March 19, 2005

19R How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place

Original Title: "How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings Fair," John Milton (1645), CAITHNESS, C.M., Melody in Scottish Psalter (1635); New Title: "How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Milton was an English Puritan (Congregationalist) and poet, best known for Paradise Lost. The hymn is a recast of Psalm 84. It does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition or The New Century Hymnal.

CAITHNESS (C.M.)

1. How love-ly is your dwell-ing place,
O God of heaven; how dear
the pleas-ant ta-ber-na-cles' space
where you do dwell so near!

2. The spar-rows have long sought to fly
sky-ward, and your courts view;
the swal-lows in their nests still cry,
O Ho-ly One, for you.

3. Hap-py, who in your house re-side,
where they to you sing praise!
Hap-py, whose strength with you do side,
and in their hearts your ways!

4. They jour-ney on from strength to strength
with joy and glad-some cheer,
till all be-fore our God at length
in Zi-on does ap-pear.

5. O God of heaven that reigns on high,
that we are tru-ly blest
who tru-ly on you do re-ly,
and in you tru-ly rest. A-men
.

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March 22, 2005

22R In This Peaceful House of Prayer

Original Title: "In This Peaceful House of Prayer," from Hymns of the Spirit One (1864), SONG 13, 7.7.7.7., Orlando Gibbons, adapted (1623); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), CALVARY (MONK), 7.7.7.7., William Henry Monk (1875). Monk edited Hymns Ancient and Modern, which has sold over 60 million copies. The lyrics appear in the first Hymns of the Spirit, edited by Samuel Longfellow in 1864. It does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. "God's feet," Exodus 24:10. "The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!" 1 Kings 8:27. "Where is the House you will build me?" Isaiah 66:1. "Mothering" in the lyrics is a translation of what is normally translated from the Hebrew as "merciful," or literally "womb-like." The phrase occurs in a number of hymns in the various versions of Music For Liturgy and other elements of worship produced by St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church (typically for unrestricted local reproduction) in San Francisco, California.

CALVARY (MONK) (7.7.7.7.)

1. In this peace-ful house of prayer,
strong-er faith, O God, we seek;
Here we bring each earth-ly care,
you, the strength'-ning mes-sage speak!

2. In our great-est tri-als, we calm,
through you, the way have trod;
In the small-est, may we feel
you are still our hel-per, God.

3. Of your pres-ence and your love,
we more stead-fast feel-ing need,
Till the high and ho-ly thought
hal-low ev-ery sim-ple deed.


4. Mothe-ring Fa-ther, at your feet,
we would lay our earth-born care;
Help us in our need, for you know
the weight that each must bear.

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April 04, 2005

27R Where Ancient Forests Round Us Spread

Original Title: "Where Ancient Forests Widely Spread," Andrews Norton (1833), WAINWRIGHT, L.M., Richard Wainwright; New Title: "Where Ancient Forests Round Us Spread," rev. REH (2005), AGINCOURT (DEO GRATIAS), Traditional English Melody (1415). Andrews Norton, an American Unitarian, is famous for having said that Ralph Waldo Emerson’s [Harvard] Divinity School Address represented "the newest form of infidelity." As beloved a figure as Emerson is for many, Norton's provocation takes nothing away from his own place in Unitarian Universalist hymnody. The full form of the hymn was anthologized in 1900 by Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833-1908) in his An American Anthology 1787-1900, as no. 51, where it is called "Hymn for the Dedication of a Church." In that collection, it began "Where ancient forests round us spread," as does the revised version here. Compare 2 Kings 19:22-24. Genesis 28:17, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." The Universe is filled by God, in God "we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:28.; see also Psalm 84. "The Lord has blessed the household of Obededom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God," 2 Samuel 6:12, suggesting, as in the lyrics, there are places where "human thought burns clearer" given their chosen status. Tradition has it that the AGINCOURT was written to laud the victory of the English at Normandy. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

AGINCOURT (DEO GRATIAS) (L.M.)

1. Where an-cient for-ests round us spread,
where bends~the cat'-ract's o-cean fall,
on the lone moun-tain's si-lent head,
there are your tem-ples, God of all!

2. Be-neath the dark-blue, mid-night arch,
whence my~riad suns pour down their rays,
where pla-nets trace their cease-less march,
O Life! we praise you as we gaze.

3. All space is ho-ly, for all space
is filled~by you; And hu-man thought
burns clear-er in some chos-en place,
where your own words of love are taught.

4. May we be taught, and may we know
a faith~your ser-vants knew of old
which on-ward bears through weal and woe,
till Death the gates of heaven un-fold.

5. Nor we a-lone, may those whose brow
shows yet~no trace of hu-man cares,
here-aft-er stand where we do now,
and raise to you still hol-ier prayers!


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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 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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June 21, 2005

90R The Morning Hangs a Signal

Original Title: "The Morning Hangs a Signal," William Channing Gannett, MEIRIONYDD, 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6., William Lloyd (1840); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2007), same hymn tune. 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 while a pastor in Rochester, New York. "I appointed you a prophet to the nations . . . Now I have put my words in your mouth," Jeremiah 1:5, 9 (NRSV). "No prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown," Luke 4:24. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?," Psalm 27:1 (KJV). "But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings," Malachi 4:2 (NRSV); see also Psalm 19:5-6, 84:11, Matthew 13:43, Isaiah 58:8. "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star, Revelation 22:16 (KJV), see also Joel 2:2. "Is not my word like fire," Jeremiah 23:29 (NRSV); see also Jeremiah 5:14. The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal, but it does appear in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 40, slightly modified from how it appears in Hymns of the Spirit Two, and in a form with minor differences from below.

MEIRIONYDD (7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6.)

1. The morn-ing hangs a sig-nal
up-on the moun-tain crest,
while all the sleep-ing val-leys
in sil-ent dark-ness rest;
From peak to peak it flash-es,
it laughs a-long the sky,
til glo-ry of the sun-light
on all the land doth lie.

2. A-bove the gen-er-a-tions,
the lone-ly proph-ets rise,
while truth flings dawn and day-star
with-in their glow-ing eyes;
And oth-er eyes, be-hold-ing,
are kind-led from that flame,
and dawn be-com-eth morn-ing,
as proph-ehts Love pro-claim.

3. The soul hath lift-ed mo-ments,
a-bove the drift of days,
when life's great mean-ing break-eth
in sun-rise on our ways;
Be-hold the ra-diant to-ken
of faith a-bove all fear;
Night soon shall end its splen-dor
that morn-ing shall ap-pear.

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