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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June 04, 2005

73R Shekinah In Her Holy Place

Original Title: "The Lord Is In His Holy Place," William Channing Gannett (1873), ST. BERNARD, C.M., Tochter Sion (1741); New Title: "Shekinah In Her Holy Place," rev. REH (2005), RESIGNATION, C.M.D., Traditional American; Southern Harmony (1835). William Channing Gannett (1840-1923) was an American Unitarian minister, particularly active within the Western Unitarian Conference. He was author of a document of great historical importance to the WUC entitled "Things Commonly Believed Among Us". He played a particularly important role in the women's suffrage movement in the United States; Susan B. Anthony was amongst his congregants. Though "Shekinah" does not appear in the original title of the hymn, it does occur as a reference to the glory of God in the lyrics of the first stanza (itself remarkable for a hymn composed in 1873). The reference to Exodus 40:35 is likewise original to Gannett. The word "Shekinah" does not appear as such in the Bible, but it does appear in Talmudic literature; e.g., "Whenever ten are gathered for prayer, there Shekinah rests," Talmud Sanhedrin 39a. A feminine word in Hebrew, many have suggested that the name Shekinah represents the female attributes of the presence or glory of God (though there would seem to be some competition with Wisdom/Sophia and the Spirit/Ruah, also feminine in Hebrew, or perhaps even St. Julian of Norwich's views on the mothering qualities of Christ). "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail," Job 38:22 (NRSV). "If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents," Song of Songs 1:8 (KJV); see also Jeremiah 6:3. "Gethsemane," Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:32. "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you?," Acts 3:12 (NIV). "Do not I fill heaven and earth?, declares the Lord," Jeremiah 23:24. The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymn nor in Singing the Living Tradition.

RESIGNATION (C.M.D.)

1. She-ki-nah* in her ho-ly place,
in all things, near and far;
She-ki-nah of the snow-flake, too,
finds glo-ry in the star.
She finds her-self with-in the love
of those whom we love best;
the smiles and tones that make our homes
are shrines by her poss-essed.

2. Our art may build its house of God,
our feet on Si-nai stand,
but ho-li-est of ho-lies knows
no tread, no touch of hand.
She tents with-in the lone-ly heart
and shep-herds eve-ry thought;
We find her not by seek-ing long,
we lose her not, un-sought.

3. The liste-ning soul makes Si-nai still
wher-ev-er we may be,
and in the vow "Thy will be done,"
lies all Geth-se-ma-ne.
O eve-ry-where her ho-ly place,
if love un-seals the eyes,
and eve-ry-where the wait-ing face
to wel-come and sur-prise!

* Shekinah, the visible glory of God; see, e.g., Exodus 40:35

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January 01, 2006

328R O Pure Reformers, Not in Vain

Original Title: "O Pure Reformers, Not in Vain," John Greenleaf Whittier (1843), COVENTRY, C.M., Samuel Howard (c. 1762); New Title: same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), ST. ANNE, C.M., William Croft (1708). Whittier was an 19th Century American Quaker poet, and a well-known advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal. Though the hymn predates both his ministry and the holiday, many may find it appropriate to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. The lyrics speak most directly to Ephesians 4:11-16, which tells of prophets and teachers sent to "equip the saints" so that we might not be like children "tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine." Also notable are echoes of the conflict between "lies" and "truth" in the gospel of John, see John 17:17, John 8:44.

ST. ANNE (C.M.)

1. O pure re-form-ers! not in vain,
your trust in hu-man-kind;
the good which blood-shed could not gain,
your peace-ful zeal shall find.


2. The truths you urge are borne a-broad
by eve-ry wind and tide;
the voice of na-ture and of God
speaks out up-on your side.

3. The wea-pons which your hands have found
are those which heaven has wrought,
light, truth, and love; your bat-tle ground,
the free, broad field of thought.

4. O may no self-ish pur-pose break
the beau-ty of your call,
no lie from throne or al-tar shake
your stead-y faith in all.


5. Press on! and if we may not share
the glo-ry of your cry,
we'll ask at least, in earn-est prayer,
that your dreams may not die. A-men.

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