Archive for the ‘The United Methodist Hymnal (1989)’ Category

Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown   1 comment

God the Omnipotent! King, Who Ordainest   2 comments

Apotheosis of War

Above:  Apotheosis of War, by Vasily Vereshchagin

Image in the Public Domain

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This is a hymn for use in time of war.  Sadly, we human beings keep acting is ways which keep the sentiments of the hymn current.

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This is one of those great Anglican contributions to English-language hymnody.

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PART THE FIRST:  THE BEGINNING

The story begins with Henry Fothergill Chorley (1808-1872), a Quaker-born novelist, playwright, libretticist, and literary and music critic in London, England, the United Kingdom.  In 1842 he published a hymn, “God, the All-Terrible! Thou Who Ordainest.”  My sources identified the the publication as having occurred in Part Music (1842), by John Pike Hullah (1812-1884).  A search at hymnary.org led me to my reprint of the Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes (Henry Ward Beecher, Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn, New York, 1855), where I found these verses:

1.  God, the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest

Thunder Thy clarion, and lightning Thy sword;

Show forth Thy pity on high where Thou reignest,

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

2.  God, the Omnipotent! mighty Avenger,

Watching invisible, judging unheard;

Save us in mercy, O save us from danger,

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

3.  God, the all-merciful! earth hath forsaken

Thy ways all holy, and slighted Thy word;

But not Thy wrath in its terror awaken,

Give to us pardon and peace, O Lord.

4.  So will Thy people with thankful devotion,

Praise Him who saved them from peril and sword;

Shouting in chorus, from ocean to ocean,

Peace to the nations, and praise to the Lord.

(Hymn #1101)

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PART THE SECOND:  UNITARIANS DURING THE CIVIL WAR

Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association, 1864), included an abbreviated and different version of the text, starting with the second stanza.  Thus the hymn became “God, the Omnipotent! Mighty Avenger!”  The context of the U.S. Civil War was evident:

1.  God the Omnipotent! mighty Avenger!

Watching invisible, judging unheard!

Save Thou our land in the hour of her danger,

Give to us peace in Thy time, O Lord!

2.  Thunder and lightnings Thy judgment have sounded;

Letters of flame have recorded Thy word,

‘Only in righteousness true peace is founded’:

Give us that peace in Thy time, O Lord!

3.  So shall the people, with thankful devotion,

Praise Him who saved them from peril and sword;

Shouting in chorus, from ocean to ocean,–

‘Peace to the nation, and praise to the Lord!’

(Hymn #262)

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PART THE THIRD:  ENTER JOHN ELLERTON

In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), John Ellerton (1826-1893), a priest of The Church of England and author of no fewer than 86 hymns, wrote “God the Almighty One, Wisely Ordaining,” based on Chorley’s hymn.  The text debuted in Robert Brown-Borthwick’s Select Hymns for Church and Home (The Church of England, 1871).  I found the original version of that hymn via Google Books.

1.  God the Almighty One, wisely ordaining

Judgments unsearchable, famine and sword;

Over the tumult of war Thou are reigning;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

2.  God the All-righteous One! man hath defied Thee;

Yet to eternity standeth Thy word;

Falsehood and wrong shall not tarry beside Thee;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

3.  God the All-pitiful, is it not crying,

Blood of the guiltless like water outpoured?

Look on the anguish, the sorrow, the sighing;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

4.  God, the All-wise! by the fire of Thy chastening

Earth shall to freedom and truth be restored;

Through the thick darkness Thy kingdom is hast’ning,

Thou wilt give peace in Thy time, O Lord!

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PART THE FOURTH:  THE JOINING AND SUBSEQUENT VARIATIONS AND ALTERATIONS

