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." 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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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. "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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December 07, 2005

209R O You Great Friend

Original Title: "O Thou Great Friend," Theodore Parker (1846), LANGRAN, 10.10.10.10., James Langran (1863); New Title: "O You Great Friend," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Neither the tune nor the hymn appears in Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal. Theodore Parker was a 19th Century Unitarian minister and social reformer, leader within the "Transcendentalist" school and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, perhaps best known for "The Permanent and Transient in Christianity," a sermon given in 1841, on Luke 21:33 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my word shall not pass away." That "word," that is, the "truth" which "is still the light," is found in these lyrics; these constitute as well a liberal religious take on John 14:6a (NRSV), "Jesus said ... 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life.'"

LANGRAN (10.10.10.10.)

1. O you, Great Friend, to all the earth's child-ren,
who once ap-peared in humb-lest guise be-low,
sin to re-buke, to break the cap-tive’s chain,
to call the kin-dred forth from want and woe.


2. You would I sing: Your truth is still the light
which guides the na-tions grop-ing on their way,
stum-bling and fall-ing in dis-ast-rous night,
yet hop-ing ev-er for the per-fect day.

3. Yes, you are still the Life; You are the Way;
The hol-iest know— Light, Life and Way of Heaven;
And they who dear-ly hope and deep-ly pray,
toil by the Truth, Life, Way that you have given.

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