December 14, 2005

218R Where Cross the Crowded Ways (of Life)

Original Title: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life," Frank Mason North (1905), AUCORITATE SAECULI, L.M., Angers Church Melody; New Title: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways (of Life)," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition. North was a Methodist, served as president of the Federal (now National) Council of Churches, and was a native of New York City, whose bustling pace is manifest in these lyrics. Though at odds with Hymns of the Spirit Two, cyberhymnal.org gives the date of publication as 1903 in The Christian City (with the tune as GERMANY, which is how it appears as hymn no. 543 in the United Church of Christ's New Century Hymnal). The site enigmatically notes a biblical allusion to Matthew 22:9. Less obscure might be Matthew 10:40-42 (NRSV): "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me ... and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward;" see also Mark 9:41. Revelation 21:10, "And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God," see also Revelation 21:2, Hebrews 11:16. The lyrics "from famished souls ... your heart has never known recoil," bring to mind the story of the persistent Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:26-30. Though an "gentile," and thus ritually "unclean," Jesus agrees to heal her child all the same.

AUCTORITATE SAECULI (L.M.)

1. Where cross the crowd-ed ways of life,
where sound out cries, hearts race and run;
a-bove the noise of self-ish strife,
we hear your voice, Be-lov-ed One.

2. In haunts of wretch-ed-ness and need,
on shadow-ed thresh-olds full with fears,
from paths where hide the lures of greed,
we catch the vi-sion of your tears.

3. From ten-der child-hood's help-less-ness,
from lone-some grief, and burd-ened toil,
from fam-ished souls, from sor-row's stress,
your heart has ne-ver known re-coil.

4. The cup of wa-ter given for you,
still holds the fresh-ness of your grace;
Yet long these mul-ti-tudes to view
the true com-pas-sion of your face.

5. O Teach-er, from the moun-tain-side
make haste to heal these hearts of pain;
a-mong these rest-less throngs a-bide;
O tread the ci-ty's streets a-gain.


6. Till all earth's child-ren learn to love
and fol-low where your feet have trod,
till, glo-rious from your heaven a-bove,
shall come the Ci-ty of our God!

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218S Entre el vaivén de la ciudad

Título original: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life," Frank Mason North (1905), traductor anónimo, AUCTORITATE SAECULI, 8.8.8.8., Angers Church Melody; Título nuevo: "Entre el vaivén de la ciudad," rev. REH (2005), misma tonada. El himno aparece en el himnario metodista Mil voces para celebrar (1996), como no. 296, y como no. 325 en El Himnario (Church Publishing, 1998), pero con la tonada GERMANY (L.M.). Mateo 10:42 (CST), "Y cualquiera que dé un simple vaso de agua al más humilde de mis discípulos por el hecho de ser discípulo mío, no quedará sin recompensa," véase también Marcos 9:41, Mateo 22:9. Apocalipsis 21:10 (RVR 1995),"Me llevó en el Espíritu a un monte grande y alto y me mostró la gran ciudad, la santa Jerusalén, que descendía del cielo de parte de Dios," véase también Apocalipsis 21:2, Hebreos 11:16. Marcos 7:26, La mujer sirofenicia fue a rogar a Jesús, para que sanara su hija.

AUCTORITATE SAECULI (8.8.8.8.)

1. En-tre el vai-vén de la ciu-dad,
más fuer-te a-ún que su ru-mor;
en lid de ra-za y so-cie-dad,
tu voz o-í-mos, Re-den-tor.


2. Do-quie-ra e-xis-ta ex-plo-ta-ción,
fal-te tra-ba-jo, no haya pan;
en los um-bra-les del te-rror,
Ra-bi-no, vé-mos-te llo-rar.


3. Un va-so de a-gua pue-de ser,
hoy de tu gra-cia, la se-ñal;
mas ya las gen-tes quie-ren ver
tu com-pa-si-va y san-ta faz.

4. Has-ta que triun-fe tu dul-zor
y el mun-do pue-da o-ír tu voz
y de los cie-los, mi a-mor,
des-cien-da la Ciu-dad de Dios.