The first joining of the Chorley and Ellerton texts occurred in the 1874 revision of Church Hymns (The Church of England, 1871), as one can read for oneself by following the hyperlink and seeking hymn #262.  Since then many hymnals have contained various composites of the Chorley and Ellerton texts, frequently with alterations to them.  The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contained the hymn, but listed it as “God, Lord of Sabaoth, Thou Who Ordainest.”  The hymn was “God the All-Merciful! Earth Hath Forsaken” in the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917) but “God the Omnipotent! King, Who Ordainest” in the Service Book and Hymnal (1958).  The influential Hymnal (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895) and its successor from 1911 listed the hymn as “God, the All-Terrible,” but The Hymnal (1933) changed the title to “God the Omnipotent.”  Among more conservative Presbyterians (especially in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America) who use either the 1961 or the 1990 versions of the Trinity Hymnal, God remains “All-terrible.”  God was “All-terrible” in The Methodist Hymnal (Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1905), but “Omnipotent” in The Methodist Hymnal of 1935 (Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Protestant Church, and Methodist Episcopal Church, South; later The Methodist Church, 1939-1968).  As late as The Hymnal of 1918 (Episcopal Church, authorized in 1916) God was “All-Terrible,” but the deity was “Omnipotent” instead in The Hymnal 1940 (published in 1943).  The consensus among hymnal committees is that God is “Omnipotent,” not “All-terrible.”

The variation on the hymn in The Hymnal 1982 (Episcopal Church, 1985) contains four stanzas–two from Chorley, two from Ellerton, and all of them altered.  This is the version I sing in church:

1.  God the Omnipotent! King, who ordainest

thunder thy clarion, the lightning thy sword;

show forth thy pity on high where thou reignest:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

2.  God the All-merciful! earth hath forsaken

thy ways all holy, and slighted thy word;

bid not thy wrath in its terrors awaken:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

3.  God, the All-righteous One! earth hath defied thee;

yet eternity standeth thy word,

falsehood and wrong shall not tarry beside thee:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

4.  God the All-provident! earth by thy chastening

yet shall to freedom and truth be restored;

through the thick darkness thy kingdom is hastening:

thou wilt give peace in thy time, O Lord.

Hymn writer Brian Wren (1936-) wrote of hymns in Praying Twice:  The Music and Words of Congregational Song (Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, 2000, page 297):

I have shown that congregational songs are communal.  Though they usually originate from particular authors, their primary purpose is to give shared expression to shared experience, not parade the author’s personality.  Because they are communal a faith community may, in principle amend them.

The story of “God the Omnipotent!” fits that statement well.

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PART THE FIFTH:  DROPPING THE HYMN

Denominations revise their official hymnals from time to time.  In so doing they add some texts and remove others.  Here is a partial list of denominations which have removed “God the Omnipotent!” (however they have listed it) from their official hymnody as of 2015, based on hymnals of which I own physical copies:

  1. the American Baptist Churches U.S.A., during their transition from the Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970) to no official hymnal;
  2. the Anglican Church of Canada, during the transition from The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (1971) to Common Praise (1998);
  3. the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, during the transition from The Covenant Hymnal (1973) to The Covenant Hymnal:  A Worshipbook (1996);
  4. the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, during the transition from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) to Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006);
  5. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod, during the transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996);
  6. the Free Methodist Church of North America and the Wesleyan Church, during their transition from Hymns of Faith and Life (1976) to no official hymnal;
  7. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, during its transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to Lutheran Worship (1982) and the Lutheran Service Book (2006);
  8. the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), by way of its predecessors, the Presbyterian Church in the United States and The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., during the transition from The Hymnbook (1955) to The Worshipbook–Services and Hymns (1972);
  9. the Reformed Church in America, during its transition from Rejoice in the Lord:  A Hymn Companion to the Scriptures (1985) to Lift Up Your Hearts:  Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (2013);
  10. the Southern Baptist Convention, during the transition from Baptist Hymnal (1956) to Baptist Hymnal (1975); the text is absent even from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship‘s Celebrating Grace Hymnal (2010);
  11. the Unitarian Universalist Association, sometime after Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association, 1864) and before Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America, 1937);
  12. The United Methodist Church, during its transition from The Hymnal of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (1957) and The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns (1966) to The United Methodist Hymnal:  Book of United Methodist Worship (1992); and
  13. the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, during the transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (1993); neither is the hymn present in Christian Worship:  Supplement (2008).

That list covers a wide theological range.  So does the list of denominations which have retained it–from The Episcopal Church to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to the United Church of Christ to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America.  The list of denominations which have never added it to their official hymnody is also diverse, ranging from the Christian Reformed Church of North America to the Church of Nazarene.  Sometimes the presence or absence of the hymn indicates more about tastes in hymnody and worship style than about theology.

