December 04, 2005

206R O Love! O Light!

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

ST. AGNES (C.M.)

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

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


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


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

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


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

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July 29, 2006

616R O Heart of Fire

Title: "O Heart of Fire," John Henry Newman (1833), from his Hymns (New York: 1896), arr. REH (2006), LUX VERA, 10.6.10.6., John Bacchus Dykes (1870). Newman wrote of the love between "David and Jonathan" in a work of that name, with the epigraph to the poem "Thy love to me is wonderful, passing the love of women," 2 Samuel 1:26 (KJV). Newman (1801-1890) was a British clergyman and leader in the Anglo-Catholic "Oxford Movement," who eventually converted to Roman Catholicism, and became a cardinal; the "cause" of his sainthood in the Roman sense is pending (though all are free to assume that he is already a saint-- an example of faith-- in the best and broadest sense of the word). He is buried in same grave as his companion, Ambrose St. John. See also "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved," John 13:23 (KJV); "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us," Romans 8:34. "For righteousness is immortal," Wisdom of Solomon 1:15.

LUX VERA (10.6.10.6.)

1. O heart of fire, mis-judged by wil-ful gain,
the flower of Jes-se's race!
What woe you had when you and Jon-a-than
last greet-ed face to face

2. One doomed to die, and on us to im-press
a heart-felt hol-i-ness;
yet all was well for you, mid cares of rule,
and crime's en-circ-ling pool.

3. A spell was o'er you, zeal-ous one, to chide,
your word-ly, roy-al pride;
with bat-tle-scene and pa-geant, soon to end
the pale calm of a friend.

4. Had the friend lived, be-fore your throne to stand,
your spir-it keen and free,
would love have then sur-vived, a slend-er band,
so dear in mem-o-ry?

5. Paul, of the com-rade reft, the bless-ing gives:
a life re-mem-bered lives;
O heart of fire, come greet us face to face,
O flower of love's long race!

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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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December 31, 2006

620R God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces

Title: "God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces," Edward Moran (2005), alt., CONVERSE, 8.7.8.7. D, C. C. Converse (1868). Moran is a Presbyterian who lives in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, New York; many of the lyrics of the hymns he has written can be found in the "Hymn Texts" section of the website run by The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Moran describes the work below as addressing "often-divisive issues of sexual diversity in the light of traditional images of Incarnation and Trinity." The lyrics have been edited lightly here. The second stanza originally read as a statement rather than a question, i.e., "Born of virgin, Word made flesh, dead and buried, still He rises!" The third stanza likewise read "Easter garments, at His order, Swaddle Her beloved One," without a question mark. Finally, the last stanza here reads "unbound God" in lieu of "Threesome God" as in Moran's original. The lyrics remain under copyright all the same, (c) Edward Moran 2006. They appear here by his kind permission. Users may wish to request permission to reproduce the hymn for local or congregational worship, or other purposes, by writing him at EMoran8688@aol.com. "Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart ... Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead," Deuteronomy 6:6, 8 (NRSV), see also Deuteronomy 11:18. "It is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil." Ecclesiastes 3:13. "My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away," Song of Songs 2:10. "Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt," 1 Samuel 18:3-4; see also 2 Samuel 1:26. "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law," Romans 13:8, see also Romans 14:10, 12:4, 8:21. "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me," 1 Corinthians 11:24, see also 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 13:13. "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb," John 20:2. "She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger," Luke 2:7, John 1:1. "Thus says the Lord ... I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert," Isaiah 43:16, 19.

CONVERSE (ERIE) (WHAT A FRIEND)(8.7.8.7. D)

1. God of queer, trans-gress-ive spa-ces:
Lav-ish man-ger, emp-ty tomb,
wine-dark loaves and pre-cious gra-ces
bend our bar-ren lives to bloom.

2. God’s own de-vi-ance is Jes-us:
Born of vir-gin, word made flesh,
dead and bur-ied, and still ris-es?
What ab-norm-al world-li-ness!

3. Thank God for this grave dis-ord-er:
Shroud and sor-row fall un-done;
East-er gar-ments, at whose or-der,
swad-dle the be-lov-ed one?

4. Broth-ers, bind ye to each oth-er,
Sis-ters, too, and have no shame.
Sing with God our Fath-er-Moth-er,
Love that dares now speak its name.

5. With our un-bound* God con-fess-ing:
Turn all frac-ture in-to praise,
be-ne-dic-tion in-to bless-ing,
fab-u-lous and full of days.

* or 'threesome,' as in the original

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