


2. O tell of that might, and sing of that grace,
whose robe is the light, whose ca-no-py space,
whose char-iots of jus-tice deep thun-der-clouds form,
and dim is the path on the wings of the storm.


3. The earth with its store of won-ders un-told,
al-migh-ty, thy power hath found-ed of old;
Es-tab-lished it fast by a change-less de-cree,
and round it hath cast, like a man-tle, the sea.

4. Thy boun-ti-ful care, what tongue can re-cite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it des-cends to the plain,
and sweet-ly dis-tills in the dew and the rain.


5. Frail child-ren of dust, and fee-ble as frail,
by thy end-less trust we fear not to fail.
Thy wing with its shelt-er-ing touch does us mend,
for thou art our mak-er, re-deem-er and friend.

Original verses composed by William Kethe (1561) that do not appear in Hymns of the Spirit (1937):

a. My soule praise the Lord, speake good of his Name,
O Lord our great God how doest thou ap-peare,
So pass-ing in glor-ie, that great is thy fame,
Hon-our and maj-es-tie, in thee shine most cleare.

b. His cham-ber beames lie, in the clouds full sure,
Which as his char-iot, are made him to beare.
And there with much swift-ness, his course doth en-dure:
Up-on the wings rid-ing, of winds in the aire.

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March 07, 2005

7R Praise Be to God, the Almighty

Original Title: "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty," Joachim Neander (1680) trans. Catherine Winkworth (1858), LOBE DEN HERREN, 14.14.4.7.8., Straslund Gesangbuch (1665); New Title: "Praise Be to God, the Almighty," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune.

LOBE DEN HERREN (14.14.4.7.8.)

1. Praise be to God, the Al-migh-ty, who rules o'er cre-a-tion!
O my soul praise the One who is our health and sal-va-tion!
Join the great throng, wake harp and psal-ter and song;
Sound forth in glad a-dor-a-tion.

2. Praise be to God, who o'er all things is won-drous-ly reign-ing,
Who, as on eag-le's wings, is us so gent-ly sus-tain-ing!
Have you not seen all that is need-ed has been
Set by a gra-cious or-dain-ing?

3. Praise be to God, who has fear-less-ly, joy-ful-ly, made you;
Health has vouch-safed and, when heed-less-ly fall-ing, has stayed you.
What need or grief ev-er has failed of re-lief?
Wings of true mer-cy have shade you.


4. Praise be to God, who does pros-per your work and de-fend you;
Sure-ly such good-ness and mer-cy here dai-ly at-tend you.
Pon-der a-new what the Al-migh-ty can do,
Who with great love does be-friend you.


5. Praise be to God, who, when tem-pests their war-fare are wag-ing,
Who, when the el-e-ments mad-ly a-round you are rag-ing,
Bids them to cease, turns then their fu-ry to peace,
Whirl-winds and wa-ters as-suag-ing.


6. Praise be to God, O join all in sin-cere de-di-ca-tion;
All that has life and breath, come now in deep con-tem-pla-tion!
Let the A-men sound from all peo-ple a-gain,
Gather-ed in true a-dor-a-tion.

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The hymn is a recasting of Psalm 105, though there are echoes of other many other psalms in the hymn as well. "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it," Isaiah 55:10-11 (NRSV).

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The hymn appears with four stanzas as "Praise Be to God, the Almighty," as no. 278 in Singing the Living Tradition, and with four stanzas as well at no. 22 in The New Century Hymnal under the name "Sing Praise to God, Who Has Shaped;" the latter retranslated by Madeleine Forell Marshall.

Thanks to Kurt Werner for suggested changes to verse 6.

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7T Alma, bendice a Dios

Título: "Alma, bendice a Dios," Joachim Neander, trad. Fritz Fliedner, rev. REH (2006); LOBE DEN HERREN, 14.14.4.7.8., Straslund Gesangbuch (1665), arm. William Sterndale Bennett. Paráfrasis del Salmo 105, pero con toques de otros salmos también. "Porque como desciende de los cielos la lluvia y la nieve, y no vuelve allá, sino que riega la tierra, y la hace germinar y producir, y da semilla al que siembra, y pan al que come, así será mi palabra que sale de mi boca; no volverá a mí vacía, sino que hará lo que yo quiero, y será prosperada en aquello para que la envié," Isaías 55:10-11 (Reina-Valera 1960). No. 21, "Alma, bendice a Dios," en El Himnario (Church Publishing, Inc. 1998), la editorial de la Iglesia Episcopal (Anglicana) en los Estados Unidos; no. 28 en Mil voces para celebrar.

LOBE DEN HERREN (14.14.4.7.8.)

1. Al-ma, ben-di-ce a Dios, a-mor al-to de glo-ria;
de sus mer-ce-des es-té vi-va~en ti la me-mo-ria.
¡Oh, des-per-tad, ar-pa~y sal-ter-io~en-ton-ad
him-nos de~ho-nor y vic-tor-ia.

2. Al-ma, ben-di-ce a Dios, que~a los or-bes go-bier-na,
y te con-du-ce pa-cien-te con ma-no ma-ter-na;
y te guar-dó co-mo me-jor le~ag-ra-dó,
por-que su gra-cia~es e-ter-na.

3. Al-ma, ben-di-ce a Dios, de tu vi-da la fuen-te,
que te cre-ó, y~en sa-lud te sos-tie-ne cle-men-te;
tu de-fen-sor en to-do tran-ce~y do-lor,
su dies-tra~es om-ni-po-ten-te.

4. Al-ma, ben-di-ce a Dios por su a-mor in-fi-ni-to;
con todo~el pue-blo de Dios su~a-la-ban-za re-pi-to.
¡Dios, mi sa-lud, de to-do bien ple-ni-tud,
se-as por siem-pre ben-di-to! A-mén.

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March 08, 2005

8R Bring, O Morn, Your Music

Original Title: "Bring, O Morn, Thy Music," William Channing Gannett (1893), NICAEA, John Bacchus Dykes (1861); New Title: "Bring, O Morn, Your Music," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. William Channing Gannett, born in Boston, served Unity Church (Unitarian) in St. Paul, and the Unitarian Church in Rochester, where Susan B. Anthony was amongst his congregants. The last line of each verse echoes Revelations 1:8 (which see), but the hymn as a whole personifies and praises nature, bordering on panentheism (although the lyrics textually have nature worshiping God as well, as "Our Creator" and "Mighty Giver"). See also Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-14, "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things that they might exist." Gannett wrote the hymn as a summary of the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. It appears in Singing the Living Tradition as "Bring, O Morn, Thy Music, as no. 39, but does not appear in The New Century Hymnal. This version of NICAEA is in F-sharp, although NICAEA in Hymns of the Spirit Two is in E-flat. See No. 17R herein for a version of NICAEA in E-flat.

NICAEA (12.13.12.10.)

1. Bring, O Morn, your mus-ic! Night,~your star-lit si-lence!
O-ceans, laugh the rap-ture to the storm winds cours-ing free!
Suns and pla-nets cho-rus: you are our Cre-a-tor,
who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be!

2. Life and death, your crea-tures, praise~you, Migh-ty Gi-ver!
Praise and prayer are ris-ing in your beast and bird and tree:
Lo! they praise and van-ish, van-ish at your bidd-ing,
who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be!