Another piece of supporting evidence for that conclusion comes from two non-denominational Evangelical hymnals Tom Fettke edited:  The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (1986) and The Celebration Hymnal:  Songs and Hymns for Worship (1997).  The former contains the hymn which is the subject of this post, but the latter does not.  A Victorian hymn set to the majestic former Russian national anthem does not fit with contemporary worship, with its seven-eleven songs, does it?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 21, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF J. B. PHILLIPS, BIBLE TRANSLATOR AND ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Posted July 21, 2015 by neatnik2009 in Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917), Community and Country 1800s, Desperation and Suffering 1800s, Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996), Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970), Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches of America (1937), Lent/Confession of Sin 1800s, Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), Service Book and Hymnal (1958), The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (1971), The Hymnal (1895), The Hymnal (1911), The Hymnal (1933), The Hymnal 1916 (1918), The Hymnal 1940 (1943), The Hymnal 1982 (1985), The Hymnbook (1955), The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), The Methodist Hymnal (1905), The Methodist Hymnal (1935), The Methodist Hymnal (1966), The United Methodist Hymnal (1989)

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I Sought the Lord   Leave a comment

I Sought the Lord

Above:  The Hymn, from The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904)

A Scan I Made from My Copy of That Volume

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Sometimes a little historical research goes a long way.

I noticed this hymn this morning, for we were singing “A Mighty Fortress” in church.  Opposite that hymn in The Hymnal 1982 is this one.  This reality led me to the listed source, The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), the first U.S. hymn book to include the text.  The hymn debuted on page 142 of Holy Songs, Carols, and Sacred Ballads (1880), the hymn’s author listed as Anonymous.  Yet the range of estimated dates of composition includes

  • 1878 (as in The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns, 1966, The Methodist Church–later The United Methodist Church– as well as the Psalter Hymnal, 1987, Christian Reformed Church),
  • 1880 (as in Hymns of Faith and Life, 1976, the Wesleyan Church and the Free Methodist Church),
  • 1887 (as in the Psalter Hymnal, 1934, Christian Reformed Church), and
  • 1890 (The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989, The United Methodist Church.)

One reason for post-1880 estimates is the erroneous date of 1889 for the publication of Holy Songs.

Who was Anonymous?  Although Frank Sealy, editor of Common Praise (1913), listed the author as Anonymous in that hymnal, the handbooks to The Hymnal (1933, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.) and the Pilgrim Hymnal (1958, United Church of Christ) suggest that the author was poet Jean Ingelow (1820-1897).  In fact, the former says that Sealy suggested that Ingelow was the author of the text.  We do not know for certain who wrote the hymn, however.  And does that person’s identity really matter?  For the text stands on its own merit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 9, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINT SOPHRONIUS OF JERUSALEM, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT GREGORY OF NYSSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF MARY ANN THOMPSON, EPISCOPAL HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ROBERT HALL BAYNES, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF MADAGASCAR

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1.  I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew

He moved my soul to seek him, seeking  me;

It was not I that found, O Saviour true,

No, I was found of thee.

2.  Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;

I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea,–

‘Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,

As thou, dear Lord, on me.

3.  I find, I walk, I love, but, O, the whole

Of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee;

For thou wert long beforehand with my soul,

Always thou lovedst me.

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Silent Night   3 comments

Silent Night

Above:  Part of the Hymn, from Glory to God:  The Presbyterian Hymnal (2013)

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Silent Night (Stille Nacht in the original German) is the great Christmas hymn by Father Franz Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), dating to 1816 and published in 1818.  The note in Glory to God:  The Presbyterian Hymnal (2013) mentions the 1816 date, which means that Mohr had the text sitting around long before the Christmas Eve service of 1818.  This fact overturns the part of the traditional story which had the priest writing the text in 1818.

There are English translations of the German text, but the most famous one is that of John Freeman Young (1820-1885), from 1863.  He served as the Episcopal Bishop of Florida from 1867 to 1885.  The most common variations over time in his text explain the difference between

Silent night! Holy night!

and

Silent night, holy night!

The Young text, as reprinted in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996), follows:

1.  Silent night! Holy night!

All is calm, all is bright,

Round yon Virgin mother and Child.

Holy Infant, so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.

2.  Silent night! Holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight.

Glories stream from heaven afar;

Heav’nly hosts sing, Alleluia;

Christ the Savior is born!

Christ the Savior is born!

