March 03, 2005

3R Holy Spirit, Source of Gladness

Original Title: "Holy Spirit, Source of Gladness," Paulus Gerhardt (1648), trans. John Christian Jacobi (c. 1725), adapted Samuel Longellow, ALTA TRINITA BEATA, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Laudi Sprituali (14th Century), adapted Robert L. Sanders (1937); New Title: "Holy Spirit, Source of Gladness," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Paulus Gerhart was a 17th Century German Lutheran; Samuel Longfellow was a 19th Century American Unitarian, and editor of Hymns of the Spirit One. The hymn echoes Psalm 4:7, "you have put a gladness in my heart." "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good," 1 Corinthians 12:7. It does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

ALTA TRINITA BEATA (8.7.8.7. D)

1. Ho-ly Spir-it source of glad-ness
come with all thy ra-diance bright,
o'er our wea-ri-ness and sad-ness,
breathe thy life and shed thy light!
Send us thine il-lu-mi-na-tion,
ba-nish all our fears at length;
rest up-on this con-gre-ga-tion,
spir-it of un-fail-ing strength.

2. Let that love which knows no mea-sure,
now in quick-ening showers de-scend,
bring-ing us the rich-est trea-sure
we can wish or God can send.
Hear our earn-est sup-pli-ca-tion,
ev-'ry strug-gling heart re-lease;
rest up-on this con-gre-ga-tion,
spir-it of un-trou-bled peace!

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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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April 07, 2005

30R Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Original Title: "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise," Walter Chalmers Smith (1876), ST. DENIO, 11.11.11.11., Welsh Melody (1839); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2007), same hymn tune. Smith was Scottish. The tune and hymn appear as "Immortal, Invisible" in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 273, with the exception of the final stanza; it appears here. The hymn appears without parental metaphors in The New Century Hymnal as no. 1. The lyrics resonate with some of the images in Psalm 139, as well as Psalm 36:5-6, 103:14-17, and 104:27-39; but most directly the lyrics are based on 1 Timothy 1:17. The webdesigner graciously thanks Haruo for his assistance with the minor revisions to Smith's lyrics below.

ST. DENIO (11.11.11.11.)

1. Im-mort-al, in-vi-si-ble, God on-ly wise,
in light in-ac-ces-si-ble hid from our eyes,
most bles-sèd, most glo-rious, the An-cient of Days,
Al-migh-ty, vic-tor-ious, thy great Name we praise.

2. Un-rest-ing, un-hast-ing, and si-lent as light,
nor want-ing, nor wast-ing, thou rul-est in might;
thy jus-tice, like moun-tains, high soar-ing a-bove
thy clouds, which are foun-tains of good-ness and love.


3. To all, life thou giv-est, to both great and small;
In all life thou liv-est, the true life of all;
We blos-som and flour-ish as leaves on the tree,
and with-er and per-ish— but naught chang-eth thee.

4. Great Fath-er, Great Moth-er, O Light of all light,
thine an-gels a-dore thee, all veil-ing their sight;
All laud we would rend-er; O help us to see
’tis on-ly the splen-dor of light hid-eth thee.


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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 27, 2005

47R Come Thou Almighty Will!

Original Title: "Come Thou Almighty Will," Hymns of the Spirit One (1864), ITALIAN HYMN, 6.6.4.6.6.4., adapted from Felice Giardini (1769); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Hymns of the Spirit One (1864) was edited by Samuel Longfellow. The hymn recites numerous names and titles for the spirit of God; "Almighty Will," echoing the spirit that blowest "where it listeth," John 3:8 (KJV); "Calm of faith's confidence," recalling the title "Comforter" from John 4:16 and John 15:26; "most Tender Love," suggesting the "Love of God" in 1 John 4:9 and the equivalence of "God is Love" from 1 John 14:16; see also Romans 5:5, "Light serene," remembering too that "God is light," 1 John 1:5; Psalm 27:1. "Quickener," as quicken is now in most translations "revive," suggests the "giver of life" from the historic creeds, or the "spirit of life," Romans 8:2 (NRSV); Revelations 11:11 (KJV) and the "breath of the almighty," Job 33:4. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal.

ITALIAN HYMN (6.6.4.6.6.6.4.)

1. Come, thou Al-might-y Will!
Our faint-ing bos-soms fill
with thy great power:
Strength of our good in-tents,
our tempt-ed hour's de-fense,
calm of faith's con-fi-dence,
come, in this hour!

