March 02, 2005

2R Praise the Sovereign, Heavens Adoring

Original Title: "Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens, Adore Him," Foundling Chapel College by Thomas Coram (1796) & Edward Osler, MENDELSSOHN (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.), Jacob Ludwig Mendelssohn-Bartholdy; New Title: "Praise the Sovereign, Heavens Adoring," rev. REH (2008), HYFRYDOL (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.), Rowland Hugh Pritchard, 1855.

HYFRYDOL (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.)

1. Praise the Sove-reign, heavens a-dor-ing;
An-gels sing-ing in the height;
Sun and moon, at once re-joic-ing;
Sing-ing, all the stars of light.
Praise the One who once has spo-ken;
Worlds the migh-ty voice o-beyed.
Laws, which nev-er shall be brok-en
For their gui-dance God has made.

2. Praise the Sove-reign ev-er glo-rious;
Nev-er shall the pro-mise fail.
God has made the saints vic-to-rious;
Sin and death shall not pre-vail.
Praise the One of our sal-va-tion;
Hosts on high, that power pro-claim.
Heaven and earth and all cre-a-tion,
Laud and mag-ni-fy the Name.

3. Wor-ship, hon-or, glo-ry, bless-ing,
God, we of-fer un-to you.
Young and old, all praise ex-press-ing,
In glad hom-age come to you.
All the saints in heaven a-dore you;
We would bow be-fore your throne.
As your an-gels serve be-fore you,
So on earth your will be done.

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The first stanza of the hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 148; see also Psalm 29. See also Wisdom of Solomon 1:14, "And the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them;" compare the lyrics "death on earth shall not prevail."

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The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal. Below is another revised version, entitled "Praise the Sovereign, Heavens Above," rev. REH (2006), to the tune BENEVENETO (7.7.7.7. D):

BENEVENTO (7.7.7.7. D)

1. Praise the Sove-reign, heavens a-bove;
Sun and moon, re-joice with love;
Sing praise, an-gels in the heights;
Sing praise, all bright stars and lights.
[[Praise for God's words spo-ken thus
Co-ve-nant made e'er for us]]
Worlds the migh-ty voice obey-ed,
for their gui-dance God has made.

2. Praise the Sove-reign Glo-ri-ous,
praised by saints vic-to-ri-ous.
Nev-er shall the pro-mise fail:
Death on earth shall not pre-vail.
[[Praise our God, re-deem-ing all:
Heaven and earth's cre-a-tive call]]
Hosts on high, that power pro-claim:
Laud and mag-ni-fy the Name.

3. Ho-nor, wor-ship, love, bless-ing;
Young and old, trust ex-press-ing;
and in ho-mage bend the knee.
We lift our laud un-to thee;
[[All saints in heaven thee a-dore;
an-gels serve thee ev-er-more.]]
Thou art our e-ter-nal sun:
May on earth thy will be done.

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Original lyrics as they appear in Hymns of the Sprit Two:

1. Praise the Lord: ye heavens, adore him;
Praise him, angels in the height.
Sun and moon, rejoice before him;
Praise him, all ye stars of light.
Praise the Lord, for he hath spoken;
Worlds his mighty voice obeyed.
Laws which never shall be broken
For their guidance he hath made.

2. Praise the Lord, for he is glorious;
Never shall his promise fail.
God hath made his saints victorious;
Sin and death shall not prevail.
Praise the God of our salvation;
Hosts on high, his power proclaim.
Heaven and earth and all creation,
Laud and magnify his Name.

3. Worship, honor, glory, blessing,
Lord, we offer unto thee.
Young and old, thy praise expressing,
In glad homage bend the knee.
All the saints in heaven adore thee;
We would bow before thy throne.
As thine angels serve before thee,
So on earth thy will be done.

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March 08, 2005

8R Bring, O Morn, Your Music

Original Title: "Bring, O Morn, Thy Music," William Channing Gannett (1893), NICAEA, John Bacchus Dykes (1861); New Title: "Bring, O Morn, Your Music," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. William Channing Gannett, born in Boston, served Unity Church (Unitarian) in St. Paul, and the Unitarian Church in Rochester, where Susan B. Anthony was amongst his congregants. The last line of each verse echoes Revelations 1:8 (which see), but the hymn as a whole personifies and praises nature, bordering on panentheism (although the lyrics textually have nature worshiping God as well, as "Our Creator" and "Mighty Giver"). See also Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-14, "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things that they might exist." Gannett wrote the hymn as a summary of the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. It appears in Singing the Living Tradition as "Bring, O Morn, Thy Music, as no. 39, but does not appear in The New Century Hymnal. This version of NICAEA is in F-sharp, although NICAEA in Hymns of the Spirit Two is in E-flat. See No. 17R herein for a version of NICAEA in E-flat.