3.  Silent night! Holy night!

Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Marilyn Kay Stulken, in the Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship (Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1981), tells me that the above lyrics were anonymous until 1957.  This is consistent with my survey of old hymnals in my collection.  And I have one hymnal published in 1994 which continues to list the author of these lyrics as anonymous.

These words, the John Freeman Young lyrics, remain unaltered (except for the discrepancy between a comma and an exclamation point) in most contemporary hymnals.  Even The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s Lutheran Worship (1982), which turns My Faith Looks Up to Thee into My Faith Looks Trustingly, leaves Silent Night as it was.  Yet The New Century Hymnal (1995), United Church of Christ, which contains rewrites of almost all hymns therein, changes the third verse so that

Son of God

becomes

Child of God

and

thy

becomes

your.

I started thinking about the lyrics of Silent Night late last night, when I picked up my copy of Concordia:  A Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1917) and flipped through its Christmas section.  There I found different lyrics, which The Lutheran Hymnary (1935) replicates.  These words follow:

1.  Holy night! peaceful night!

Through the darkness beams a light,

Yonder, where they sweet vigils keep

O’er the Babe who in silent sleep,

Rests in heavenly peace,

Rests in heavenly peace.

2.  Silent night! holiest night!

Darkness flies, and all is light!

Shepherds hear the angels sing:

Jesus the Savior is here!

Jesus the Savior is here!

3.  Silent night! holiest night!

Guiding Star, O lend thy light!

See the eastern wise men bring

Gifts and homage to our King!

Jesus the Savior is here!

Jesus the Savior is here!

4.  Silent night! holiest night!

Wondrous Star, O lend thy light!

With the angels let us sing,

Hallelujah to our King!

Jesus our Savior is here!

Jesus our Savior is here!

I have seen this fourth stanza accompany the Young lyrics in modern hymnals.  Sometimes these volumes attribute the final verse to Bishop Young, sometimes to Anonymous, and to Jane Montgomery Campbell (1817-1878) on other occasions.  I do not know how many other stanzas she translated, but I know that she deserves the credit for the first verse of the version of the hymn from The Hymnal (1933), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.:

1.  Silent night! holy night!

All is dark, save the light

Yonder, where they sweet vigil keep

O’er the Babe who in silent sleep

Rests in heavenly peace,

Rests in heavenly peace.

2.  Peaceful night! holiest night!

Darkness flies, all is light;

Shepherds hear the angels sing:

“Alleluia! hail the King!

Christ the Saviour is here!

Christ the Saviour is here!”

3.  Silent night! holiest night!

Child of heaven, O how bright

Thou didst smile on us when Thou wast born!

Blest indeed that happy morn,

Full of heavenly joy!

Full of heavenly joy!

I have found various composite versions in The Evangelical Hymnal (1921) and The Methodist Hymnal (1935), both forebears of The United Methodist Hymnal (1989), as well as in the American Lutheran Hymnal (1930).  The latter volume contains the John Freeman Young version then an alternative rendering, a composite which includes the second Young verse.  The first and third stanzas of that composite version follow:

1.  Silent night, holy night!

Golden stars shed their light.

While yon virgin tenderly wakes

At the manger till morning breaks

O’er the heavenly Child,

O’er the heavenly Child.

3.  Silent night, holy night!

Son of God, love’s pure light

Shines so sweetly out of Thine eyes;

‘Tis the light of salvation we prize,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

In 1881 Stopford Brooke (1832-1916), an Irish Anglican clergyman who had converted recently to Unitarianism, published Christian Hymns, reissued twelve years later.  This book included his translation of the Mohr text:

1.  Still the night, holy the night!

Sleeps the world! yet the light

Shines where Mary watches there,

Her child Jesus loved and fair.

Sleeping in heavenly rest;

Sleeping in heavenly rest.

2.  Still the night, holy the night!

Shepherds first told aright

How the Angel of the star

Sang so clear from near and far–

Jesus, a Saviour, is born;

Jesus, a Saviour, is born.

3.  Still the night, holy the night!

Little child, O how bright

Love is smiling from thy face!

Now strikes sweet the hour of grace;

Jesus, our Master, is here,

Jesus, our Master, is here.

