Archive for March 2016

For Divine Peace   Leave a comment

The Lamentation of Christ

Above:  The Lamentation of Christ, by El Greco

Image in the Public Domain

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


God of comfort and infinite compassion, who canst turn sorrow into joy;

look mercifully upon all who are in trouble whether of mind, body, or estate;

sustain and heal the sick;

support and sanctify the dying;

visit with thy mercy those who mourn.

Pour thy divine peace into every wounded spirit;

and give to each desolate soul the assurance of thy love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Posted March 29, 2016 by neatnik2009 in Book of Worship (1942), Desperation and Suffering 1900s

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A Litany of the People   Leave a comment

Evangelical and Reformed Church

Above:  Logo of the Evangelical and Reformed Church

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Litany Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church



Let us pray for deliverance from evil:

Lord, deliver us:

From the love of money:

From the forgetfulness of duty:

From anger, malice, and contempt:

From oppression, carelessness, and neglect:

From hardness, narrowness, and distrust:

From all lack of faith, hope, and charity:

Lord, deliver us.


For all who learn and labor truly:  for men and women who face peril and bear pain:

We beseech thee:

For those who till the earth:  for those who tend machinery:

For those who strive on land or sea or in the air:  for those who venture in far countries:

For those who work in offices and warehouses:  for those who labour at furnaces and in factories:

For those who toil in mines:  for those who buy and sell:

For those who keep house:  for those who train children:

We beseech thee.


For all who live by strength of arm:  for all who live by cunning of hand:

For all women workers:

For all who organize, control, lead, or employ:

For all who enrich the common life through art, and science, and learning:

For all who guide the common thought as writers or as teachers:

For all who serve the common good as pastors, physicians, lawyers, merchants:

For all the services, and for all public servants…:

For all social workers, leaders, and statesmen…:

We beseech thee.


And for all who are poor, or broken, or oppressed:

We pray to thee:

For all whose labor is without hope:  for all whose labor is without honor:

For all whose labor is dangerous:  for all who live in penury:

For all who have too little leisure:  for those who are underpaid:

For all who cannot find their proper work:  for those who will not work:

For casual workers:  for the unemployed:

For those who are badly housed:

For those who have no home:

For prisoners and outcasts:  for the victims of lust:

For all who are afflicted or sick:  for all who are hungry or ill-fed:

For all who are luxurious, intemperate, stupid, or cruel:

For all who are striving after better things.

We pray to thee.


Lord’s Prayer

Light of the World, Come Nigh and Bless   Leave a comment


Above:  Nativity, by Sandro Botticelli

Image in the Public Domain

Text by Charles E. W. Harvey (1846-1922), a layman of the Moravian Church in America and an insurance man of Brooklyn, New York

Hymn Source = Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923), Moravian Church in America


Light of the world, come nigh and bless

Thy children here below,

Who in Thy house Thy name confess,

On us Thy grace bestow.


Light of the world, we celebrate

To-night Thy lowly birth,

And teach our little ones of Thee

Who cam’st from heaven to earth.


Light of the world, in manger low

Didst deign to lay Thy head,

That we in darkest night of sin

Might to Thy light be led.


Light of the world, into our hearts

Let Thy full glory shine,

That we may follow now Thy star

Until we reach Thy shrine.


Light of the world, we worship Thee,

Our gifts to Thee we bring,

Accept our sinful hearts, O Lord,

While praise to Thee we sing.


Light of the world, when thou shalt come

Our Judge and Lord to be;

May we through Thy dear sacrifice

Forever dwell with Thee.

O Master of the Callous Hand   Leave a comment

Carpenter's Chisels

Above:  Carpenter’s Chisels, 1878

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-jpd-01268

Text (1912) by George E. Day, a minister of the National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), General Council of Congregational Christian Churches

Day was an advocate of missions work, a professor at Yale Divinity School, and the Secretary of the Committee, and of the Old Testament Committee of the American Standard Version of the Bible (1901).


O Master of the callous hand,

The workshop and the bench and plane,

We know that thou canst understand

Our hopes, our labors and our pain.


We see the drops of honest toil

With which thy hardy face was wet,

And in thy beauty-loving eye

The craftsman’s kindling pleasure glow.


To see the finished work put by,

The joy thy patient workmen know;

We answer gladly to thy call,

O Master Workman of us all.


O rugged Master of the hills,

The desert and the storm-swept sea,

Our eager heart responsive thrills

In our enlarging tho’t of thee.


Thou lovedst well the open road,

The pilgrim staff, the pilgrim load,

As o’er the hills of Palestine,

Beneath the parching eastern blaze.


Those eager, tireless feet of thine

Trod joyously the crowded days,

To minister to human need,

Thou Saviour of the world, indeed.

Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard   1 comment


Image Source = The Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Friday, June 19, 1942, Page 1

Accessed via

Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard (1876-1966) was a U.S. Congregationalist minister, religious writer, hymn writer, and humanitarian.  He was active in parish ministry from his ordination in 1951 until his retirement (at age 74) in February 1951.  Blanchard served in three congregations, the last one (Euclid Avenue Congregational Church, Cleveland, Ohio) for 36 years, almost to the day (from February 1915 to February 1951).

Some of the hymnal companion volumes (especially those for the Baptist Hymnals of 1975 and 1991) I consulted stated erroneously that Blanchard retired in 1955, but I have documented independently that he retired in 1951.  I am not overly critical of such errors, for, in the age of the Internet, finding much information and checking facts is easier than it used to be.  I do, however have, a preference for accuracy.