3. Light us! lead us! love us! cry~your grop-ing na-tions,
speak-ing in a thou-sand tongues, your name a-lone the plea;
weav-ing free-ly out your ho-ly, hap-py pur-pose,
who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be!


4. Life nor death can part us, you~O Love E-ter-nal,
shep-herd of the wan-dering star and souls that way-ward flee!
Home-ward draws the spir-it to your spir-it yearn-ing,
who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be! A-men.

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8S Desde a aurora

Title: "Desde a aurora," William Channing Gannett (1893), Portuguese translation, Daniel Borges (2005), NICAEA, John Bacchus Dykes (1861). Daniel Borges, born in 1959, attends a Baptist church in São Paulo, Brazil. He has translated a number of English-language hymns into Portuguese, and appears to have composed new hymns as well. This is a translation of "Bring, O Morn, Thy Music," described in detail in the entry under 8R. It may be the only extant Portuguese-language translation (or adaptation) of a Unitarian or Universalist hymn.

NICAEA (12.13.12.10.)

1. Des-de a au-ro-ra à noi-te es-tre-la-da!
Jor-ra do rio a á-gua e ven-tos de a-mor!
Os pla-ne-tas can-tam Tuas ma-ra-vi-lhas,
Foi, É e sem-pre se-rá o Sal-va-dor!

2. A vi-da e a mor-te a Ti re-fle-tem!
Lou-vor e o-ra-ção pe-la Tua per-mis-são;
Tu-do o que e-xis-te foi por Ti cri-a-do
E a nós deu Sua e-ter-na Sal-va-ção!

3. An-da-mos no es-cu-ro, gui-e-nos oh! Je-sus,
Em to-da e qual-quer lín-gua te da-mos lou-vor,
Ce-ga-men-te e bem fe-liz se-gui-mos,
Foi, É e sem-pre se-rá o Cri-a-dor!

4. Es-tar se-pa-ra-dos! Nem pe-la mor-te,
Pa-ra to-das as al-mas er-ran-tes, és Pas-tor!
Com o Ce-les-tial Lar es-ta-mos a so-nhar,
Fui, sou e sem-pre se-rei so-nha-dor!

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March 12, 2005

12R We Lift Our Hearts In Thanks Today

Original Title: "We Lift Our Hearts in Thanks Today," Percival Chubb (1860-1960), PRAETORIUS, C.M., Harmoniae Hymnorum Scholae Gorlicensis (1599); New Title: Same hymn title, ELLACOMBE, 7.6.7.6. D, Gesangbuch der Herzogl W. k. Hofkapelle (Wurttemberg 1784). Percival Chubb was an English Ethical Culturist who later moved to the United States. The hymn appears as no. 355 in Singing the Living Tradition, but does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

ELLACOMBE (7.6.7.6. D).

1. We lift our hearts in thanks~to-day
for all the gifts of life;
And, first, for peace that turns~a-way
the en-mi-ties of strife.
And, next, the beau-ty of~the earth
its flowers and love-ly things,
the spring's great mir-a-cle~of birth
with sound of songs and wings.

2. Then, har-vests of its teem~ing soil
in or-chard, croft and field;
But, more, the ser-vice and~the toil
of those who helped them yield.
And, most, the gifts of hope~and love,
of wis-dom, truth and right,
the gifts that shine like stars~a-bove
to chart the world by night.

3. As we re-ceive, so let~us give
with rea-dy, gene-rous hand;
rich fruit-age from the lives~we live
to bless our home and land.
We lift our hearts in thanks~to-day
for all the gifts of life;
And e'er for peace that turns~a-way
the en-mi-ties of strife.

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March 14, 2005

14R Unto Thy Temple, Lord, We Come

Original Title: "Unto Thy Temple, Lord, We Come," Robert Collyer (1873), DUKE STREET, L.M., John Hatton (1793), New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (verse 5), same hymn tune. Coll­yer was born in England and later moved to the United States; he first served Methodist churches, then Unitarian congregations. He wrote this hymn for the ded­i­ca­tion of Un­i­ty Church (Unitarian) in Chi­ca­go. He became the first pastor of that church in 1859. "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys," Isaiah 41:18, see also Isaiah 43:20. "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am." Matthew 18:20. The hymn under the same name appears with verses 1, 2 and 4 in Singing the Living Tradition; it does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

DUKE STREET (L.M.)

1. Un-to thy tem-ple, Lord, we come
with thank-ful hearts to wor-ship thee;
And pray that this may be our home
un-til we touch e-ter-ni-ty.

2. The com-mon home of rich and poor,
of bond and free, and great and small;
large as thy love for-ev-er more,
and warm and bright and good to all.

3. And dwell thou with us in this place,
thou and thy Christ, to guide and bless!
Here make the well-spring of thy grace
like foun-tains in the wil-der-ness.


4. May thy whole truth be spo-ken here;
Thy gos-pel light for-ev-er shine;
Thy per-fect love cast out all fear,
and hu-man life be-come di-vine.


5. Mo-ther-ing Spir-it gath-'ring all,
thy gen-tle arms do us em-brace;
O Womb of time, life heeds thy call;
Thy frame holds strong this ho-ly space.

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March 17, 2005

17R Holy, Holy, Holy

Original Title: "Holy, Holy, Holy, (Lord God Almighty)," Reginald Heber (arr.)(1826), NICAEA, 11.12.12.10, John Bacchus Dykes (1861); New Title: "Holy, Holy, Holy," arr., same hymn tune. Heber was an Anglican bishop, and the hymn tune name, NICAEA, gives a clue as to the trinitarian impulses of his original words. Unitarians have rearranged his words, omitting references to the Trinity, since at least 1848. Even the 1917 Universalist hymnal, Hymns of the Church, includes, as does Hymns of the Spirit Two, only three verses of Heber's original, with no trinitarian references. Singing the Living Tradition recasts the same three verses as no. 26, "Holy, Holy, Holy, (Author of Creation)," while The New Century Hymnal in four verses gives us "Holy, Holy, Holy, (God the Almighty). The verse regarding "cherubim and seraphim," excised from Unitarian and Universalist hymnody for centuries now, has been restored here. "Holy, holy, holy," are words addressed above in Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8, and in communion prayers in many settings.

NICAEA (11.12.12.10)

1. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! O God Al-migh-ty!
Ear-ly in the morn-ing our song shall rise to thee;
Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly, mer-ci-ful and migh-ty!
Per-fect in power, in love, and pu-ri-ty.

2. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! All the saints a-dore thee,
Cast-ing down their gol-den crowns a-round the glass-y sea;
Che-rub-im and se~raph-im fall-ing down be-fore thee,
Who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be.

3. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! though the night-fall hide thee,
hin-dered by our va-ni-ties we have not eyes to see;
On-ly thou art ho-ly; there is none be-side thee,
Per-fect in power, in love, and pu-ri-ty!

4. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! O God Al-migh-ty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly; mer-ci-ful and migh-ty!
Who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be.

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17S ¡Santa, santa, santa!

Título original: "¡Santo, santo, santo!," Reginald Heber (1826), trad. Juan B. Cabrera, NICAEA, 13.12.13.12., John B. Dykes (1861); Título nuevo: "¡Santa, santa, santa!," rev. REH (2006), la misma tonada. No. 24 en El Himnario; no. 4 en Mil voces para celebrar. NICAEA here is in F-sharp, as it is in El Himnario, not E-flat, as it is in Hymns of the Spirit Two.