The Church Hymnary (1927), Presbyterian, contains a related translation based on the Brooke version:

1.  Still the night, holy the night!

Sleeps the world; hid from sight,

Mary and Joseph in stable bare

Watch o’er the Child beloved and fair,

Sleeping in heavenly rest,

Sleeping in heavenly rest.

2.  Still the night, holy the night!

Shepherds first saw the light,

Heard resounding clear and long,

Far and near, the angel-song,

“Christ the Redeemer is here!

Christ the Redeemer is here!”

3.  Still the night, holy the night!

Son of God,O how bright

Love is smiling from Thy face!

Strikes for us now the hour of grace,

Saviour, since Thou art born!

Saviour, since Thou art born!

I wonder how many other English-language versions I will find.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 23, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT COLUMBAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT CLEMENT OF ROME, BISHOP

THE FEAST OF MIGUEL AGUSTIN PRO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle   5 comments

stations-102

Above:  Pieta, Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Atlanta, Georgia, Good Friday, March 28, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5862014508481864385/5862017046324345010?banner=pwa&pid=5862017046324345010&oid=114749828757741527421)

Original Latin text by St. Venantius Hororius Clementius Fortunatus (died 600/609), Bishop of Pontiers

English translation (1931) by Percy Dearmer (1867-1936)

Hymn Source = The United Methodist Hymnal (1989), of The United Methodist Church

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1.  Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle, sing the ending of the fray;

now above the cross the trophy, sound the loud triumphant lay;

tell how Christ, the world’s Redeemer, as a victim won the day.

2.  Tell how, when at length the fullness of th’appointed time was come,

Christ, the Word, was born of woman, left for us his heavenly home;

showed us human life made perfect, shone as light amid the gloom.

3.  Thus, with thirty years accomplished, went he forth from Nazareth,

destined, dedicated, willing, wrought his work, and met his death.

Like a lamb he humbly yielded on the cross his dying breath.

4.  Faithful cross, thou sign of triumph, now for us the noblest tree,

none in foliage, none in blossom, none in fruit they peer may be;

symbol of the world’s redemption, for the weight that hung on thee.

5.  Unto God be praise and glory:  to the Father and the Son,

to th’eternal Spirit honor now and evermore be done;

praise and glory in the highest, while unending ages run.

God of Love and God of Power   Leave a comment

Above:  Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, Georgia, December 11, 2011

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://picasaweb.google.com/114749828757741527421/BishopWhitmoreVisitsTheChurchOfTheEpiphanyAtlanta#5685294792036265394)

Hymn Source = The United Methodist Hymnal:  Book of United Methodist Worship (1989)

Words (circa 1939) by Gerald Hamilton Kennedy (1907-1980), a U.S. Methodist bishop from 1948 and a United Methodist bishop from 1968

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1.  God of love and God of power,

grant us in this burning hour

grace to ask these gifts of thee,

daring hearts and spirits free.

God of love and God of power,

thou hast called us for this hour.

2.  We are not the first to be

banished by our fears from thee;

give us courage, let us hear

heaven’s trumpets ringing clear.

God of love and God of power,

thou hast called us for this hour.

3.  All our lives belong to thee,

thou our final loyalty;

slaves are we whene’er we share

that devotion anywhere.

God of love and God of power,

thou hast called us for this hour.

4.  God of love and God of power,

make us worthy of this hour;

offering lives if it’s thy will,

keeping free our spirits still.

God of love and God of power,

thou has called us for this hour.

To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord   6 comments

Above:  Christ Carrying the Cross, by El Greco

Image Source = Wikipedia

Hymn Source = The United Methodist Hymnal:  Book of United Methodist Worship (1989)

Words (1972) by Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000), British Methodist minister

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1.  To mock your reign, O dearest Lord, they made a crown of thorns;

set you with taunts along that road from which no one returns.

They could not know, as we do now, how glorious is that crown;

that thorns would flower upon your brow, your sorrows heal our own.

2.  In mock acclaim, O gracious Lord, they snatched a purple cloak;

your passion turned, for all they cared, into a soldier’s joke.

They could not know, as we do now, that though we merit blame,

you will your robe of mercy throw around our naked shame.

3.  A sceptered reed, O patient Lord, they thrust into your hand,

and acted out their grim charade to is appointed end.

They could not know, as we do now, though empires rise and fall,

your kingdom shall not cease to grow till love embraces all.