December 05, 2005

207R When Love's Sovereign Sojourned (Here)

Original Title: "When the Lord of Love Was Here," Stopford Augustus Brooke (1881), MISERICORDE (7.7.5.7.7.5.), Robert L. Sanders (1932); New Title: "When Love's Sovereign Sojourned (Here)," rev. REH (2005), Same hymn tune. Neither hymn nor tune appears in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. Brooke was a 19th Century Irish writer and churchman, first ordained in the Church of England, but later he officiated as a Unitarian minister at Bedford chapel, Bloomsbury. The hymn recollects the words of Jesus that we are to "love God," and "love our neighbors" (even our enemies) as ourselves, and that all the law and prophets rest on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27. Also echoed in the hymn is 1 John 4:19-21, which records that Jesus "loved us" before we loved him. The "parables of God" of which Brooke speaks are found through out the gospels, but above all in Mark, chapter 4:1-20, in a series of stories regarding seeds, birds, soil, and the transforming and self-producing power of the earth. "The outcasts" thronging to the Healer bring to mind the story of the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:26-30, who, comparing herself with a "dog," argues with Jesus that he heal her daughter as even "dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs;" Jesus agrees. The UUA's Skinner House advises that it considers MISERICORDE to be in the public domain.

MISERICORDE (7.7.5.7.7.5.)

1. When Love's Sove-reign so-journed here,
hap-py hearts grew ev-er near,
though one heart was sad;
Worn and lone-some for our sake,
yet still turned a-side to make
all the wea-ry glad.

2. One who walked the fields, and drew
from the flowers and birds and dew
pa-ra-bles of God;
For with-in that heart of love
all the souls on earth did move,
God had an a-bode.

3. All the out-casts thronged to hear,
all the sor-row-ful drew near
to the Hea-ler's care;
deep and ear-thy were the ways
from which lov-ing grew to praise,
and from giv-ing, prayer.

4. O, be ours that power to keep
in the ver-y heart of grief,
and in tri-al, love;
In our weak-ness to be wise,
and through sor-rows to a-rise
to our God a-bove. A-men.

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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) 2005 Richard E. Hurst, for non-profit local and congregational use only, all other rights reserved."

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July 28, 2006

615R All Praise the Life (Which Gives Us Voice)

Original Title: "I'll Praise My Maker," Isaac Watts (1719), OLD 113TH, 8.8.8.8.8.8., attributed to Matthäus Greiter, Strassburger Kirchenamt (1525); New Title: "All Praise the Life (Which Gives Us Voice)," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. A paraphrase of Psalm 146, all or parts of which are a lectionary reading for Advent 3A, Proper 18B/Ordinary 23B, Proper 26B/Ordinary 31B, Proper 27B/Ordinary 32B, Proper 5C/Ordinary 10C and Proper 21C/Ordinary 26C. Though the hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal, but some may find the John Wesley version of Isaac Watts' hymn, that appears as no. 253 in a further revised version (1988) in The Presbyterian Hymnal (1990), "I'll Praise My Maker," OLD 113TH, of use in their local or congregational settings.

OLD 113TH (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. All praise the Life which gives us voice!
Sing out songs, cease-less-ly re-joice!
Praise shall em-ploy our no-blest drives;
rul-ers de-part; their pomp, their power;
vain thoughts, all van-ish in the hour:
But Time's e-ter-ni-ty sur-vives.

2. Hap-py are all whose dreams re-ly
on An-cients' God who made their sky,
and earth, and seas, with all their train:
whose truth for-ev-er stands se-cure,
who frees cap-tives and feeds the poor;
we serve them too, else trust in vain.

3. Di-vine vis-ion aids ev-ery eye;
Our So-phi-a sooths the mind's cry;
O God, O Wis-dom, ev-er reigns:
Let eve-ry tongue, let eve-ry age,
in Love's ex-al-ted work en-gage;
Sing praise in ev-er-last-ing strains!

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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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