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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7S Sing Songs to God, the All-loving

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: "Sing Songs to God, the Almighty," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Neander was pastor of the Reformed Church in Düsseldorf; this constitutes in essence 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). It 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.

LOBE DEN HERREN (14.14.4.7.8.)

1. Sing songs to God, the All-lov-ing, who sus-tains cre-a-tion!
O my soul praise the Life 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. Prais-ed be Love, still with all things so won-drous-ly work-ing,
and as on eag-le's wings, is us so gent-ly up-lift-ing!
Have you not seen all that Earth need-ed has been
moved by Life's gra-cious or-dain-ing?

3. Re-mem-ber Truth, that has fear-less-ly, joy-ful-ly, freed you;
Chains has reclaimed 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. Sing now God's praise, who does pros-per your work and de-fend you;
Life's com-mon mi-ra-cles dai-ly with mer-cy at-tend you.
Pon-der a-new what the Al-migh-ty can do,
who with great love does be-friend you.


5. Thanks now to Peace, when the tem-pests their war-fare are wag-ing,
and when the el-e-ments mad-ly a-round you are rag-ing,
bids them to cease, turns then their fu-ry to ease,
whirl-winds and wa-ters as-suag-ing.


6. Praise the Di-vine, O join all in one true 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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See comments in 7R; downloads need to be changed to reflect lyrics in verse 6.

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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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Downloads must be redone

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June 02, 2005

72R I Cannot Find Thee

Original Title: "I Cannot Find Thee," Eliza Scudder (1864), no changes here, LOMBARD STREET, 11.10.11.10., Frederick George Russell (1929). Scudder (1821-1896) was niece of hymnwriter Edmund Sears. Originally a Unitarian, she subsequently became an Episcopalian. The hymn is (unconscionably) not included in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. Psalm 14:1-2, "Fools say in their hearts, 'There is no God' . . . The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who . . . seek after God." Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." "If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him," Job 23:8-9 (NRSV). "Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you," Psalm 116:7.

LOMBARD STREET (11.10.11.10.)

1. I can-not find thee. Still on rest-less pin-ion
my spir-it beats the void where thou dost dwell,
I wan-der lost through all thy vast do-min-ion,
and shrink be-neath thy light in-ef-fa-ble.

2. I can-not find thee. E'en when most a-dor-ing,
be-fore thy throne I bend in low-liest prayer;
Be-yond these bounds of thought my thought up-soar-ing
from far-thest quest comes back: thou art not there.


3. Yet high a-bove the lim-its of my see-ing,
and fold-ed far with-in the in-most heart,
and deep be-low the deeps of con-scious be-ing,
thy splen-dor shin-eth: there, O God, thou art.

4. I can-not lose thee. Still in thee a-bid-ing,
the end is clear, how wide so-e'er I roam;
The hand that holds the worlds my steps is guid-ing,
and I must rest at last in thee, my home.

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December 15, 2005

228R When Winds Are Raging

Original Title: "When Winds Are Raging," Harriet Beecher Stowe (1855), ZU MEINEM HERRN, 11.10.11.10., adapted from Johann Gottfried Schicht; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), INTERCESSOR, 11.10.11.10.Charles H. H. Parry, Hymns Ancient and Modern, (1904). Harriet Beecher Stowe was a Congregationalist, and professor at Bowdoin College, Maine, in 1850. She wrote many books, including Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), an anti-slavery novel. "There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God,” Hebrews 4:9; For [Christ] is our peace," Ephesians 2:14. "[Jesus] said to them, 'Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while,'" Mark 6:31. "When [Jesus] saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea . . . Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased," Mark 6:48, 50; see also John 6:18-20. "Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted; how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples, with which your enemies taunt, O Lord, with which they taunted the footsteps of your anointed," Psalm 89:50-51; compare the lyrics "the babble of life’s angry voices."

INTERCESSOR (11.10.11.10)

1. When winds are rag-ing o’er the up-per o-cean,
and bil-lows wild con-tend with an-gry roar,
’tis said, far down, be-low the wild com-mo-tion,
that peace-ful still-ness reign-eth ev-er-more.

2. Far, far be-neath, the noise of tem-pests dieth,
and sil-ver wa-ves chime ev-er peace-ful-ly,
and no rude storm, how fierce so e’er it fli-eth,
dis-turbs the sab-bath of that deep-er sea.

3. So to the heart that knows thy love, O Pur-est!
there is a tem-ple, sa-cred ev-er-more,
and all the bab-ble of life’s an-gry voi-ces
dies in hushed still-ness at its peace-ful door.