NICAEA (13.12.13.12.)

1. ¡San-ta, san-ta, san-ta! Fuer-za re-den-to-ra,
siem-pre~el la-bio mí-o lo-or-es te da-rá,
¡San-ta, san-ta, san-ta! Tú, Sa-bi-du-rí-a,
an-te ti que~has si-do, que er-es y se-rás.


2. ¡San-ta, san-ta, san-ta! Aun-que~es-tés ve-la-da
e~im-po-si-ble se-a tu glo-ria~a con-tem-plar,
san-ta tú~er-es só-lo, san-ta~y ex-al-ta-da,
en po-der per-fec-to, pu-re-za~y ca-ri-dad.

3. ¡San-ta, san-ta, san-ta! La gran mu-che-dum-bre
de~án-ge-les que cum-plen la san-ta vo-lun-tad.
¡San-ta, san-ta, san-ta! El mun-do te~a-do-re,
Tú de mu-chos nom-bres, ben-di-ta U-ni-dad.

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March 18, 2005

18R O Friend, You Are Calling

Original Title: "Father, Thou Art Calling," James Vila Blake (1880), BROMLEY COMMON, 12.13.12.10, Martin Shaw (1915) (alternative tune: NICAEA, Irregular, John Bacchus Dykes (1861)); New Title: "O Friend, You Are Calling," rev. REH (2006), NICAEA. The revised lyrics do not banish "Father," which one still finds in the body of the hymn. The holy is in addition addressed, however, as "Lady Wisdom." James Vila Blake was an American Unitarian. Neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal contains it. "The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters." Psalm 29:3; see also Job 38:1-41.

NICAEA (Irregular)

1. O Friend, you are call-ing, call-ing to us plain-ly,
to the spir-it comes your lov-ing mes-sage ev-er-more;
Ho-ly One up-lift us, nor for-ev-er vain-ly, stand call-ing us
and wait-ing at the door.

2. In the whirl-ing tem-pest, and the storm you've lived in,
in the rain, and in the sweet-ness of the af-ter-glow;
sum-mer's gold-en boun-ty, win-ter's snow you've giv-en,
and bloom-ing mea-dows where sweet wat-ers flow.


3. Clear-er still and dear-er is your voice ap-peal-ing,
deep with-in the spir-it's se-cret be-ing speak-ing low.
En-ter La-dy Wis-dom, now the truth re-veal-ing:
From all van-i-ty free us as we go.

4. In you, liv-ing, mov-ing, un-to you up-lift-ing
all your joy-ous, hope-ful trust that gives our
hearts re-pose; Fa-ther, we a-dore you, ask-ing naught
nor fear-ing; Far we wan-der not from your Soul of souls. A-men.

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March 20, 2005

20R As Pants the Hart for Cooling Streams

Original Title: "As Pants the Hart for Coolings Streams," Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady (1696), MARTYRDOM, C.M., Hugh Wilson, arr. R. A. Smith (1825); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but does appear as no. 481 in The New Century Hymnal. The hymn is a recast of Psalm 42.

MARTYRDOM (C.M.)

1. As pants the hart* for cool-ing streams,
when heat-ed in the chase,
so longs my soul, O God, for you
and your re-fresh-ing grace.

2. Why rest-less, why cast down, my soul?
Hope still; and you shall sing
the praise of one who is your God,
your health's e-ter-nal spring.

3. Deep calls to deep, and o-ceans roar;
For God my soul does pine;
O when shall I be-hold your face,
O ma-jes-ty di-vine?

4. Why rest-less, why cast down, my soul?
Trust God who will em-ploy
all aid for you and change these sighs
to thank-ful hymns of joy. A-men


* deer

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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 04, 2005

27R Where Ancient Forests Round Us Spread

Original Title: "Where Ancient Forests Widely Spread," Andrews Norton (1833), WAINWRIGHT, L.M., Richard Wainwright; New Title: "Where Ancient Forests Round Us Spread," rev. REH (2005), AGINCOURT (DEO GRATIAS), Traditional English Melody (1415). Andrews Norton, an American Unitarian, is famous for having said that Ralph Waldo Emerson’s [Harvard] Divinity School Address represented "the newest form of infidelity." As beloved a figure as Emerson is for many, Norton's provocation takes nothing away from his own place in Unitarian Universalist hymnody. The full form of the hymn was anthologized in 1900 by Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833-1908) in his An American Anthology 1787-1900, as no. 51, where it is called "Hymn for the Dedication of a Church." In that collection, it began "Where ancient forests round us spread," as does the revised version here. Compare 2 Kings 19:22-24. Genesis 28:17, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." The Universe is filled by God, in God "we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:28.; see also Psalm 84. "The Lord has blessed the household of Obededom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God," 2 Samuel 6:12, suggesting, as in the lyrics, there are places where "human thought burns clearer" given their chosen status. Tradition has it that the AGINCOURT was written to laud the victory of the English at Normandy. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

AGINCOURT (DEO GRATIAS) (L.M.)

1. Where an-cient for-ests round us spread,
where bends~the cat'-ract's o-cean fall,
on the lone moun-tain's si-lent head,
there are your tem-ples, God of all!

2. Be-neath the dark-blue, mid-night arch,
whence my~riad suns pour down their rays,
where pla-nets trace their cease-less march,
O Life! we praise you as we gaze.

3. All space is ho-ly, for all space
is filled~by you; And hu-man thought
burns clear-er in some chos-en place,
where your own words of love are taught.

4. May we be taught, and may we know
a faith~your ser-vants knew of old
which on-ward bears through weal and woe,
till Death the gates of heaven un-fold.

5. Nor we a-lone, may those whose brow
shows yet~no trace of hu-man cares,
here-aft-er stand where we do now,
and raise to you still hol-ier prayers!


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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 06, 2005

29R You Hide Within the Lily

Original Title: "He Hides Within the Lily," William Channing Gannett (1873), MUNICH, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., Meiningen Gesangbuch (1693); New Title: "You Hide Within the Lily," rev. REH (2007), KING'S LYNN, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., Traditional English Melody, arranged Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906). "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not." Matthew 6:28; see also Luke 12:27. "A mortal ... comes up like a flower." Job 14:1-2. It should be noted, of course, that the Song of Songs (the Song of Solomon) discusses flowers and lilies throughout. Micah 6:8 (KJV), "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?," see also Proverbs 2:13, Proverbs 11:1, 1 Kings 3:11-12, Ecclesiastes 5:8, Jeremiah 22:15. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

KING'S LYNN (7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6.)

1. You hide with-in the li-ly a strong and ten-der care
that wins the earth-born a-toms to glo-ry of the air;
You weave the shin-ing garm-ents un-ceas-ing-ly and still
a-long the qui-et wa-ters, in ni-ches of the hill.

2. We lin-ger at the vi-gil with one who bent the knee
to watch the an-cient li-lies in dis-tant Gal-i-lee;
And still the wor-ship deep-ens and quick-ens in-to new,
and bright-ening down the a-ges God's se-cret thrills us through.

3. O Toi-ler of the li-ly, with you the heart e'er sings;
No leaf that dawns to pe-tal but hints of an-gel wings.
The flower hor-i-zons o-pen, the blos-som vast-er shows;
We hear your wide worlds e-cho, 'See how the li-ly grows.'


