March 12, 2005

12R We Lift Our Hearts In Thanks Today

Original Title: "We Lift Our Hearts in Thanks Today," Percival Chubb (1860-1960), PRAETORIUS, C.M., Harmoniae Hymnorum Scholae Gorlicensis (1599); New Title: Same hymn title, ELLACOMBE, 7.6.7.6. D, Gesangbuch der Herzogl W. k. Hofkapelle (Wurttemberg 1784). Percival Chubb was an English Ethical Culturist who later moved to the United States. The hymn appears as no. 355 in Singing the Living Tradition, but does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

ELLACOMBE (7.6.7.6. D).

1. We lift our hearts in thanks~to-day
for all the gifts of life;
And, first, for peace that turns~a-way
the en-mi-ties of strife.
And, next, the beau-ty of~the earth
its flowers and love-ly things,
the spring's great mir-a-cle~of birth
with sound of songs and wings.

2. Then, har-vests of its teem~ing soil
in or-chard, croft and field;
But, more, the ser-vice and~the toil
of those who helped them yield.
And, most, the gifts of hope~and love,
of wis-dom, truth and right,
the gifts that shine like stars~a-bove
to chart the world by night.

3. As we re-ceive, so let~us give
with rea-dy, gene-rous hand;
rich fruit-age from the lives~we live
to bless our home and land.
We lift our hearts in thanks~to-day
for all the gifts of life;
And e'er for peace that turns~a-way
the en-mi-ties of strife.

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April 17, 2005

40R Seek Not Afar For Beauty

Original Title: "Seek Not Afar For Beauty," Minot Judson Savage, LANGRAN, 10.10.10.10, James Langran (1863); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), YORKSHIRE, 10.10.10.10.10.10., John Wainwright (1750). Langran and Wainwright were both English Anglicans; Savage was a 19th Century American, associated at various times with Congregational and Unitarian churches. The world-weary Hebrew prophet Ecclesiastes is faintly echoed here, the idea being that there is "nothing new under the sun," such that it is in life's simple pleasures where we might find meaning and transcendence: "What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity." Ecclesiastes 2:2-23. "He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil." Ecclesiastes 3:11-13. Three verses make up a version that appears to COOLINGE in Singing the Living Tradition; the hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

YORKSHIRE (10.10.10.10.10.10)

1. Seek not a-far for beau-ty. Lo! it glows
in dew-wet grass-es all a-bout your feet;
in birds, in sun-shine, child-ren's fac-es sweet,
in stars and moun-tain sum-mits topped with snows.
Go not a-broad for hap-pi-ness. For see,
it is a flow-er that here blooms free-ly.


2. Bring love and jus-tice home, and then no more
will you won-der where peace and joy are taught.
Dream not of no-ble ser-vice else-where wrought.
The sim-ple du-ty now waits at your door;
God's voice speaks ev-er hol-i-er com-mands:
Life's saint-ly deeds are done by com-mon hands.

3. In won-der-work-ings, or some bush a-flame,
we look for Truth, and fan-cy it con-cealed;
But in earth's com-mon things, Life stands re-vealed,
while grass and flowers and stars spell out God's Name.
Seek not a-far for beau-ty. Lo! for see
it is a flow-er that here blooms free-ly.

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April 19, 2005

41R O God, Your Wonders

Original Title: "Father, Thy Wonders Do Not Singly Stand," Jones Very (1839, 1846), OLD FIRST, 10.10.10.10., later form of melody in Genevan Psalter (1542); New Title: "O God, Your Wonders (Do Not Singly Stand)," rev. REH (2007), TOULON, 10.10.10.10., abridged from Genevan Psalter (1551). The hymn is based on two poems, both called "The Spirit-Land," one written in 1839 and which begins "Father, thy wonders do not singly stand; the second, written in 1846 of the same title, begins "Open our eyes . . ." Very was a Unitarian minister, and Transcendentalist poet, contemporary of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, who is said to have "gone mad" at an early age. "Spirit land" seems to be an invocation (albeit infrequent) of heaven even in conventional Christian hymns. For example, Samuel Greg's 1854 hymn, "Stay, Master, Upon This Heavenly Hill," entreats Jesus to "let us linger a little longer . . . and catch a glimpse into spirit land." Very seems, by contrast, to place this spirit land not somewhere distant or obscure, but rather somewhere "richly . . . displayed," in an "enchanted land" that lies ever around us. God gave us inspiration and intuition; Very seems to tell us we should not waste these precious gifts that are "at hand;" that is, available to us. Such is the language Jesus used too in speaking of the Kingdom of God, in images so often misunderstood by his followers. Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15. "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?,” Mark 10:17. "When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him," Luke 5:11 (NRSV). The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal.

