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December 01, 2005

204S Strong Son of God, Maternal Love

Original Title: "Strong Son of God, Immortal Love," Alfred Tennyson, SONG FIVE, L.M., First Tune in Hymns of the Spirit Two, Orlando Gibbons (1623), ERNAN, L.M., Second Tune in Hymns of the Spirit Two, Lowell Mason; New Title: "Strong Son of God, Maternal Love," alt. REH (2005), hymn tune: SONG FIVE, L.M., (1623). Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal, but the hymn does appear in The Hymnal (1940) of the (then thusly named) Protestant Episcopal Church, and other hymnals published throughout the Anglican Communion. Alfred Tennyson was a 19th Century English Anglican and British Poet Laureate from 1850 until his death; his most famous work was perhaps The Charge of the Light Brigade. One hears in the lyrics, "for we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NRSV). Also implicit therein is an answer to the question of Jesus, "who do they say I am?" Matthew 16:13. Unlike 204R, this version is "gender inclusive," rather than "gender neutral," using the image of Jesus as our "Mother," as imagined by St. Julian of Norwich, as well as the very language of Luke 13:31-34, in which Jesus describes himself as a mother hen brooding over her chicks.


1. Strong Son of God, maternal love,
whom we, that have not seen thy face,
by faith, and faith a-lone, em-brace,
be-liev-ing where we can-not prove.

2. Thou seem-est hu-man and di-vine,
the high-est, hol-iest hu-man, thou.
Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Ours wills are ours, to make them thine.

3. Our lit-tle sys-tems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be;
They are but bro-ken lights of thee,
And thou, O Love, art more than they.

Word Score
PDF Score
Noteworthy Composer File

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Posted by rehurst at December 1, 2005 02:57 AM


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