4. The yearn-ings of the na-tions, un-fold-ing, thought by thought,
to hol-ier lives are lift-ed, to vi-sions clear are wrought:
May all ad-vance in jus-tice, while e-vils fade and fall,
till cha-os blooms to beau-ty, your pur-pose crown-ing all.

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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 09, 2005

32R For the Beauty of the Earth

Original Title: "For the Beauty of the Earth," Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1864), DIX, 7.7.7.7.7.7., Conrad Kocher (1838); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Pierpoint was English and Anglican. Isaiah 6:3b, "The Earth is full of [God's] glory." The hymn appears in The New Century Hymnal as no. 28 with the refrain "God of all;" it appears in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 21 with "Source of all." The original in Hymns of the Spirit Two is "Lord of all" in each verse.

DIX (7.7.7.7.7.7.)

1. For the beau-ty of the earth
for the glo-ry of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
ov-er and a-round us lies.
Light of all, to thee~we raise,
this our hymn of grate~ful praise.

2. For the beau-ty of each hour,
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light.
Love of all, to thee~we raise,
this our hymn of grate~ful praise.

3. For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s de-light,
for the mys-tic har-mo-ny
link-ing sense to sound and sight.
Life of all, to thee~we raise,
this, our hymn of grate~ful praise.

4. For the joy of hu-man love,
broth-er, sist-er, pa-rent, child,
friends on earth and friends a-bove,
for all gen-tle thoughts and mild.
Lord of all to thee~we raise,
this, our hymn of grate~ful praise. A-men.


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April 10, 2005

33R The Spacious Firmament On High

Original Title: "The Spacious Firmament On High," Joseph Addison (1712), CREATION, L.M.D., Franz Joseph Haydn (1798); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Paraphrase of Psalm 19:1-6. Addison was English and Anglican. The version of CREATION here is in a different key from the version in Hymns of the Spirit Two. The hymn appears in a version remarkably akin to this in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 283; it does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

CREATION (L.M.D.)

1. The spa-cious fir-ma-ment on high,
with all the blue e-the-real sky,
and spang-led heavens, a shin-ing frame
their great O-rig-i-nal pro-claim.
Th’un-wea-ried sun, from day to day,
does its Cre-a-tor's power dis-play,
and pub-li-shes to eve-ry land
the work of an al-might-y hand.

2. Soon as the eve-ning shades pre-vail
the moon takes up the won-drous tale,
and night-ly to the liste-ning earth
re-peats the sto-ry of its birth;
While all the stars that round it burn
and all the pla-nets in their turn,
con-firm the ti-dings as they roll,
and spread the truth from pole to pole.

3. What though in sol-emn si-lence all
move round the dim ter-res-trial ball?
What though no re-al voice nor sound
a-mid the ra-diant orbs be found?
In rea-son's ear they all re-joice,
and ut-ter forth a glo-rious voice,
for-ev-er sing-ing as they shine,
"The hand that made us is di-vine."


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April 11, 2005

34R Heaven and Earth and Sea and Air

Original Title: "Heaven and Earth and Sea and Air," Joachim Neander (1680), trans. James Drummond Burns, POSEN, 7.7.7.7., Georg Christoph Strattner (1691); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), GOTT SEI DANK, 7.7.7.7., Johann A. Freylinghausen (1704). Psalm 57:7-11, 108:1-5; see also Psalm 19. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but it does appear in a version translated by Madeleine Forrell Marshall (1993) as no. 566, in five stanzas, also to the tune GOTT SEI DANK, in The New Century Hymnal. For Joachim Neander, see the entry under no. 7R.

GOTT SEI DANK (7.7.7.7.)

1. Heaven and earth, and sea and air,
all their mak-er’s praise de-clare;
Wake, my soul, a-wake and sing:
Now thy grate-ful prais-es bring.

2. See the glo-rious orb of day
break-ing through the clouds a-way;
Moon and stars with sil-very light
sing praise through the si-lent night.

3. O God's love hath eve-ry-where
made this earth so rich and fair;
hill and vale and fruit-ful land,
all life bears a ho-ly hand.

4. God, great won-ders work-est thou!
To thy sway all crea-tures bow;
Write thou deep-ly in my heart
what I am, and what thou art.


a. Him-mel, Er-de, Luft und Meer
zeu-gen von des Schöp-fers Ehr;
mei-ne See-le, sin-ge du,
bring auch jetzt dein Lob her-zu.


b. Seht das gro-ße Sonn-en-licht,
wie es durch die Wol-ken bricht;
auch der Mond, der Ster-ne Pracht
jauch-zen Gott bei still-er Nacht.

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April 12, 2005

35R Let the Whole Creation Cry

Original Title: "Let the Whole Creation Cry," Stopford Augustus Brooke, VIENNA, 7.7.7.7., Justin Heinrich Knecht (1799); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Brooke was a 19th Century Irish writer and churchman, first ordained in the Chruch of England, but later he officiated as a Unitarian minister at Bedford chapel, Bloomsbury. Psalm 148:5, "On the glorious splendor of your majesty,and on your wondrous works, I will meditate." (ESV). Neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal contains the hymn. The website maintained by St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church includes a paraphrase of Psalm 148 called "The Furthest Depths of Outer Space" with words by Matthew Priest, to the tune KISSLING, 8.8.6.8.8.6., which may be locally reproduced.

VIENNA (7.7.7.7.)

1. Let the whole cre-a-tion cry:
Glo-ry be to God on high!
Sun and moon, up-lift your voice,
night and stars, in God re-joice!


2. Chant out ho-nor, o-cean fair!
Earth, soft rush-ing through the air!
Sun-shine, dark-ness, cloud and storm,
rain and snow high praise per-form.

3. Let the blos-soms of the earth
join the u-ni-ver-sal mirth;
Birds, with morn and dew e-late,
sing with joy at heav-en's gate.


4. All souls on the side of right,
pro-phets speak-ing words of might;
Po-ets, fight-ers, ar-ti-sans:
Raise the anth-em once a-gain!

5. And let chil-dren's hap-py hearts
in this wor-ship bear their parts:
Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly, cry,
Glo-ry be to God on high!

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April 13, 2005

36R O God Whose Smile Is In the Sky

Original Title: "O God Whose Smile Is In the Sky," John Haynes Holmes (1907), MARTYRDOM, C.M., Hugh Wilson, adapted by H. A. Smith (1825); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. A graduate of Harvard, Holmes first served as minister of the Unitarian Third Congregational Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts. In 1907, he became junior minister at the Church of the Messiah in New York City (now known as the Community Church, Unitarian Universalist). "What a relief it is to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the smile of God," Genesis 33:10. "May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you," Numbers 6:25. "Come unto me . . . and I will give you rest," Matthew 11:28. The hymn is not in The New Century Hymnal, nor is it in Singing the Living Tradition.

MARTYRDOM (C.M.)

1. O God, whose smile is in the sky,
whose path is in the sea,
once more from earth’s tu-mul-tuous strife
to you we turn glad-ly.

2. Now all the myr-iad sounds of earth
in so-lemn still-ness die;
while wind and wave u-nite to chant
their an-them to the sky.

3. We come as those with toil far spent
who crave your rest and peace,
and from the care and fret of life
would find in you re-lease.

