April 05, 2005

28R God of the Earth, the Sky, the Sea

Original Title: "God of the Earth, the Sky and the Sea," Samuel Longfellow (1864), WINCHESTER NEW, L.M., Hamburger Musikalisches Handbuch (1690); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), ST. CATHERINE, 8.8.8.8.8.8., Henri F. Hemy (1865). Psalm 24:1-2, "The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains . . . For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers." Genesis 1:27, "[I]n the image of God . . . male and female [God] created them;" see also Genesis 9:6. "God's likeness," 2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 Corinthians 15:49. The Indwelling God, John 15:4. Proverbs 22:2, "The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all." The hymn is not contained in The New Century Hymnal, but is found in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 25, to the tune DUKE STREET, L.M.

ST. CATHERINE (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. God of the earth, the sky, the sea,
Mak-er of all a-bove, be-low,
cre-a-tion lives and moves in thee,
thy pre-sent life in all doth flow.
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing;
O Ho-ly One, our praise we bring!

2. Thy love is in the sun-shine’s glow,
thy life is in the quick-ening air;
When light-ning flash-es and storm winds blow,
there is thy power; thy law is there.
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing;
O Ho-ly One, our praise we bring!

3. We feel thy calm at even-ing’s hour,
thy grand-eur in the march of night;
And when thy morn-ing breaks in power,
we hear thy word, “Let there be light.”
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing;
O Ho-ly One, our praise we bring!

4. But high-er far, and far more clear,
thee in our spir-its we be-hold;
Thine im-age and thy-self are there—
Th’in-dwell-ing God, pro-claimed of old!
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing;
O Ho-ly One, our praise we bring!

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May 01, 2005

50R Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Original Title: "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," Charles Wesley (1747), first tune, HYFRYDOL, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Rowland Hugh Pritchard (1855), second tune, BEECHER, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., John Zundel (1870); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), HYFRYDOL, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7. The hymn first appeared in Hymns For Those That Seek, and Those That Have Redemption (1747). Charles Wesley, father of the Methodist movement, who wrote over 6,500 hymns, is said to have been inspired by the song "The Song of Venus" from John Dryden's play King Arthur. The hymn originally had four verses, and suggested that one could be completely cleansed of sin in this life. This prompted Charles' brother John Wesley to change the lyrics. It appeared with two verses only in Hymns of the Spirit Two (1937). In that version, "Jesus, thou art all compassion," became "Father, thou art all compassion." Here "Wisdom" has been substituted; see 50S for a version in which "Jesus" has been restored. Below, as in 50S, lines from the original third and fourth verses have been combined to create a third verse. Charles Wesley himself might rank "Wisdom" at least over "Father" as here, explaining in his Notes on Proverbs that "Christ, under the name of Wisdom, invites us to his entertainment;" i.e., "Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars . . . 'Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine I have mixed,'" Proverbs 9:1, 5. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition (that said, the tune HYFRYDOL should be well known in most Unitarian Universalist congregations all the same, as it is used for no. 140, "Hail the Glorious Golden City," and no. 166, "Years Are Coming," and no. 207, "Earth Was Given As a Garden"). The hymn does appear in The New Century Hymnal to the tune BEECHER (though HYFRYDOL is suggested as an alternative) as no. 43, with four stanzas. 1 John 4:16, "God is Love," Malachi 3:1, "The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts." "And all of us ... seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another," 2 Corinthians 3:18. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation." "All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it," 1 Corinthians 10:13b (The Message). "[N]ew creation," 2 Corinthians 5:17.

HYFRYDOL (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.)

1. Love di-vine, all loves ex-cell-ing,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us a hum-ble dwell-ing;
All your faith-ful mer-cies crown!
Wis-dom, you are all com-pas-sion;
Pure, un-bound-ed love im-part;
Vis-it us with your sal-va-tion;
En-ter eve-ry trem-bling heart.

2. Breathe, O breathe your lov-ing spir-it,
In-to eve-ry trou-bled breast!
Let us all in you in-her-it;
Let us find your prom-ised rest.
We would you be al-ways bless-ing,
Al-pha and O-me-ga be;
We would praise you with-out ceas-ing;
Set our hearts at li-ber-ty.

3. Come, E-ter-nal, to de-liv-er,
Let us all your life re-ceive;
Gra-cious-ly re-turn and ne-ver,
Ne-ver more your tem-ples leave.
Her-ald-ing a new cre-a-tion;
Heaven and earth take now their place;
Let us see your great sal-va-tion;
Lost in won-der, love, and praise.

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June 05, 2005

74R Behold a Sower!

Original Title: "Behold a Sower!," Washington Gladden (1897), ELLACOMBE, C.M.D., Gesangbuch der Herzogl. Wirtembergischen Katolischen Hofkapelle (1784); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Gladden was a Congregationalist minister, well known for his writings and lectures on social concerns during the 19th Century. Luke 8:11 (KJV), "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God," see also 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 3:9. Matthew 13:3, "And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow," see also Matthew 13:32, 1 Corinthians 9:11. Job 4:8, "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same," see also Hosea 10:12, Galatians 6:7-8. 2 Peter 1:19, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts," see also Daniel 2:22, John 8:12, John 12:46, 1 Peter 2:9, 2 Corinthians 4:4. The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

ELLACOMBE (C.M.D.)