2. Come, thou most ten-der Love!
With-in our spir-its move,
their sweet-est guest:
Ex-alt each low de-sire,
trans-form-ing pas-sion's fire,
to deeds of love in-spire,
Quicken-er and Rest!

3. Come, Light ser-ene and still!
Our gloom-y spir-its fill
with thy clear day:
Guide of the fee-ble sight,
Star of grief's low-est night,
re-veal the path of right,
show us thy way! A-men.


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April 30, 2005

49R Come, Mighty Spirit, Penetrate

Original Title: "Come, Mighty Spirit, Penetrate," Horatius Bonar (1861), TALLIS' ORDINAL, C.M., Thomas Tallis (1567); New Title: Same hymn title, no changes to lyrics, same hymn tune. Bonar (1808-1889) was a Presbyterian, who eventually joined the Free Church of Scotland. He wrote of 600 hymns, and thus is aptly called "the prince of Scottish hymnwriters." At his memorial service, it was said "His hymns were writ­ten in very var­ied cir­cum­stances, some­times timed by the tink­ling brook that bab­bled near him; some­times at­tuned to the or­dered tramp of the ocean, whose crest­ed waves broke on the beach by which he wan­dered; some­times set to the rude mu­sic of the rail­way train that hurried him to the scene of du­ty; some­times mea­sured by the si­lent rhy­thm of the mid­night stars that shone above him." 2 Timothy 1:7 (NRSV), "God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline." "Uphold me with thy free spirit," Psalm 51:12 (KJV). "Spirit of might," Isaiah 11:2. Psalm 68:9, "Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary," see also Psalm 72:6, Hebrews 6:7, Psalms 104:8. Psalms 4:6, "Lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us," see also Isaiah 2:5. Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." The hymn is not included in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

TALLIS' ORDINAL (C.M.)

1. Come, Migh-ty Spir-it, pe-ne-trate
this heart and soul of mine,
and my whole be-ing with thy grace
per-vade, O Life Di-vine!

2. As this clear air sur-rounds the earth
thy grace a-round me roll
as the fresh light per-vades the air,
so pierce and fill my soul.

3. As from these clouds drops down in love
the pre-cious sum-mer rain,
so from thy-self pour down the flood
that fresh-ens all a-gain.

4. Thus life with-in our life-less hearts
shall make its glad a-bode,
and we shall shine in beau-teous light,
filled with the light of God. A-men.

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May 06, 2005

52R O Thou Whose Spirit Witness Bears

Original Title: "O Thou Whose Spirit Witness Bears," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1891), STRACATHRO, C.M., alterantive tune, ST. AGNES (not shown), CHARLES HUTCHESON (1832); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), STRACATHRO, C.M. Frederick Lucian Hosmer was a Unitarian minister in the United States and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. Romans 8:2 (NIV), "the Spirit of life set me free." "The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God," Romans 8:16 (KJV). "The written code killeth, but the Spirit giveth life," 2 Corinthians 3:6 (RSV) "We have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe," 1 Timothy 4:10. 1 Corinthians 13:13, "And now there doth remain faith, hope, love -- these three; and the greatest of these is love." Galatians 5:1, 5-6, "For freedom Christ has set us free . . . For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness . . . the only thing that counts is faith working through love." Ephesians 4:25, 5:2, "Let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors . . . and live in love." The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal (though it should, on both counts).

STRACATHRO (C.M.)

1. O Thou whose Spir-it wit-ness bears
with-in our spir-its free,
that we thy chil-dren are and heirs
of thine e-ter-ni-ty.


2. Here may this sim-ple faith sub-lime,
o’er-arch us like the sky;
Se-cure be-low the drift of time
its firm foun-da-tions lie.


3. Our thought o’er-flows each writ-ten scroll,
our creeds a-rise and fall;
The life of God with-in the soul
lives and out-lasts them all.


4. Here may that wit-ness clear-er grow,
each wait-ing heart with-in
the way of fil-ial du-ty show
and glad o-be-dience win.


5. Here be life’s sor-row sanc-ti-fied,
here truth its ra-diance pour;
While hope and faith and love a-bide
for-ev-er more and more! A-men.