4. Su-stain-er, soothe all troubl-ed thought,
dis-pel all id-le fear;
O purge each heart of se-cret sin,
and ba-nish ev-ery care.

5. Un-til, as shine up-on the sea
the si-lent stars a-bove,
there shines up-on our trust-ing souls
the light of your own love.

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April 14, 2005

37R Thou Rulest, God, the Lights On High

Original Title: "Thou Rulest, God, the Lights On High," Theodore Chickering Williams (1911), MELCOMBE, L.M., Samuel Webbe (1782); New Title: Same hymn tune, rev. REH (2006), ERHALT UNS, HERR, L.M., Geisliche Lieder (Wittenberg 1543). "[W]isdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy." James 3:17. "Does not Wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?" Proverbs 8:1; see also Proverbs 1:20-25. "O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures," Psalm 104:24. Williams served as pastor of All Souls Church (Unitarian) in New York City for 13 years. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

ERHALT UNS, HERR (L.M.)

1. Thou rul-est, God, the lights on high;
Sun, moon and stars thy ser-vants be.
Yet eve-ry glo-ry of the sky
is bright-er still when I have thee.

2. How vast the mar-vel of the mind,
how far the beams of rea-son go!
Yet all wis-dom of hu-man-kind
burns deep-er still when thee I know.


3. Wher-e'er I look is light and joy:
A bloom-ing flower, an eag-le's wing;
their sin-less ju-bi-lee em-ploy,
and to thy praise full tri-bute bring.

4. Thy gifts to us be-yond com-pare,
like roy-al crowns and em-blems shine;
yet bring us nev-er to des-pair
when we hold these grand gifts as thine.


5. De-light and wis-dom, peace and power,
a heart of hope, se-rene and free,
through life's dim dream and tran-sient hour
I find, O God, tru-ly in thee.


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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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April 16, 2005

39R There Is a Book

Original Title: "There Is a Book (Who Runs May Read)," John Keble (1819), DEDHAM (C.M.), William Gardiner (1812); New Title: "There Is a Book (Which All May Read)," rev. REH and Jim Clark (2005), KINGSFOLD (8.6.8.6.), arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906). Keble was English, an exponent of the Oxford Movement, an Anglo-Catholic current within the Church of England. Gardiner and Vaughan Williams were both English. The original line from the hymn "who runs may read," is nothing if not obscure to modern speakers of English; it comes from Habakkuk: "Yahweh answered me, 'Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who runs may read it.'" Habakkuk 2:2. At least one modern reading renders it this way: "Then the Lord replied: 'Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.'" The latter suggests that the purpose of running with the revelation in hand is so that the herald may read it to those whom he meets along the way; the lyrics here have been recast to capture this sense of the words in even broader terms-- that revelation is available to all, without mediation, and likewise may be interpreted by all. "The word of God is living and active," Hebrews 4:12. "They read from the book, from the law of God," Nehemiah 8:8 (NRSV). Those wishing to limit the hymn to singing about the Hebrew scriptures, given the grounding of the original quotation in Habakkuk, may wish to substitute "Christ" with "Love."

KINGSFOLD (8.6.8.6.)

1. There is a book, which all may read,
which heaven-ly truth im-parts;
and all the tools its read-ers need,
broad minds and lov-ing hearts.
The lives of proph-ets here be-low,
and works of Christ all 'round,
are pa-ges in that book to show
how God is free-ly found.

2. The glor-ious sky, em-brac-ing all,
is like the Mak-er's love,
en-com-pass-ing the great and small,
with-in and high a-bove.
The dew of heaven is like your grace,
it steals in si-lence down;
But where it lights the fa-vored place,
its rich fruits spell re-nown.


3. The rag-ing sea, the roar-ing wind,
your bound-less power dis-play.
But in the gent-ler breeze un-dinned:
your spir-it's free-ing way.
To us you give [the faith] to doubt,
and love this earth with care;
Give us a heart to seek you out,
and read you eve-ry-where.

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April 17, 2005

40R Seek Not Afar For Beauty

Original Title: "Seek Not Afar For Beauty," Minot Judson Savage, LANGRAN, 10.10.10.10, James Langran (1863); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), YORKSHIRE, 10.10.10.10.10.10., John Wainwright (1750). Langran and Wainwright were both English Anglicans; Savage was a 19th Century American, associated at various times with Congregational and Unitarian churches. The world-weary Hebrew prophet Ecclesiastes is faintly echoed here, the idea being that there is "nothing new under the sun," such that it is in life's simple pleasures where we might find meaning and transcendence: "What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity." Ecclesiastes 2:2-23. "He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil." Ecclesiastes 3:11-13. Three verses make up a version that appears to COOLINGE in Singing the Living Tradition; the hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

YORKSHIRE (10.10.10.10.10.10)

1. Seek not a-far for beau-ty. Lo! it glows
in dew-wet grass-es all a-bout your feet;
in birds, in sun-shine, child-ren's fac-es sweet,
in stars and moun-tain sum-mits topped with snows.
Go not a-broad for hap-pi-ness. For see,
it is a flow-er that here blooms free-ly.


2. Bring love and jus-tice home, and then no more
will you won-der where peace and joy are taught.
Dream not of no-ble ser-vice else-where wrought.
The sim-ple du-ty now waits at your door;
God's voice speaks ev-er hol-i-er com-mands:
Life's saint-ly deeds are done by com-mon hands.

3. In won-der-work-ings, or some bush a-flame,
we look for Truth, and fan-cy it con-cealed;
But in earth's com-mon things, Life stands re-vealed,
while grass and flowers and stars spell out God's Name.
Seek not a-far for beau-ty. Lo! for see
it is a flow-er that here blooms free-ly.

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April 19, 2005

41R O God, Your Wonders

Original Title: "Father, Thy Wonders Do Not Singly Stand," Jones Very (1839, 1846), OLD FIRST, 10.10.10.10., later form of melody in Genevan Psalter (1542); New Title: "O God, Your Wonders (Do Not Singly Stand)," rev. REH (2007), TOULON, 10.10.10.10., abridged from Genevan Psalter (1551). The hymn is based on two poems, both called "The Spirit-Land," one written in 1839 and which begins "Father, thy wonders do not singly stand; the second, written in 1846 of the same title, begins "Open our eyes . . ." Very was a Unitarian minister, and Transcendentalist poet, contemporary of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, who is said to have "gone mad" at an early age. "Spirit land" seems to be an invocation (albeit infrequent) of heaven even in conventional Christian hymns. For example, Samuel Greg's 1854 hymn, "Stay, Master, Upon This Heavenly Hill," entreats Jesus to "let us linger a little longer . . . and catch a glimpse into spirit land." Very seems, by contrast, to place this spirit land not somewhere distant or obscure, but rather somewhere "richly . . . displayed," in an "enchanted land" that lies ever around us. God gave us inspiration and intuition; Very seems to tell us we should not waste these precious gifts that are "at hand;" that is, available to us. Such is the language Jesus used too in speaking of the Kingdom of God, in images so often misunderstood by his followers. Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15. "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?,” Mark 10:17. "When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him," Luke 5:11 (NRSV). The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal.

TOULON (10.10.10.10.)

1. O God! your won-ders do not sing-ly stand,
nor far re-moved where feet have sel-dom strayed;
A-round us ev-er lies th'en-chant-ed land;
Rich mar-vels to your child-ren thus dis-played.