TOULON (10.10.10.10.)

1. O God! your won-ders do not sing-ly stand,
nor far re-moved where feet have sel-dom strayed;
A-round us ev-er lies th'en-chant-ed land;
Rich mar-vels to your child-ren thus dis-played.

2. In find-ing you are all things round us found;
In los-ing you are all things lost be-side;
Ears have we but in vain strange voic-es sound,
and to our eyes the vi-sion is de-nied.


3. O-pen our eyes that we that world may see,
o-pen our ears that we your voice may hear,
and in the spir-it-land may ev-er be,
and feel your pre-sence with us al-ways near.

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April 25, 2005

45R Morning, So Fair to See

Original Title: "Morning, So Fair to See," Vincent Brown Silliman (1934), ST. ELIZABETH, 6.6.9.6.6.8., Silesian Folksong; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. ST. ELIZABETH is also unhappily (albeit for fanciful reasons) known as CRUSADER'S HYMN. Silliman was a Unitarian and humanist, and one of the editors of the Hymns for the Celebration of Life, published in 1964, the first hymnal produced by the Unitarian Universalist Association after consolidation in 1961. As the giver of the "Berry Street Address" at UUA's 1977 General Assembly in Ithaca, Silliman said "hymn tinkering is a long-standing practice. Some tinkers have spread so widely that the original is all but forgotten." Another recast version of Silliman's hymn can be found in Singing the Living Tradition, at no. 42; it does not appear in The New Century Hymnal. Morning's beauty is a topic in Genesis; e.g., Genesis 1:5-31. Morning is a time when people went to the temple; e.g., Luke 21:38, John 8:2; morning also bespeaks glory; e.g., Song of Solomon 6:10 ("Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun"); see also Isaiah 58:8.

ST. ELIZABETH (6.6.9.6.6.8.)

1. Morn-ing, so fair to see,*
Night, veiled in mys-ter-y,
Glo-rious the earth and res-plen-dent skies!
Pil-grims, we march a-long,
Sing-ing our Pil-grim song,
As through an earth-ly par-a-dise.

2. Green are the grow-ing trees;
Blue are the flash-ing seas;
Glo-rious each won-der the sea-sons bring.
Bright-er is faith's sur-mise
shin-ing in Pil-grims' eyes:
Bright-er the com-mon-weal we sing.

3. Age af-ter age we rise,
'Neath the e-ter-nal skies,
In-to the light from the sha-dowed past:
Still shall our Pil-grim song,
Bou-yant and brave and strong,
Re-sound while life and moun-tains last.

*Or 'shines so brightly.' A version of the hymn less reticient about the word "fair," and thus much closer to the original text, might read as follows:

1. Morn-ing, so fair to see,
Night, veiled in mys-ter-y,
Glo-rious the earth and res-plen-dent skies!
Pil-grims, we march a-long,
Sing-ing our Pil-grim song,
As through an earth-ly par-a-dise.

2. Fair are the verdant trees;
fair are the flash-ing seas;
Fair is each won-der the sea-sons bring.
Fair-er is faith's sur-mise
shin-ing in Pil-grims' eyes:
Fair-er the com-mon-weal we sing.

3. Age af-ter age we rise,
'Neath the e-ter-nal skies,
In-to the light from the sha-dowed past:
Still shall our Pil-grim song,
Bou-yant and brave and strong,
Re-sound while life and moun-tains last.

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June 02, 2005

72R I Cannot Find Thee

Original Title: "I Cannot Find Thee," Eliza Scudder (1864), no changes here, LOMBARD STREET, 11.10.11.10., Frederick George Russell (1929). Scudder (1821-1896) was niece of hymnwriter Edmund Sears. Originally a Unitarian, she subsequently became an Episcopalian. The hymn is (unconscionably) not included in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. Psalm 14:1-2, "Fools say in their hearts, 'There is no God' . . . The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who . . . seek after God." Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." "If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him," Job 23:8-9 (NRSV). "Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you," Psalm 116:7.

LOMBARD STREET (11.10.11.10.)

1. I can-not find thee. Still on rest-less pin-ion
my spir-it beats the void where thou dost dwell,
I wan-der lost through all thy vast do-min-ion,
and shrink be-neath thy light in-ef-fa-ble.