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May 07, 2005

52S O You Whose Spirit Witness Bears

Original Title: "O Thou Whose Spirit Witness Bears," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1891), STRACATHRO, C.M., alterantive tune, ST. AGNES (not shown), CHARLES HUTCHESON (1832); New Title: "O You Whose Spirit Witness Bears," rev. REH (2005), NORWICH (OLD 137TH), C.M.D., Daye's Psalter (1563). Frederick Lucian Hosmer was a Unitarian minister in the United States and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. Romans 8:2 (The Message), "The Spirit of life . . . like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from . . . brutal tyranny." "God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are," Romans 8:16. "The plan wasn't written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit," 2 Corinthians 3:6. "We're banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers," 1 Timothy 4:10. 1 Corinthians 13:13, "Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." Galatians 5:1, 5-6, "Christ has set us free to live a free life . . . We expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit . . . neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love." Ephesians 4:25, 5:2 (NRSV) "Let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors . . . and live in love." The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal (though it should, on both counts).

NORWICH (OLD 137TH)(C.M.D.)

1. O You whose Spir-it wit-ness bears
with-in our spir-its free,
that we your chil-dren are and heirs
of your e-ter-ni-ty.
Here may this sim-ple faith sub-lime,
shel-ter us like the sky;
Se-cure be-low the drift of time
its firm foun-da-tions lie.

2. Our thoughts flood out each writ-ten scroll,
our creeds a-rise and fall;
The life of God with-in the soul
lives and out-lasts them all.
Here may that wit-ness clear-er grow
each wait-ing heart with-in,
the way of ci-vic du-ty show
and faith-ful liv-ing win.

3. May life’s sor-rows be sanc-ti-fied,
may truth its ra-diance pour,
while hope and faith and love a-bide
for-ev-er more and more.
O You whose Spir-it wit-ness bears
with-in our spir-its free,
that we your chil-dren are and heirs
of your e-ter-ni-ty!

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May 09, 2005

54R From Heart to Heart

Original Title: "From Heart to Heart, Creed to Creed," William Channing Gannett (1875), ST. FLAVIAN, C.M., John Day's Psalter (1562), alternative tune, ARLINGTON, C.M., Thomas Augustine Arne (1762); New Title: "From Heart to Heart," rev. REH (2005), ST. FLAVIAN, C.M. Neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal includes the hymn. Isaiah 43:19, "A way will I make in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert!" Jeremiah 31:32-33, "But this shall be the covenant . . . I will put my law within them and write it in their hearts." "I will give them a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within them," Ezekiel 11:19. Psalm 1:3, "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water;" see also Jeremiah 17:8, Psalm 46:4. Pray for one another, so that you may be healed," James 5:16. The hymn does not appear either in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

ST. FLAVIAN (C.M.)

1. From heart to heart, from faith to faith,
the hid-den riv-ers run,
and quick-en all the a-ges down,
which binds us, eve-ry-one.

2. The streams of faith, whose source is God,
whose source, the sound of prayer,
whose mead-ows are the ho-ly lives
up-spring-ing eve-ry-where.

3. And still they move, a broad-ening flood,
and fresh-er, full-er grow.
A sense as if the sea were near,
towards which the ri-vers flow.

4. O you who are the se-cret Source
that ris-es in each soul,
who are the O-cean, too, and yours,
that ev-er deep-ening roll! A-men.

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May 10, 2005

55R Spirit of Life, Attend Our Prayer

Original Title: "Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayer," Andrew Reed (1829), adapted by Samuel Longfellow, first tune, PRESERVATION, C.M., Johann Georg Christian Stoerl, second tune, ARLINGTON, C.M., Thomas Augustine Arne (1762); New Title: "Spirit of Life, Attend Our Prayer," rev. REH (2006), WINDSOR, C.M., Damon's Psalmes (1591). "Prophesy unto the Spirit, prophesy, son of man, and thou hast said unto the Spirit: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: From the four winds come in, O Spirit, and breathe on these slain, and they do live," Ezekiel 37:9 (YLT); see also Isaiah 34:16. Psalm 143:10, "Thy Spirit [is] good, Lead me into a land of uprightness," see also Psalm 51:11, Psalm 139:7, John 16:13. Acts 2:3 (KJV), "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them," see also Isaiah 6:6-7, Hebrews 1:7, I Chronicles 21:26, Psalm 39:3. Romans 8:2 (KJV), "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Proverbs 1:20-23 (NRSV), "Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice . . .'I will pour out my thoughts to you,'" see also Proverbs 8:1, Proverbs 9:1,6, Proverbs 22:11-12. Ephesians 6:18 (KJV), "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal includes the hymn.