NICAEA (12.13.12.10.)

1. Bring, O Morn, your mus-ic! Night,~your star-lit si-lence!
O-ceans, laugh the rap-ture to the storm winds cours-ing free!
Suns and pla-nets cho-rus: you are our Cre-a-tor,
who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be!

2. Life and death, your crea-tures, praise~you, Migh-ty Gi-ver!
Praise and prayer are ris-ing in your beast and bird and tree:
Lo! they praise and van-ish, van-ish at your bidd-ing,
who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be!


3. Light us! lead us! love us! cry~your grop-ing na-tions,
speak-ing in a thou-sand tongues, your name a-lone the plea;
weav-ing free-ly out your ho-ly, hap-py pur-pose,
who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be!


4. Life nor death can part us, you~O Love E-ter-nal,
shep-herd of the wan-dering star and souls that way-ward flee!
Home-ward draws the spir-it to your spir-it yearn-ing,
who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be! A-men.

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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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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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June 16, 2005

85R Father, Hear the Prayer We Offer

Words: Love Maria Willis (1859), rev. REH (2006); Music: SUSSEX (8.7.8.7.), English melody, adapt. by Ralph Vaughan Williams. "Hear my prayer, O God," Psalm 54:2

SUSSEX (8.7.8.7.)

1. Fath-er, hear the prayer we of-fer:
Nor for ease that prayer shall be,
but for strength, that we may ev-er
live our lives cour-age-ous-ly.

2. Not for-ev-er in green pas-tures,
Shep-herd-ess, we ask to be,
but the steep and rug-ged path-way
may we tread re-joic-ing-ly.

3. Not for-ev-er by still wa-ters
would we id-ly, qui-et stay;
But would smite the liv-ing foun-tains
from the rocks a-long our way.

4. Be our strength in hours of weak-ness,
in our wan-derings be our guide;
Through en-dea-vor, fail-ure, dan-ger,
Sove-reign, O be at our side.

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January 04, 2006

413R In Christ There Is No East or West

Title: "In Christ, There Is No East or West," Words: John Oxenham (1908), rev. REH (2006); Music: McKEE (C.M.D.), African-American spiritual, arranged by Harry T. Burleigh. "Then [Jesus] took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." Mark 9:36-37.

McKEE (C.M.D.)

1. In Christ there is no East or West,
In Christ no South or North;
But one great com-mon-wealth of love
through-out the whole-wide earth.
In Christ shall true hearts eve-ry-where
their true com-mun-ion find;
Christ's ser-vice is the gol-den cord,
close bind-ing hu-man-kind.


2. Join hands, then, mem-bers of all faiths,
what-ever your na~tion may be!
Who serves the Sove-reign as a child
is sure-ly kin to me.
In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Christ meet North and South;
All faith-ful souls are one in love,
through-out the whole-wide earth.

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June 14, 2006

607R O Blessed Seekers

Title: "O Blessed Seekers," United Presbyterian Psalter (1887), Psalm 1, adapted by REH (2007), ST. CATHERINE, 8.8.8.8.8.8., Henri F. Hemy (1865). Psalm 1 is a Revised Common Lectionary text for Epiphany 6C, Proper 18C/Ordinary 23C, Proper 20B/Ordinary 25B, Easter 7B and Proper 25A/Ordinary 30A. SUSSEX CAROL and FOLKINGHAM are alternative hymn tunes.

ST. CATHERINE (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. O bless-ed seek-ers do not stray
on smooth stones laid to tempt our feet,
nor fol-low down a thought-less way,
nor sit up-on the cyn-ic's seat:
But on the Tor-ah take de-light,
and med-i-tate both day and night.

2. They shall be like tall trees in spring
where clear, clean wat-ers gent-ly mist,
which dark-blue ber-ries count-less bring,
and ev-er green the leaves per-sist:
Thus shall pros-per-i-ty re-vive
the good, green Earth, and all hearts thrive.

3. Not so the self-ish lot, for they
as dust, in heat and wind, are spent;
they plun-der through each judg-ment day,
and do not dance through life con-tent:
God's Earth sus-tains a good, green trail;
des-truc-tive ways shall not pre-vail.

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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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