2. I can-not find thee. E'en when most a-dor-ing,
be-fore thy throne I bend in low-liest prayer;
Be-yond these bounds of thought my thought up-soar-ing
from far-thest quest comes back: thou art not there.


3. Yet high a-bove the lim-its of my see-ing,
and fold-ed far with-in the in-most heart,
and deep be-low the deeps of con-scious be-ing,
thy splen-dor shin-eth: there, O God, thou art.

4. I can-not lose thee. Still in thee a-bid-ing,
the end is clear, how wide so-e'er I roam;
The hand that holds the worlds my steps is guid-ing,
and I must rest at last in thee, my home.

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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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January 04, 2006

496R-502S All People That On Earth Do Dwell / Doxology

Old and New Titles: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell," William Kethe (1561), rev. REH (2006), OLD HUNDREDTH (L.M.), attributed to Louis Bourgeois, melody from Genevan Psalter (1551). OLD HUNDREDTH is commonly used for doxologies, and is so used in Hymns of the Spirit Two at nos. 496-502. Equivalents are found in Singing the Living Tradition at nos. 365, 370-381, and in The New Century Hymnal at nos. 7, 27, 776-782. While "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" appears in its old form (in B-flat) in Hymns of the Spirit Two, it appears in its modern form here, in F-sharp (the tune found in no. 497 in Hymns of the Spirit Two). Psalm 100, on which no. 496R is based, is the revised lectionary psalm for Proper 6A/Ordinary 11A/Pentecost 4A, Thanksgiving C and Christ the King/Reign of Christ A. Psalm 117 (see 498R below) is used as a lectionary psalm only by Roman Catholics, for Proper 16C/Ordinary 21C. The lyrics below, through no. 502S, may be used productively with many tunes set in L.M. (8.8.8.8.) meter.

OLD HUNDREDTH (Modern Form) (L.M.)


496R William Kethe (1561), rev. REH (2006)

1. All peo-ple that on earth do dwell,
Sing now a-loud with cheer-ful voice;
The Ho-ly One is God in-deed;
With-out our aid who did us make.

2. Serve Life with mirth, O prais-es tell,
Come ye be-fore all and re-joice.
All are God's folk, who doth us feed,
And for whose sheep Love doth us take.

3. O en-ter Wis-dom's gates with praise,
Ap-proach with joy God's courts un-to;
Praise, laud and bless the Name al-ways,
For it is seem-ly so to do.

4. For why? Our Sove-reign God is good,
Whose mer-cy is for-ev-er sure;
Whose truth at all times firm-ly stood,
And shall from age to age en-dure. A-men.

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496S Théodore de Bèze (1519-1605) et d’autres, arranged by REH (2006)

1. Vous, qui sur la terre ha-bi-tez,
Chan-tez à hau-te voix, chan-tez;
Et, de con-cert a-vec les cieux,
Cé-lé-brez son nom glo-ri-eux.

2. C’est un Dieu rem-pli de bon-té,
D’une é-ter-nel-le vér-i-té,
Tou-jours pro-pice à nos sou-haits,
Et sa grâce du-re à ja-mais. A-men.


497R Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, rev. REH (2006)

Be thou, O God, ex-alt-ed high;
And as thy glo-ry fills the sky,
So let it be on earth dis-played,
Till Love is here, as there, obeyed. A-men.


498R Isaac Watts (1718), rev. REH (2006), Paraphrase of Psalm 117

1. From all that dwells be-low the skies
Let the Cre-a-tor's praise a-raise;
Let the Re-deem-er's name be sung
Through eve-ry land, by eve-ry tongue.

2. E-ter-nal are thy mer-cies, Love;
E-ter-nal Truth at-tends a-bove;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore;
Till suns shall rise and set no more.

3. Your lof-ty themes, all peo-ples, bring,
In songs of praise di-vine-ly sing;
The great sal-va-tion loud proclaim,
And praise now the larg-er hope's name.

4. In eve-ry land be-gin the song;
To every land the strains be-long;
In cheer-ful sounds all voi-ces raise,
And fill the world with loud-est praise. A-men


499R Thomas Ken, alt., see, e.g., "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above," James 1:17

Praise God, from whom all bless-ings flow;
Praise God, all crea-tures here below;
Praise God, above, ye heaven-ly throng;
Praise God, Cre-a-tor, in your song. A-men.