WINDSOR (C.M.)

1. Spir-it of Life, at-tend our prayer,
and make our hearts your home;
de-scend with all your gra-cious power;
O come, great Spir-it, come!


2. Come as the light! to us re-veal
The truth we long to know;
And lead us in the path of life
Where all the vir-tuous go.

3. Come as the fire! and cleanse our hearts,
with sanc-ti-fy-ing flame,
till our whole souls de-vo-tion make
in love's re-deem-ing name.

4. Come as the dew, and sweet-ly bless
this con-sec-rat-ed hour;
till eve-ry bar-ren place shall own
with joy your quicken-ing power.


5. Come as the wind, O breath of God!
O Wis-dom-bear-ing grace!
Come, make your great sal-va-tion known,
wide as the hu-man race.

6. Spir-it Di-vine, at-tend our prayer;
Make a lost world thy home;
Des-cend with all thy gra-cious powers,
O come, great Spir-it, come.

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May 12, 2005

56R O Love Divine

Original Title: "O Love Divine, Whose Constant Beam," adapted from John Greenleaf Whittier, first tune, PUER NOBIS NASCITUR, L.M., Michael Praetorius (1609), alternative tune, ROCKINGHAM, L.M., second tune, RIVAULX, John Bacchus Dykes (1866); New Title: "O Love Divine," rev. REH (2006), MONTE CASSINO, L.M., Italian Hymn Melody. " I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream," Numbers 12:6, see also Job 33:15, Genesis 20:3-7. Genesis 28:12, "And [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." Jeremiah 23:25, "I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed." "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them," Acts 2:3, see also Acts 2:7-11, Acts 10:44-46, 1 Corinthians 12:10, Mark 16:17. John 1:32, " I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove," see also Matthew 3:16, Song of Solomon 2:14, 5:2, 12. "God planted a garden eastward in Eden," Genesis 2:8 see also Genesis 2:15. Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." "Do good to them that hate you . . . for [God] maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust," Matthew 5:44-45. Neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal includes the hymn.

MONTE CASSINO (L.M.)

1. O Love Di-vine, whose con-stant stream
yet flows when we can-not per-ceive,
and waits to bless all, while we dream;
O stay though we may turn from thee!

2. All souls oft strug-gle and as-pire,
all hearts through thee rest still and deep;
And, dim or clear, thy tongues of fire,
on dusty lands and cen-tu-ries sleep.

3. And eve-ry-where the Spir-it moves
with all, as un-der Ed-en's trees,
in gard-ens of the heart, faith proves,
speak-ing in ma-ny, var-ied tongues.

4. Nor bounds, nor clime, nor creed thou know'st,
wide as our need thy fa-vors fall;
The white wings of the Ho-ly One
stoop, un-seen, o'er the heads of all.

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May 14, 2005

57R Spirit of Truth, You Who Make Bright

Original Title: "Spirit of Truth, Who Makest Bright," Thomas Hornblower Gil (1819-1906), WARRINGTON, L.M., Ralph Harrison (1784); New Title: "Spirit of Truth, You Who Make Bright," Thomas Hornblower Gill, rev. REH (2005), VON HIMMEL HOCH, L.M., Geistliche Lieder, Leipzig (1539). For biographical information about Gil, see no. 9R. "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth," John 16:13 (New Living Translation), see also John 15:26, 1 John 4:6. " For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you," Romans 8:2, see also Romans 8:13, 15:13, 15:19, 1 Samuel 10:16, 1 Corinthians 14:2, 2 Corinthians 6:6, Ephesians 6:18; 1 Peter 1:12. "The spirit of life from God entered them, and they stood up," Revelation 11:11, see also Revelation 22:17. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth," John 4:24. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

VON HIMMEL HOCH (L.M.)

1. Spir-it of Truth, you who make bright
all souls that long for heaven-ly light,
ap-pear, and on our sad days shine;
Des-cend, and be our Guide Di-vine.