2. In find-ing you are all things round us found;
In los-ing you are all things lost be-side;
Ears have we but in vain strange voic-es sound,
and to our eyes the vi-sion is de-nied.


3. O-pen our eyes that we that world may see,
o-pen our ears that we your voice may hear,
and in the spir-it-land may ev-er be,
and feel your pre-sence with us al-ways near.

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April 20, 2005

42R Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Original Title: "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," Henry Van Dyke (1908), JOY, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., arranged from Ludwig van Beethoven; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Van Dyke was an American Presbyterian. The hymn tune is known as HYMN TO JOY in Singing the Living Tradition; no. 29 is a three-verse version of "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee;" no. 327 in the 1993 hymn is entitled "Joy, Thou Goddess," with original German lyrics for two stanzas of "Freude, schöner Götterfunken." The latter hymn, by Friedrich Schiller, constitutes the "original" lyrics insofar as they inspired Beethoven's composition. The New Century Hymnal has four verses (without sibling references) as no. 4, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You." See Psalm 145:10, "All your works shall give thanks to you," see also Psalm 71:23; Isaiah 49:13, "Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing!"

JOY (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.)

1. Joy-ful, joy-ful, we a-dore thee, God of glo-ry, God of love;
Hearts un-fold like flowers be-fore thee, open-ing to the sun a-bove.
Melt the clouds of sin and sad-ness; drive the dark* of doubt a-way;
Giv-er of im-mort-al glad-ness, fill us with the light of day!


2. All thy works with joy sur-round thee, earth and heaven re-flect thy rays,
stars and an-gels sing a-round thee, cent-er of un-brok-en praise.
Field and for-est, vale and moun-tain, flow-ery mead-ow, flash-ing sea,
sing-ing bird and flow-ing foun-tain call us to re-joice in thee.

3. Thou art giv-ing and for-giv-ing, ev-er bless-ing, ev-er blessed;
Well-spring of the joy of liv-ing, o-cean depth of hap-py rest!
Lov-ing Sove-reign, Moth-er, Fath-er, all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each oth-er, lift us to the joy di-vine.

4. Mor-tals, join the hap-py chor-us, which the morn-ing stars beg-an;
Christ our Bro-ther reigns a-mongst us; Sis-ter Wis-dom seals the plan.
Ev-er sing-ing, march we on-ward, vic-tors in the midst of strife,
Joy-ful mus-ic leads us sun-ward in the tri-umph song of life.

*or 'storms'

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April 22, 2005

44R True Stewards, Earth

Original Title: "Thou, Earth, Art Ours, and Ours to Keep," Mary Howitt, GASTORIUS, 8.8.8.8.8., adapted from Severus Gastorius (1681); New Title: "True Stewards, Earth" rev. REH (2007), SUSSEX CAROL, 8.8.8.8.8.8., Traditional English melody, arranged by Ralph Vaughn Williams (1919). Mary Howitt was an English Quaker and poet, who wrote extensively on nature themes. Perhaps her best-known poem is "The Spider and the Fly." Here the lyrics clearly echo Genesis: "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good," Genesis 1:11-22; see also Genesis 1:29, Genesis 8:22, Genesis 27:28. In the Christian scriptures, seed and harvest are sometimes metaphors for the God's word, e.g., Luke 8:11, Matthew 13:3, 32, John 12:24, see also Luke 13:6-9 (the parable of the fig treet). That the earth is "ours" is echoed in the Psalms, e.g., Psalm 115:16; the likeness of "darkness and light" in Psalm 139:12; God gives grain/corn in Psalm 65:9. Trees and wind are mentioned specifically in Isaiah 7:2; the first and latter rain in Deuteronomy 11:14. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal.

SUSSEX CAROL (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. True stew-ards, earth, we are for thee,
who in faith la-bor in thy reign;
the green-ing grass, the corn, the tree,
spring-time and har-vest come from thee,
the ear-ly and the lat-ter rain,
the ear-ly and the lat-ter rain.

2. O earth, the earth, thy sum-mer-time,
fresh with the dews, the sun-shine bright,
with gold-en clouds in eve-ning hours,
with sing-ing birds and fra-grant flowers,
crea-tures of beau-ty and de-light,
crea-tures of beau-ty and de-light.

3. Thou, earth, our earth, when light is dim,
and leaf-less stands the state-ly tree,
when from the north the fierce winds blow,
when fall-eth fast the mant-ling snow.
O earth, thou speak-est still to me,
O earth, thou speak-est still to me.

4. The earth is yours and mine, all life!
Ours is all worlds, all suns that shine,
sha-dow and light, and life and death,
what-e'er all space in-ha-bi-teth:
Life's im-age bears the true di-vine,
Life's im-age bears the true di-vine.

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April 25, 2005

45R Morning, So Fair to See

Original Title: "Morning, So Fair to See," Vincent Brown Silliman (1934), ST. ELIZABETH, 6.6.9.6.6.8., Silesian Folksong; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. ST. ELIZABETH is also unhappily (albeit for fanciful reasons) known as CRUSADER'S HYMN. Silliman was a Unitarian and humanist, and one of the editors of the Hymns for the Celebration of Life, published in 1964, the first hymnal produced by the Unitarian Universalist Association after consolidation in 1961. As the giver of the "Berry Street Address" at UUA's 1977 General Assembly in Ithaca, Silliman said "hymn tinkering is a long-standing practice. Some tinkers have spread so widely that the original is all but forgotten." Another recast version of Silliman's hymn can be found in Singing the Living Tradition, at no. 42; it does not appear in The New Century Hymnal. Morning's beauty is a topic in Genesis; e.g., Genesis 1:5-31. Morning is a time when people went to the temple; e.g., Luke 21:38, John 8:2; morning also bespeaks glory; e.g., Song of Solomon 6:10 ("Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun"); see also Isaiah 58:8.

ST. ELIZABETH (6.6.9.6.6.8.)

1. Morn-ing, so fair to see,*
Night, veiled in mys-ter-y,
Glo-rious the earth and res-plen-dent skies!
Pil-grims, we march a-long,
Sing-ing our Pil-grim song,
As through an earth-ly par-a-dise.

2. Green are the grow-ing trees;
Blue are the flash-ing seas;
Glo-rious each won-der the sea-sons bring.
Bright-er is faith's sur-mise
shin-ing in Pil-grims' eyes:
Bright-er the com-mon-weal we sing.

3. Age af-ter age we rise,
'Neath the e-ter-nal skies,
In-to the light from the sha-dowed past:
Still shall our Pil-grim song,
Bou-yant and brave and strong,
Re-sound while life and moun-tains last.

*Or 'shines so brightly.' A version of the hymn less reticient about the word "fair," and thus much closer to the original text, might read as follows:

1. Morn-ing, so fair to see,
Night, veiled in mys-ter-y,
Glo-rious the earth and res-plen-dent skies!
Pil-grims, we march a-long,
Sing-ing our Pil-grim song,
As through an earth-ly par-a-dise.

2. Fair are the verdant trees;
fair are the flash-ing seas;
Fair is each won-der the sea-sons bring.
Fair-er is faith's sur-mise
shin-ing in Pil-grims' eyes:
Fair-er the com-mon-weal we sing.

3. Age af-ter age we rise,
'Neath the e-ter-nal skies,
In-to the light from the sha-dowed past:
Still shall our Pil-grim song,
Bou-yant and brave and strong,
Re-sound while life and moun-tains last.