Before the Cross Our Lives Are Judged:

Bethlehem Sleeps Beneath the Stars:

Clear O’er the Hills Ring Out:

O Child of Lowly Manger Birth:

O Jesus, Youth of Nazareth:

Word of God, Across the Ages:


O Child of Lowly Manger Birth   2 comments

Life of Christ Illustrated

Above:  The Life of Christ (1863)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-01110

Text (1906) by Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard (1876-1966)

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1912), U.S. Congregationalist

This is the full version of “O Jesus, Youth of Nazareth.”


O Child of lowly manger birth

On whose low cry the ages wait,

Lead us thy way, and every day

Guide us to see what made thee great.


O Jesus, youth of Nazareth,

Preparing for the bitter strife,

Wilt thou impart to every heart

Thy perfect purity of life?


O Christ whose words make dear the fields

And hillsides green of Galilee,

Grant us to find, with reverent mind,

The truth thou saidst should make us free.


O suffering Lord on Calvary,

Whom love led on to mortal pain,

We know thy cross is not a loss

If we thy love shall truly gain.


O Master of abundant life

From natal morn to victory’s hour,

We look to thee, heed thou our plea,

Teach us to share thy ageless power.

Word of God, Across the Ages   2 comments

St. Gregory the Great February 28, 2016

Above:  The Reading of the Gospel, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, February 28, 2016

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Text (1951) by Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard (1876-1966), for the publication of the Old Testament (1952) of the Revised Standard Version

Text copyrighted 1953 by the Hymn Society of America

Copyright renewed in 1981 by the Hymn Society of America

Copyright still in effect in Baptist Hymnal (2008), Southern Baptist Convention; and the Celebrating Grace Hymnal (2010), Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Hymn Source = Baptist Hymnal (1975), Southern Baptist Convention


Word of God, across the ages

Comes thy message to our life;

Source of hope forever present

In our toil and fears and strife;

Constant witness to God’s mercy,

Still our grace whate’er befall,

Guide unfailing, strength eternal,

Offered freely to us all.


Story of man’s wondrous journey

From the shadows of the night;

Garnered truth of sage and prophet,

Guiding forward into light;

Words and deeds of Christ our Master,

Pointing to the life and way,

Still appealing, still inspiring,

‘Mid the struggles of today.


In the tongues of all the peoples

May the message bless and heal,

As devout and patient scholars

More and more its depths reveal;

Bless, O God, to wise and simple,

All thy truth of ageless worth,

Till all lands receive the witness

And thy knowledge fills the earth.

Bethlehem Sleeps Beneath the Stars   2 comments

Nativity at Night

Above:  The Nativity at Night, by Geertgen tot Sint Jans

Image in the Public Domain

Text (1909) by Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard (1876-1966)

Hymn Source = Songs of the Christian Life (1912), U.S. Congregationalist, via


Bethlehem sleeps beneath the stars,

Midst the mystery of the night;

But where shepherds watch their flocks,

Lo! there shines a wondrous light.

Clear a joyous chorus swells,

Peals in triumph through the sky,

“Peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

Raise the alleluia high.


Jesus, born of Mary, comes,

Dawns the new day with his birth;

Now proclaim the hope of Christ

Over all the realms of earth.

In His faith the sad are brave,

By His power men conquer sin,

Though injustice would hold sway

Truth and love their reign begin.


Grant us then, O God of love,

Hearts where Christ shall come to-day,

May our wills be one with His,

May His spirit guide our way.

God of Jesus, may His truths

Bless the world this Christmas tide,

‘Till with all the sons of men,

Faith and hope and love abide.

Before the Cross Our Lives Are Judged   2 comments

Easter Cross

Above:  Easter Cross, 1877

Copyright by Gibson and Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-01328

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), General Council of Congregational Christian Churches

Text (1928) by Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard (1876-1966)

Dr. Blanchard answered Armin Hauessler’s request for information regarding the origin of this hymn.  Haeussler reported an edited version of the reply in The Story of Our Hymns (1952), the companion volume for The Hymnal (1941), the Evangelical and Reformed Church:

In reply to your letter…I would say that what suggested my writing the hymn was the desire to have some words which could be sung to what I always thought was the very beautiful tune of ST. CHRISTOPHER, by Frederick C. Maker.  The words ordinarily associated with it begin, as you know, “Beneath the cross I Jesus I fain would take my stand.”  They are words of a peculiar type of piety which never appealed to me, and I wanted some words which would have a modern appeal.  I therefore appealed the words of the hymn concerning which you wrote.  This was in the year 1928….The hymn was written for my own congregation and without a thought it would travel far.

–Page 292

That congregation was Euclid Avenue Congregational Church, Cleveland, Ohio, which has been South Euclid United Church of Christ since the summer of 2014.


Before the cross of Jesus

Our lives are judged today;

The meaning of our eager strife

Is tested by his Way.

Across our restless living

The light streams from his cross,

And by its clear, revealing beams

We measure gain and loss.


The hopes that lead us onward,

The fears that hold us back,

Our will to dare great things for God,

The courage that we lack,

The faith we keep in goodness,

Our love, as low or pure–

On all, the judgment of the cross

Falls steady, clear, and sure.


Yet humbly, in our striving,

O God, we face its test,

We crave the pow’r to do thy will

With him who did it best.

On us let now the healing

Of his great Spirit fall,

And make us brave and full of joy

To answer to his call.