1. Be-hold a Sow-er! from a-far
who go-eth forth with might,
whose fur-rows are the roll-ing years,
and seeds, the grow-ing light;
For all the just the Word is sown,
it spring-eth up al-ways;
The tend-er blade is Hope's young dawn,
the harv-est, Love's new days.

2. O Life of life, to thee we lift
our hearts in praise for those,
thy pro-phets, who have shown thy gift
of grace that ev-er grows,
of truth that spreads from shore to shore,
of wis-dom's widen-ing ray,
of light that shin-eth more and more
un-to thy per-fect day.

3. Shine forth, O Light, that we may see,
with hearts all un-a-fraid,
the mean-ing and the mys-ter-y
of things that thou hast made;
Shine forth, and let the sha-dowed past
be-neath thy beam grow bright;
Shine forth, and touch the fu-ture vast
with thine un-troubl-ed light.

4. Light up thy word; the fet-tered page
from kill-ing bon-dage free;
Light up our way; lead forth this age
in Love’s large li-ber-ty.
O Light of light! with-in us dwell,
through us thy ra-diance pour,
that word and life thy truths may tell,
and praise thee ev-er-more.

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June 14, 2005

83S Espíritu de luz y amor

Título: "Espíritu de luz y amor," Anónimo, rev. REH (2006), MARCHING, 8.7.8.7., Martin Fallas Shaw (1915). Aparece como no. 52 en El Himnario (Church Publishing, Inc. 1998), con la tonada DOMINUS REGIT ME, 8.7.8.7., John B. Dykes. "Dios es luz," 1 Juan 1:5 (BLS); "Dios . . . ha llenado de luz nuestro corazón," 2 Corintios 4:6 (Castilian); "Dios, . . . me has librado de la muerte, para que siempre, en tu presencia, camine en la luz de la vida," Salmos 56:13 (NVI). "Sobre Dios extiende su luz y cubre con ella las profundidades del mar," Job 36:30 (RVR 1995). "Dios es amor; y el que vive en amor, vive en Dios, y Dios en él," 1 Juan 4:16 (RVA); veáse también 1 Juan 4:7-8, 12, Efesios 2:4, Romanos 15:30. "Se les aparecieron entonces unas lenguas como de fuego," Hechos 2:3 (NVI); Isaías 30:27.

MARCHING (8.7.8.7.)

1. Es-pí-ri-tu de luz y~a-mor,
es-cu-cha nues-tro rue-go;
in-fla-ma nues-tro co-ra-zón
con tu ce-les-te fue-go.

2. Ven a los que~en do-lor es-tán,
sus al-mas vi-vi-fi-ca;
y~a los que por ti vi-ven
y a-lé-gra-les la vi-da.

3. Pro-me-sa de di-vi-na paz,
y dá-di-va del buen Dios,
con tu po-der, con tu vir-tud,
vi-sí-ta-nos, no tar-des.

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December 04, 2005

206R O Love! O Light!

Original Title: "O Love! O Light!", John Greenleaf Whittier (1866), ST. AGNES, C.M., John Bacchus Dykes (1866); New Title: "O Love! O Light!," rev. REH (2005), Same hymn tune. The hymn is not included in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal, but the tune does appear as no. 281 and nos. 507-08 in the latter. Whittier was an 19th Century American Quaker poet, and a well-known advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. The biblical sources of the names used in the hymn are numerous; John 13:13, John 1:1, John 15:15. Also there is a resonance of St. Paul's hymn that speak of peering "through a glass, darkly." 1 Corinthians 13:12. The feast of Transfiguration is again a topic here.

ST. AGNES (C.M.)

1. O Love! O Life! Our faith and sight
your pres-ence now makes one,
as through trans-fig-ured clouds of white
we trace the noon-day sun.

2. So, to our mor-tal minds sub-dued,
flesh-veiled, but not con-cealed,
we know in you the par-ent-hood
and heart of God re-vealed.


3. We faint-ly know, dim-ly per-ceive,
in dif-fering phrase we pray;
In you, dim or clear, we own free
the Light, the Truth, the Way!


4. To do your will is more than praise,
as words are less than deeds;
and sim-ple trust can find your ways
we miss with chart of creeds.

5. Our friend, our kind-red, and our word,
What may your ser-vice be?
Nor name, nor form, nor ri-tual heard,
but fol-low-ing free-ly.