4. Far, far a-way, the roar of pas-sion di-eth,
and lov-ing thoughts rise calm and peace-ful-ly,
and no rude storm, how fierce so e’er it fli-eth,
dis-turbs the soul that dwells, Ho-ly, in thee.

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December 20, 2005

249R In Heavenly Love Abiding

Original Title: "In Heavenly Love Abiding," Anna Laetitia Waring (1850), NYLAND, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., Finnish Hymn Melody; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., Melchior Teschner (1613). Loose paraphrase of Psalm 23; see also John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love." Waring was born a Quaker in Wales; she later became a member of the Church of England.

VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN (7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6.)

1. In heaven-ly love a-bid-ing, no change my heart shall fear.
and safe in such con-fid-ing, for noth-ing chang-es here.
The storm may roar with-out me, my heart may low be laid,
but God is round a-bout me; how can I be dis-mayed?

2. Wher-ev-er love may guide me, no want shall turn me back.
My shep-herd is be-side me, and no-thing can I lack.
Your wis-dom's ev-er wak-ing, your sight is al-ways clear,
you know the way you're tak-ing; we'll walk there and then cheer.

3. Green pas-tures are before me, which yet I have not seen.
Bright skies will soon be o'er me, where thick-est clouds have been.
My hope I can-not mea-sure, my path to life is free.
My guide has all my trea-sure, the one who walks with me. A-men.

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January 01, 2006

327R All Blessings Are Scattered

Original Title: "The Lord, In His Righteousness," Katharine Huntington Annin (1923), NETHERLANDS FOLKSONG, Irregular, Traditional Melody; New Title: "All Blessings Are Scattered," rev. REH (2006), DOWN AMPNEY, 6.6.11.6.6.11., Ralph Vaughn Williams (1906). Annin was an American Congregationalist. The revised version switches the position of stanzas one and two; thus the wholly dissimiliar names. "And this is the name by which he will be called: 'The Lord is our righteousness,'" Jeremiah 23:6. Luke 4:14-18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free;" see also Isaiah 61:1. The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal.

DOWN AMPNEY (6.6.11.6.6.11.)

1. All bles-sings are scat-tered like rains from high~est heav-ens;
like dews on the fields when the grass is new mown;
peace is de-scend-ing, a~bun-dant, nev-er en-ding;
pris-oners and op-pressed are count-ed as God's own.

2. Sove-reign of right-eous-ness judg-eth all with~all jus-tice,
the moun-tains and hills by God's reign are se-cure;
peo-ples of all~na-tions through-out ge-ne-ra-tions
shall sing praise as long as the Sun shall en-dure.

3. From sea to sea shall be Love's true do-min-ion spread,
from the ends of the Earth to where riv-ers run;
the isles of deep~o-ceans shall of-fer de-vo-tions,
Ru-lers shall bow down, and all lands pray as one.

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January 05, 2006

531S Psalm 67: Bless Us, O God

Original Title: "God Be Merciful Unto Me," Anonymous, first setting, Anonymous, second setting, William Croft; New Title: "Psalm 67: Bless Us, O God," Christine Robinson (2006), arranged by REH (2006), first setting, Anonymous. Christine Robinson is a minister at First Unitarian Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico; her adaptation of the psalms has been part of her daily spiritual exercises since 2003. During a sabbatical from parish ministry, she began to write these psalms on a blog entitled Psalms for a New World, an adaptation using "inclusive language and through modern lenses of ecological awareness, Taoist sensibilites, and post-modern theology." Though the style of these adaptations would generally not be suited for metrical psalms or "four-square" hymn paraphrases, Hymns of the Spirit Two does contain a few Anglican-style plainchants that do not require rigorous rhyming or metrical schemes. This is one of those selections, and the Reverend Robinson's work has been adopted for inclusion here. She has graciously granted permission for same. The normal copyright restrictions on local and congregational use apply as noted below. Psalm 67 is the revised common lectionary psalm for Proper 15A/Ordinary 20A/Pentecost 13A and Easter 6C.

PSALM 67 (Chant)

1. Bless us, O God; whisper~in~our hearts and light our times.
2. Help~us~to~understand~your~love and your law; and~bring~them~to bear on the world’s ills.
3. Let~all~the~people~of~the earth praise you with~all their di-verse voi-ces.
4. Let~them~call~out~the~ten thou-sand names; let~all~nations~praise~you~with the best of their ways.
5. Let~the~peoples~of~the~earth bless the earth and~heal~earth~together;~let~us~all~enjoy each oth-er’s wis-dom.
6. Bless~us,~O~God,~with~your~presence in our hearts; and~in~the~soul~of our na-tion. A-men.

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