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January 01, 2006

328R O Pure Reformers, Not in Vain

Original Title: "O Pure Reformers, Not in Vain," John Greenleaf Whittier (1843), COVENTRY, C.M., Samuel Howard (c. 1762); New Title: same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), ST. ANNE, C.M., William Croft (1708). Whittier was an 19th Century American Quaker poet, and a well-known advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal. Though the hymn predates both his ministry and the holiday, many may find it appropriate to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. The lyrics speak most directly to Ephesians 4:11-16, which tells of prophets and teachers sent to "equip the saints" so that we might not be like children "tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine." Also notable are echoes of the conflict between "lies" and "truth" in the gospel of John, see John 17:17, John 8:44.

ST. ANNE (C.M.)

1. O pure re-form-ers! not in vain,
your trust in hu-man-kind;
the good which blood-shed could not gain,
your peace-ful zeal shall find.


2. The truths you urge are borne a-broad
by eve-ry wind and tide;
the voice of na-ture and of God
speaks out up-on your side.

3. The wea-pons which your hands have found
are those which heaven has wrought,
light, truth, and love; your bat-tle ground,
the free, broad field of thought.

4. O may no self-ish pur-pose break
the beau-ty of your call,
no lie from throne or al-tar shake
your stead-y faith in all.


5. Press on! and if we may not share
the glo-ry of your cry,
we'll ask at least, in earn-est prayer,
that your dreams may not die. 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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August 03, 2006

617R If God Had Not Been On Our Side

Title: "If God Had Not Been On On Our Side," Martin Luther (1524), translation of "Wär’ Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit," composite translators, rev. REH (2006), WÄR’ GOTT NICHT MIT UNS, 8.7.8.7.8.8.7., Gesangbuch (Wittenberg: 1537). Paraphrase of Psalm 124, a lectionary reading for Proper 16A/Ordinary 21A and Proper 21B/Ordinary 26B.

WÄR’ GOTT NICHT MIT UNS (8.7.8.7.8.8.7.)

1. If God had not been on our side
and had not come to aid us,
would our foes with their power and pride
then sure-ly have dis-mayed us?
Would we, God's flock, then have to fear
the threats of those both far and near
who act in might a-gainst us?

2. Such wrath, dear God, do not per-mit,
it sure-ly would con-sume us
and as a deep and yawn-ing pit
with life and limb en-tomb us.
Like those o’er whom deep wa-ter rolls,
that wrath then would en-gulf our souls
and, like a flood, o’er-whelm us.

3. Bless A-do-nai, who foils our threats
that they might not de-vour us.
Our souls, like birds, es-cape their nets,
they could not ov-er-power us.
The snare is brok-en; we are free!
Our help is ev-er, God, in thee,
who made the earth and heav-en.

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January 08, 2007

621R In Love I Put My Highest Trust

Title: In Love I Put My Highest Trust, Psalm 71:1-6, from The New Verson, Brady and Tate (1698), adapted REH (2007); OLD 29TH, C.M.D., Anglo-Genevan Psalter (1556), harmony, Scottish Psalter (1635). Alternative (and perhaps better known) hymn tunes to consider include Vaughn Williams' KINGSFOLD, C.M.D., and FOREST GREEN, C.M.D., both of which may be found in Singing the Living Tradition and in The New Century Hymnal. Psalm 71 is an appointed Revised Common Lectionary reading for Epiphany 4C and Proper 16C/Ordinary 21C, as well as for the Tuesday during Holy Week. The lyrics also echo Psalm 139:13 (NRSV), "You knit me in my mother's womb." The lyrics address, in a broad way, the often unchurchly topic of bullying, an area of resurgent concern for young men and women in the Internet age. Advice to bullies and their victims might include: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all," Romans 12:19; see also Proverbs 24:7. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you," Luke 6:27-28. This ode to Love echoes too the Greek Testament, in words that have come to us as "Deus caritas est," or "God is Love," words of particular significance for many Universalists. 1 John 4:16

OLD 29TH (C.M.D.)

1. In Love I put my high-est trust,
de-fend-ing hearts from chains;
And who but you can save my soul
as I cry out your names?
You are the strong and sweet-est place,
to which all souls re-sort;
And Love's de-mands do keep me safe;
they are my rock and port.

2. From cru-el taunt and cru-el word,
from earl-iest days of youth,
my heart you ev-er soothed, O God;
My life still lives in you.
Love's tough-ened care did safe-ly guard
my ten-der school-yard days;
You knit me deep with-in your womb;
Now life is con-stant praise!

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