6. Your li-ta-nies, sweet of-fi-ces
of love and gra-ti-tude;
your sa-cred, di-vine li-tur-gies,
the joy of do-ing good.

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December 09, 2005

211R Not Long on Hermon's Holy Height

Original Title: "Not Long on Hermon's Holy Height," Theodore Claudius Pease (1891), ANGELUS, L.M., Cantica Spiritualia (1847), melody by Georg Joseph (1657); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Pease was a 19th Century American Congregationalist. Hermon is the name of a mountain, or chain of mountains, in northern Palestine, as in: "The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name," Psalm 89:12 (KJV). The location of the transfiguration in the New Testament is not explicit; see Matthew 17:1-6; Mark 9:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36; Origen (and other early Church scholars) believed that it occurred, in fact, on Mount Tabor (and close followers of Origen, an early Universalist, are welcome to substitute "Tabor" for "Hermon"). The hymn and the hymn tune do not appear in The New Century Hymnal nor in Singing the Living Tradition.

ANGELUS (L.M.)

1. Not long on Her-mon's ho-ly height,
the heaven-ly vi-sion fills our sight,
we may not breathe that pur-er air,
nor build our tab-er-nac-les there.

2. If with the Teach-er we would go,
our feet must thread the vale be-low,
where dim the lone-ly path-ways wind,
the gold-en glo-ry left be-hind.


3. Where hung-ry souls ask to be fed,
where wand-er-ers cry to be led,
where help-less hearts in chains are bound,
the One Be-loved is ev-er found.


4. There, bend-ing pa-tient o'er a task,
no rai-ment white our eyes shall ask,
con-tent while through each cloud we trace,
the glo-ry of the Rab-bi's face.


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December 14, 2005

215R Not Always on the Mount May We

Original Title: "Not Always On the Mount May We," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1912), TRANSYLVANIA, L.M., arranged from a 16th Century Hungarian Chorale, by Robert Levine Sanders; New Title: Same title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but TRANSYLVANIA is paired therein with hymn no. 322, "Thanks Be for These," by the Gilberts. In some ways, the hymn in Singing the Living Tradition is a rewrite of the present hymn using more humanistic images (though not lacking suggestions of the Divine), for example substituting "the Spirit's tidal ebb and flow" with "moments of grief, days of delight, triumph and failure intertwine." Hosmer was an American Unitarian; Richard Seward Gilbert and Joyce Timmerman Gilbert are 20th Century Unitarian Universalists. It is worth pointing out that the earlier hymn fits into what must be an exceedingly limited collection of music, that being "hymns written by Unitarians in North America for Transfiguration Sunday" (the Sunday immediately prior to Ash Wednesday); See Luke 9:29-31.

TRANSYLVANIA (L.M.)

1. Not al-ways on the mount may we
rapt in the heaven-ly vi-sion be:
The shores of thought and feel-ing know
the Spir-it's ti-dal ebb and flow.

2. 'O it is good a-bid-ing here,'
We cry, the heaven-ly pre-sence near:
The vi-sion va-nish-es, our eyes
are lift-ed in-to va-cant skies.

3. Yet has one such ex-al-ted hour
up-on the soul re-deem-ing power,
and in its strength, through af-ter days,
we tra-vel our ap-poin-ted ways,

4. Till all the low-ly vale grows bright,
trans-fi-gured in re-mem-bered light,
and in un-ti-ring souls we bear
the fresh-ness of the up-per air.


5. The mount for vi-sion: but be-low
the paths of dai-ly du-ty go,
and no-bler life there-in shall own
the pat-tern on the moun-tain shown.


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February 04, 2007

622R O Wisdom Reigns Supreme

Title: "O Wisdom Reigns Supreme," United Presbyterian Psalter (1887), Psalm 99, adapted REH (2007), ST. MICHAEL, S.M.D., Louis Bourgeois (1551), adapted William Crotch (1836). Psalm 99 is the lectionary reading for Transfiguration A & C, and Proper 24A/Ordinary 29A. Alternative tunes include ICH HALTE TREULICH STILL, S.M.D. and ST. AUGUSTINE, S.M.D. ST. MICHAEL, usually in S.M., should be well-known to most Unitarian Universalists, as the tune to the hymn "Where Is Our Holy Church?"

ST. MICHAEL (S.M.D.)

1. O Wis-dom reigns su-preme,
that all the world may wake,
though dwell-ing with the wing-ed ones,
the Earth's deep core may shake.
Lies in Je-ru-sa-lem,
the Sove-reign's sa-cred throne,
where three creeds sing one ho-ly Name,
that ev-er Life be known.

2. Our God does mer-cy love,
and jus-tice does main-tain:
In-te-gri-ty and eth-ics too
in Ja-cob did sus-tain.
May all sing prais-es high,
and Earth in prais-es laud:
All at the foot-stool wor-ship-ing,
for ho-ly is our God.

3. O Mos-es, Aar-on, priests,
all who on true Love call,
and Sa-muel trust-ing too in God,
who then an-swered them all.
Through pil-lar of Earth's clouds,
the Ho-ly One did speak:
who did set forth a cov-e-nant,
the Tor-ah, hence to keep.

4. O God, our gra-cious God,
who does a mes-sage send;
Love grants us par-don for our deeds,
that jus-tice may im-pend.
May all sing prais-es high,
and Earth in prais-es laud,
and cel-e-brate the moun-tain tops,
for ho-ly is our God.

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