2. Spir-it of Power, whose strength does dwell
full in the souls that love you well,
un-to these beat-ing hearts draw near,
and be our dai-ly Quick-en-er

3. Spir-it of Life, who makes all glad
each brok-en heart by sin made sad,
pour on these mourn-ing souls your cheer;
Grant your bless-ings, O Com-for-ter!


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May 18, 2005

59R Breathe on Me, Breath of God

Original Title: "Breathe on Me, Breath of God," Edwin Hatch (1886), ST. BRIDE (S.M.), Samuel Howard (1762); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), WIRKSWORTH (S.M.), John Chetham (1718). Hatch (1853-1899) was English and an Anglican, who taught in British North America. "He breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit." John 20:22 (NKJV); Psalm 150:6 (NRSV), "Let everything that breathes praise the Lord." "Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live," Ezekiel 37:5 (NRSV). The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition. It does, however, appear in modified form as no. 292 to TRENTHAM (S.M.) in The New Century Hymnal.

WIRKSWORTH (S.M.)

1. Breathe on me, breath of God,
fill me with life a-new,
that I may e'er love what thou dost love,
do what thou wouldst do.

2. Breathe on me, breath of God,
un-til my heart is pure,
un-til with thee I will but one will,
and in faith se-cure.


3. Breathe on me, breath of God,
blend all my soul with thine,
un-til this pass-ing por-tion of me
glows with fire di-vine.

4. Breathe on me, breath of God,
so when I am with thee,
I shall live in thine arms the life
of thine e-ter-ni-ty.

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May 23, 2005

63R Mysterious Presence, Source of All

Original Title: "Mysterious Presence, Source of All," Seth Curtis Brooks (1866), WAREHAM, L.M., William Knapp (1736); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), LUCIS CREATOR, L.M., Angers Church Melody. Seth Curtis Beach was an American Unitarian. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." James 1:17 (KJV). Psalm 36:6, "Thy judgments are a great deep." Psalm 73:16, "When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me." Psalm 77:19, "Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known." Romans 11:33, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unserachable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" "God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," Genesis 2:7 (NRSV); see also Genesis 1:30, 6:17, 7:15. "For with you is the fountain of life," Psalm 36:9, see also Psalm 68:26, Proverbs 5:18, 13:14, 14:17, 16:22, 18:4. "They have forsaken the fountain of the living water, the Lord," Jeremiah 17:13. Ezekiel 37:9, "Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy . . . and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." John 3:8 (KJV), "The wind bloweth where it listeth . . . so is everyone that is born of the spirit." Acts 2:2, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven of a rushing mighty wind." The hymn appears in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 92, to WAREHAM, using thee/thou. It does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

LUCIS CREATOR (L.M.)

1. Mys-ter-ious Pre-sence, Source of all;
The world with-out, the soul with-in,
Foun-tain of life, O hear our call,
and pour your liv-ing wat-ers in!

2. You breathe with-in the rush-ing wind;
Your Spir-it stirs in leaf and flower;
Nor will you from the will-ing mind
with-hold your light and love and power.


3. Your hand un-seen to ac-cents clear
a-woke the psal-mist’s tremb-ling lyre,
and touch-ed the lips of holy seer
with flame from your own al-tar fire.

4. That touch di-vine, ev-er im-part;
Still give the pro-phets' burn-ing word;
And, vo-cal in each wait-ing heart,
let liv-ing psalms of praise be heard.

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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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June 06, 2005

75R Light of Ages and of Nations

Original Title: "Light of Ages and of Nations," Samuel Longfellow, AUSTRIA, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Franz Joseph Haydn (1797); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2006), IN BABILONE, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Traditional Dutch melody (c. 1710). The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal, but does appear in Singing the Living Tradition, to the tune AUSTRIA as no. 190 and IN BABILONE as no. 189. Colossians 3:11 (ESV), "Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all." Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." 1 Corinitians 12:13, "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit." Roman 10:12, "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him;" see also Romans 3:9, 2:14-15, 1:14-16. Jeremiah 31:33 (NRSV), "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts." Psalms 27:1 (KJV), "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalms 36:9, "For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light." James 5:10, "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience," see also Luke 1:67, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Chronicles 33:18, Ezekiel 3:11, Luke 4:17, Acts 13:15.

IN BABILONE (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.)

1. Light of a-ges and of na-tions,
eve-ry race and eve-ry time
has re-ceived your in-spi-ra-tions,
glimp-ses of your truth sub-lime.
al-ways spir-its in rapt vi-sion
passed the heaven-ly veil with-in,
al-ways hearts bow-ed in con-tri-tion
found sal-va~tion from their sin.