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April 26, 2005

46R God of All Majesty and Might

Original Name: "Lord of All Majesty and Might," George Wallace Briggs (1933), VATER UNSER, 8.8.8.8.8.8., later form of melody in V. Schumann’s Gesangbuch (1539), harmony by J.S. Bach; New Name: "God of All Majesty and Might," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Briggs was an English Anglican priest, born in 1875. The title echoes "In thine hand is power and might," 1 Chronicles 29:12; the "unfathomed deep" of the lyrics seems to correlate with Psalm 95:4, "In [God's] hand are the deep places of the earth." The last verse seems to take from Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:9, "for we know in part, and we prophesy in part." The Imago Dei is echoed in verse four, from Genesis 1:27. The discussion of wisdom in verse 2 resonantes with the passages "Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom," Job 36:5 and "God only wise," Romans 16:27a. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal.

VATER UNSER (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. God of all maj~es-ty and might,
Whose pres-ence fills th'un-fathom-ed deep,
Where-in un-count-ed worlds of light
through count-less a-ges vi-gil keep;
E-ter-nal One, can such as we,
Frail mor-tal souls, know aught of thee?

2. Be-yond all know~ledge thou art wise,
With wis-dom that trans-cends all thought;
Yet still we seek with strain-ing eyes,
Yea, seek as our an-ces-tors sought;
Nor will we from the quest de-part,
Til we shall know thee as thou art.


3. Frail though our form,~and brief our day,
Our mind has bridged the gulf of years,
Our pu-ny ba-lan-ces can weigh,
The mag-ni-tude of star-ry spheres:
With-in us is e-ter-ni-ty;
Whence come this, O God, but from thee?


4. For when thy wond~rous works we scan,
And mind gives ans-wer back to mind,
Thine im-age shines in the hu-man;
And seek-ing we shall sure-ly find.
Mor-tals, our her-i-tage we claim;
Shall not thy child-ren know thy name?


5. We know in part;~e-nough we know
to walk with thee, and walk a-right;
And thou shalt guide us as we go,
And lead us in-to full-er light,
Til when we stand be-fore thy throne,
We know at last as we are known. A-men.

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May 24, 2005

67R O Thou Whose Power Over Moving Worlds Presides

Original Title: "O Thou Whose Power Over Moving World Presides," Boethius (480-525), trans. Samuel Johnson (1750), OLD 124TH (10.10.10.10), Genevan Psalter (1551); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Boethius was a Roman statesman; his most famous work was The Consolations of Philosophy. He has been thought both a Christian and indeed a Christian martyr, yet his most famous work does not mention Christ or the Christian religion, and seems in the eyes of some to speak only the language of neo-Platonism (in a narrow sense, "a philosophical dialogue modelled on strictly pagan productions"). Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), also the name of the Unitarian hymnwriter from the 19th century (see no. 219R), here refers instead to the Englishman from a century before. Johnson was the subject of perhaps the earliest and best-known biography in English, written by John Boswell. A stanza of Boethius' original Latin has been added. "legem pone mihi Domine in via tua et dirige me in semita recta propter inimicos meos," Pslam 26:11 (Vulgate); "But as for me, I will go on in my upright ways: be my saviour, and have mercy on me," Psalm 26:11 (BBE); see also Proverbs 15:24, 12:28. "Dominus solus dux eius fuit et non erat cum eo deus alienus," Deuteronomy 32:12 (Vulgate); "So the Lord only was his guide, no other god was with him," Deuteronomy 32:12 (BBE); Exodus 13:21, 15:13, Acts 1:16. "[T]imor Domini principium," Proverbs 1:7a (Vulgate); "Start with God- the first step in learning is bowing down to God," Proverbs 1:7a (The Message); see also Proverbs 4:7, Proverbs 9:10. "[Christ] is a beginning, a first-born out of the dead," Colossians 1:18a (YLT); "[] qui est principium primogenitus ex mortuis," Colossians 1:18a (Vulgate). Romans 11:33 (KJV), "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" 1 Corinthians 2:7 (KJV), "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory," see also 1 Corinthians 1:24. Psalms 104:24 (KVJ), "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom, hast thou made them all," see also Psalm 136:5, Proverbs 3:19. Jeremiah 10:12 (KJV), "He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion." Genesis 1:14, "And God said, let there be lights," see also Genesis 7:24. The hymn is not included in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

OLD 124TH (10.10.10.10)

1. O Thou whose power o'er mov-ing worlds pre-sides,
whose voice cre-a-ted, and whose wis-dom guides,
On the dim earth in pure ef-ful-gence shine,
and cheer the cloud-ed mind with light di-vine,
and cheer the cloud-ed mind with light di-vine.

2. 'Tis thine a-lone to calm the re-verent breast,
with si-lent con-fi-dence and ho-ly rest;
from thee, great God! we spring, to thee we tend,
Path, Mo-tive, Guide, O-rig-i-nal, and End!
Path, Mo-tive, Guide, O-rig-i-nal, and End!

a. Tu nam-que se-re-num,
Tu re-qui-es tran-quil-la pi-is.
Te cer-ne-re fi-nis,
Prin-ci-pi-um, Vec-tor, Dux,
Se-mi-ta, Ter-mi-nus, I-dem.

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May 29, 2005

69R O God, O Spirit, Light of All That Live

Original Title: "O God, O Spirit, Light of All That Live," Gerhard Tersteegen (1745), trans. Catherine Winkworth (1855), adapted for Hymns of the Spirit One (1864), BETHSAIDA (LONGWOOD), 10.10.10.10., Joseph Barnby (1872); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Winkworth was a 19th century English Anglican, and a prolific translator of German-language hymns to English. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal. "If ye [live] through the Spirit ... ye shall live," Romans 8:13 (KJV); "[A]ccording to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested," Romans 16:25-26 (ASV); "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely," Revelation 21:6 (ASV); Pslam 114:8; "the Lord will be to you an everlasting light," Isaiah 60:19 (NKJV), 50:10, Psalm 18:28, 56:13, 118:27.

BETHSAIDA (LONGWOOD)(10.10.10.10.)

1. O God, O Spir-it, Light of all that live,
who does on them that sit in sad-ness shine!
The sha-dows ev-er with your power do strive,
yet pour on us a-gain thy rays di-vine.

2. O Breath from out th'e-ter-nal si-lence! Blow
soft-ly up-on our spir-its' wait-ing ground;
The pre-cious full-ness of our God bes-tow,
that fruits of faith, love, rev-erence may a-bound.

3. O Foun-tain, that does un-ex-haust-ed flow,
to quench the thirst that seeks the wa-ters clear!
O God, O Spir-it, Life of lives! Flow now
in-to all hearts which seek com-fort-ing here.