499S Based on Thomas Ken, rev. REH (no. 479 de El Himnario)

Can-tad al san-to y~u-no Dios,
sus a-la-ban-zas en-ton-dad;
su~e-ter-na hon-ra pro-cla-mad
con voz de~a-mor y gra-ti-tud. A-mén.


499T Anónimo, rev. REH (no. 476 de El Himnario)

A la di-vi-na U-ni-dad,
to-das y to-dos a-la-bad.
Con a-le-grí-a~y gra-ti-tud
su~a-mor y gra-cia ce-le-brad. A-mén.


499U Clément Marot (1543)

Ren-dez à Dieu lou-ange et gloire,
Car il est be-nign et cle-ment,
Qui plus est sa bon-té no-toire,
Du-re per-pé-tu-el-le-ment. A-men.


500R Anonymous (or Charles H. Lyttle per Singing the Living Tradition, no. 365)

Praise God, the Love we all may share;
Praise God, the Beau-ty eve-ry-where;
Praise God, the Hope of Good to be;
Praise God, the Truth that makes us free. A-men.


501R Gerhard Tersteegen (1729), translated by John Wesley (1739), rev. REH (2007)

1. Lo, God is here! let us a-dore,
And joy-ful-ly make this Love's place;
Let all with-in us feel Truth's power;
Let all with-in us seek Life's grace.

2. Lo, God is here! O, day and night,
U-ni-ted choirs of an-gels sing;
To Hope, en-throned a-bove all height,
Heaven's host their no-blest prais-es bring.

3. O Fount of be-ing! may our praise
Thy courts with grate-ful in-cense fill;
Still may we stand be-fore thy face,
Still hear and do thy sove-reign will. A-men.



501S Nils Frykman (1883), translated from Swedish to English by Andrew L. Skoog (1920), alt. REH (2007)

1. Min fram-tids-dat är ljus och lång,
Den räc-ker bor-tom ti-dens tvång,
Där Gud och Lam-met säll jag ser
Och in-gen nöd skal va-ra mer.


2. A fu-ture of but grace sub-lime,
Be-yond the realms of space and time,
Where the re-deem-er I shall see,
And sor-row ne-ver-more shall be. A-men.


502R Arranged by C. W. Reese (1935)

From all that dwell be-low the skies;
Let faith and hope with love a-rise;
Let beau-ty, truth and good be sung
Through eve-ry land, by eve-ry tongue. Amen.


502S Based on Isaac Watts

De to-dos ba-jos el gran sol
sur-ja~es-per-an-za, fe, a-mor
ver-dad, y~be-lle-za can-tan-do,
de ca-da tierr-a, ca-da voz. A-mén.


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January 05, 2006

531S Psalm 67: Bless Us, O God

Original Title: "God Be Merciful Unto Me," Anonymous, first setting, Anonymous, second setting, William Croft; New Title: "Psalm 67: Bless Us, O God," Christine Robinson (2006), arranged by REH (2006), first setting, Anonymous. Christine Robinson is a minister at First Unitarian Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico; her adaptation of the psalms has been part of her daily spiritual exercises since 2003. During a sabbatical from parish ministry, she began to write these psalms on a blog entitled Psalms for a New World, an adaptation using "inclusive language and through modern lenses of ecological awareness, Taoist sensibilites, and post-modern theology." Though the style of these adaptations would generally not be suited for metrical psalms or "four-square" hymn paraphrases, Hymns of the Spirit Two does contain a few Anglican-style plainchants that do not require rigorous rhyming or metrical schemes. This is one of those selections, and the Reverend Robinson's work has been adopted for inclusion here. She has graciously granted permission for same. The normal copyright restrictions on local and congregational use apply as noted below. Psalm 67 is the revised common lectionary psalm for Proper 15A/Ordinary 20A/Pentecost 13A and Easter 6C.

PSALM 67 (Chant)

1. Bless us, O God; whisper~in~our hearts and light our times.
2. Help~us~to~understand~your~love and your law; and~bring~them~to bear on the world’s ills.
3. Let~all~the~people~of~the earth praise you with~all their di-verse voi-ces.
4. Let~them~call~out~the~ten thou-sand names; let~all~nations~praise~you~with the best of their ways.
5. Let~the~peoples~of~the~earth bless the earth and~heal~earth~together;~let~us~all~enjoy each oth-er’s wis-dom.
6. Bless~us,~O~God,~with~your~presence in our hearts; and~in~the~soul~of our na-tion. A-men.

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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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