2. Rea-son's no-ble as-pi-ra-tion
truth in grow-ing clear-ness saw;
Con-science spoke its con-dem-na-tion,
or pro-claimed th'e-ter-nal law.
While your in-ward re-ve-la-tions
told your saints their prayers were heard,
pro-phets to the guil-ty na-tions
spoke your ev-er-las-ting word.

3. Lo, that word a-bi-deth ev-er,
re-ve-la-tion is not sealed.
An-swering now to our en-dea-vor,
truth and right are still re-vealed.
That which came to an-cient sa-ges,
Greek, Bar-bar-ian, Ro-man, Jew,
writ-ten in the soul's deep pa-ges,
shines to-day, for-ev-er new!

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June 07, 2005

76R It Sounds Along the Ages

Original Title: "It Sounds Along the Ages," William Channing Gannet, alt. (1937), CRÜGER, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., arranged by W. H. Monk from J. Crüger's Neues Wolllkömiisches Gesangbuch (1640); New Title: Same hymn title, BRITISH GRENADIERS, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., Traditional English Melody. It would seem that Gannett entitled the piece "The Word of God." 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. "Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit," 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV); see also 1 Corinthians 12:17, Colossians 3:11, Galatians 3:28. "The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything," John 14:26 (NRSV); see also John 16:13. The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal, but does appear in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 187, to the tune FAR OFF LANDS, 7.6.7.6. D, Melody of the Bohemian Brethren, Rock Island, Illinois (1892).

BRITISH GRENADIERS (7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6.)

1. It sounds a-long the a-ges,
soul an-swer-ing to soul;
It kin-dles on the pa-ges
of eve-ry Bi-ble scroll;
The psalm-ist heard and sang it,
from mar-tyr lips it broke,
and pro-phet tongues out-rang it
till sleep-ing na-tions woke.

2. From Si-nai's cliffs in ech-oed,
it breathed from Bud-dha's tree,
it charmed in Ath-en's mar-ket,
it hal-lowed Gal-i-lee;
The ham-mer stroke of Lu-ther,
the Pil-grims' sea-side prayer,
the or-a-cles of Con-cord:
one ho-ly Word de-clare.

3. It calls, and lo, new Jus-tice!
It speaks, and lo, new Truth!
In ev-er no-bler sta-ture
and un-ex-haus-ted youth.
For-ev-er on it sound-eth,
knows naught it-self of time,
our laws but catch the mus-ic
of its e-ter-nal chime.

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June 14, 2005

83S Espíritu de luz y amor

Título: "Espíritu de luz y amor," Anónimo, rev. REH (2006), MARCHING, 8.7.8.7., Martin Fallas Shaw (1915). Aparece como no. 52 en El Himnario (Church Publishing, Inc. 1998), con la tonada DOMINUS REGIT ME, 8.7.8.7., John B. Dykes. "Dios es luz," 1 Juan 1:5 (BLS); "Dios . . . ha llenado de luz nuestro corazón," 2 Corintios 4:6 (Castilian); "Dios, . . . me has librado de la muerte, para que siempre, en tu presencia, camine en la luz de la vida," Salmos 56:13 (NVI). "Sobre Dios extiende su luz y cubre con ella las profundidades del mar," Job 36:30 (RVR 1995). "Dios es amor; y el que vive en amor, vive en Dios, y Dios en él," 1 Juan 4:16 (RVA); veáse también 1 Juan 4:7-8, 12, Efesios 2:4, Romanos 15:30. "Se les aparecieron entonces unas lenguas como de fuego," Hechos 2:3 (NVI); Isaías 30:27.

MARCHING (8.7.8.7.)

1. Es-pí-ri-tu de luz y~a-mor,
es-cu-cha nues-tro rue-go;
in-fla-ma nues-tro co-ra-zón
con tu ce-les-te fue-go.

2. Ven a los que~en do-lor es-tán,
sus al-mas vi-vi-fi-ca;
y~a los que por ti vi-ven
y a-lé-gra-les la vi-da.

3. Pro-me-sa de di-vi-na paz,
y dá-di-va del buen Dios,
con tu po-der, con tu vir-tud,
vi-sí-ta-nos, no tar-des.

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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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