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November 17, 2005

198R All Creatures of the Earth and Sky/Oh, criaturas del buen Dios

Original Title: "All Creatures of Our God and King," Francis of Assisi (1225), trans. W H. Draper, LASST UNS ERFERUEN, 8.8.4.4.8.8.3.3.4.4.4., Geistliche Kirchengesänge (Cologne 1623); New Title: "All Creatures of the Earth and Sky," recast from Umbrian REH (2005), Spanish J. Miguez Bonino, same hymn tune. Under the latter title it appears to LASST UNS ERFERUEN in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 203, albeit with only five stanzas; with even more changes it appears recast by Miriam Therese Winter as no. 17 in The New Century Hymnal as "To You, O God, All Creatures Sing." An abbreviated adaption by Sharon Anway is included in the UUA's Singing the Journey as No. 1066 to the tune YE BANKS AND BRAES under the name "O Brother Sun," to good reviews. The hymn is sometimes perceived as a take on Psalm 148; there are echoes of other psalms as well (such as Psalm 69); however, it most strongly echoes Psalm 100. The Spanish version, originally entitled "Oh, criaturas del Señor," as no. 22, in Mil Voces para celebrar. The redemption, and in some senses, personalization of Nature by St. Francis has a hint of natural theism about it, which no doubt explains the placement of the no. 1066 in the "Earth-Centered Traditions" section of Singing the Journey; that Christianity in some guises might count amongst such traditions ought not be discounted (as the editors seem to recognize implicitly), given the stewardship of the Earth that Genesis 2 bestows upon humankind.

LASST UNS ERFERUEN (8.8.4.4.8.8.3.3.4.4.4.)

1. All crea~tures~of the earth and sky,
Lift up your voice to heaven on high,
Sing prais-es! Al-le-lu-ia!
O ra-diant sun with splen~did beam,
O pre-cious moon with sof-ter gleam!
Sing prais-es, Sing prais-es,
Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia!

2. O rush~ing~wind that blows so strong,
And storms that sail in skies a-long,
Sing prais-es! Al-le-lu-ia!
O cher-ished air, in praise~re-joice,
with stars of even-ing, find a voice!
Sing prais-es, Sing prais-es,
Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia!

3. O use~ful~wat-er, pure and clear,
Make hum-ble sounds for all to hear,
Sing prais-es! Al-le-lu-ia!
O fire so spir-it-ful~and bright,
That gives to us both warmth and light!
Sing prais-es, Sing prais-es,
Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia!

4. Dear kind~red~earth, who day by day,
Un-folds e'er bless-ings on our way,
Sing prais-es! Al-le-lu-ia!
The flowers and fruits that in~you grow,
They ho-ly glo-ry a-lso show!
Sing prais-es, Sing prais-es,
Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia!


5. And all~dear~souls of ten-der heart,
For-giv-ing oth-ers, take your part,
Sing prais-es! Al-le-lu-ia!
All who long pain and sor~row bear,
To the Most Ho-ly cast your care!
Sing prais-es, Sing prais-es,
Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia!

6. And you~most~kind and gent-le Death,
Wait-ing to hush our lat-est breath,
Sing prais-es! Al-le-lu-ia!
Who leads to home the child~of God,
Death's Re-deem-er a way has trod!
Sing prais-es, Sing prais-es,
Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia!

7. Let all~things~the A-noin-ted bless,
And wor-ship God in hum-ble-ness,
Sing prais-es! Al-le-lu-ia!
O praise the Most High, let~praise ring,
Lift up your voice and with all sing!
Sing prais-es, Sing prais-es,
Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia, Al-le-lu-ia!


a. Oh, cri-a~tu-ras del buen Dios,
can-tad con me-lo-dio-sa voz:
¡A-la-bad-le! ¡A-le-lu-_ya!
Ar-dien-te sol con tu ful-gor;
oh, lu-na de sua-ve~es-plen-dor:
¡A-la-bad-le! ¡A-la-bad-le!
¡A-le-lu-ya! ¡A-le-lu-ya! ¡A-le-lu-ya!


b. Vien-to ve~loz, po-ten-te~a-lud,
nu-bes en cla-ro cie-lo~a-zul:
¡A-la-bad-le! ¡A-le-lu-ya!
Sua-ve, do-ra~ado a-ma-ne-cer;
tu, man-to, no-che~al ex-ten-der:
¡A-la-bad-le! ¡A-la-bad-le!
¡A-le-lu-ya! ¡A-le-lu-ya! ¡A-le-lu-ya!


c. Fuen-tes de~a-gua de cris-tal,
a vues-tro cre-a-dor can-tad:
¡A-la-bad-le! ¡A-le-lu-ya!
Oh, fue-go,~e-le-va tu lo-or,
tú que nos da luz y ca-lor:
¡A-la-bad-le! ¡A-la-bad-le!
¡A-le-lu-ya! ¡A-le-lu-ya! ¡A-le-lu-ya!

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All materials may be reproduced for non-profit local and congregational use. We request notification of use, in addition to notification of any changes made when materials are used so we might benefit from the insight of others. Any materials used or reproduced in any way must bear the notation "(c) 2005 Richard E. Hurst, for non-profit local and congregational use only, all other rights reserved."

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July 12, 2006

608R Soon God's Redeeming Grace Will Come

Title: "Soon God's Redeeming Grace Will Come," Anonymous, rev. REH (2006), WINCHESTER NEW, L.M., Musikalisches Handbuch (1690). Based on Psalm 85:9-13. The original hymn, which does not appear in Hymns of the Spirit Two (1937), is entitled "Lord, Thou Hast Greatly Blessed Our Land," Anonymous, REPENTANCE, L.M., Theodore E. Perkins (1831-1912). Psalm 85, or parts thereof, constitutes a lectionary reading for Proper 14A/Ordinary 19A, Advent 2B, Proper 10B/Ordinary 15B, and Proper 12C/Ordinary 17C.

WINCHESTER NEW (L.M.)

1. Soon God's re-deem-ing grace will come;
all souls new-mind-ed will be-come;
and glo-ry through our land shall dwell,
when we do heed Love's teach-ings well.

2. Now truth a-grees with mer-cy's bliss;
the law and peace come forth to kiss;
be-hold the truth from earth a-rise,
with jus-tice shin-ing from the skies.

3. The Ho-ly will send bles-sings down;
green har-vests all the land shall crown;
wide whole-some-ness be-fore us lies;
our sure foot-steps are Life's sur-mise. A-men.

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All materials may be reproduced for non-profit local and congregational use. We request notification of use, in addition to notification of any changes made when materials are used so we might benefit from the insight of others. Any materials used or reproduced in any way must bear the notation "(c) 2006 Richard E. Hurst, for non-profit local and congregational use only, all other rights reserved."

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July 05, 2008

624R An Apple Tree Stands In the Wood

Metrical Version of Song of Songs (Song of Soloman) 2:8-13 (REH), L.M. (8.8.8.8), OLD HUNDREDTH, etc.


1. An ap-ple tree stands in the wood:
So my be-loved, a-bove the fray;
With great de-light near-by I stood;
To taste sweet fruit, as hearts do play.

2. The fes-tal house to which I come;
There I am sought but in sweet love;
Re-freshed with fruits and fresh-est plum;
Dis-may-ing love falls from a-bove.

3. O were one hand up-on my head;
And were one hand up-on my waist;
I sing to you, by red deer led;
Swear by gaz-elle, to Zi-on chased.

4. O do not stir nor wak-en love;
Not til the time your be-loved comes;
High leap-ing from the hills a-bove;
Thence bound-ing peaks un-til love hums.

All materials may be reproduced for non-profit local and congregational use. We request notification of use, in addition to notification of any changes made when materials are used so we might benefit from the insight of others. Any materials used or reproduced in any way must bear the notation "(c) 2008 Richard E. Hurst, for non-profit local and congregational use only, all other rights reserved."

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