Archive for the ‘Unitarians and Universalists’ Category

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!   3 comments

the-church-militant-and-the-church-triumphant

Above:  The Church Triumphant and the Church Militant, by Andrea di Bonaiuto, at the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy

Image in the Public Domain

Text by Reginald Heber (1783-1826)

Text Source = The English Hymnal (1906), The Church of England

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Holy, Holy, Holy!  Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;

Holy, Holy Holy! Merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

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Holy Holy, Holy!  all the Saints adore thee,

Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

Cherubim and Seraphim falling down before thee,

Which, wert, and art, and evermore shall be.

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Holy, Holy, Holy!  though the darkness hide thee,

Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,

Only thou art holy, there is none beside thee

Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

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Holy, Holy, Holy!  Lord God Almighty!

All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;

Holy, Holy, Holy!  Merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

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SOME UNITARIAN VERSIONS OF THE HYMN

(FOR THE SAKE OF CURIOSITY, IF NOTHING ELSE)

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Hymn Sources = Hymns of the Spirit (1937), American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America; and Hymns for the Celebration of Life (1964), Unitarian Universalist Association

Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;

Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and Mighty!

Who wert, and art, and evermore shall be.

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Holy, holy, holy!  Though the darkness hide thee,

Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,

Only thou art holy, there is none beside thee

Perfect in power, in love and purity!

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Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!

All thy works shall praise thy name in earth, and sky, and sea;

Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and Mighty!

Who wert, and art, and evermore shall be.

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Hymn Source = Singing the Living Tradition (1993), Unitarian Universalist Association

Holy, holy, holy!  author of creation!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;

holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty;

who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

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Holy, holy, holy, though the darkness hide thee,

hindered by our vanities we have not eyes to see.

Only thou art holy, there is none beside thee,

perfect in power, in love, and purity.

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Holy, holy, holy!  author of creation!

All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;

holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty;

who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

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Might I state the obvious?  First, the irony of a staunchly Trinitarian hymn appearing in altered forms in Unitarian hymnals is rich.  Furthermore, “hindered by our vanities we have not eyes to see ” is substantially different from “though the sinful eye of man thy glory may not see.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 COMMON ERA

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The Glory of the Spring How Sweet!   1 comment

River in Mountains Spring Time

Above:  River in Mountains Spring

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches of America (1937), American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America

Text (1867) by Thomas Hornblower Gill (1819-1906)

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The glory of the spring how sweet!

The newborn life how glad!

What joy the happy earth to greet

In new, bright raiment clad!

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Divine Renewer, thee I bless;

I greet thy going forth;

I thee love in the loveliness

Of thy renewed earth.

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But O these wonders of thy grace,

These nobler works of thine,

These marvels sweeter far to trace,

These new births more divine,–

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These sinful souls thou hallowest,

These hearts thou makest new,

These mourning souls by thee made blest,

These faithless hearts made true!

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Creator Spirit, work in me

These wonders sweet of thine!

Divine Renewer, graciously

Renew this heart of mine!

Spirit of Truth, Who Makest Bright   1 comment

Light bulb in darkness

Above:  Lightbulb in Darkness

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Sources = Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches of America (1937), American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America, and Hymn and Tune Book for the Church and Home (Revised Edition) (1883), American Unitarian Association

Text (1860) by Thomas Hornblower Gill (1819-1906)

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Spirit of Truth, who makest bright

All souls that long for heav’nly light,

Appear, and on our darkness shine;

Descent, and be our Guide divine.

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Spirit of Power, whose might doth dwell

Full in the souls that love thee well,

Unto these fainting hearts draw near,

And be our daily Quickener.

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O tender Spirit, who dost mourn

Whene’er from thee thy people turn,

Give me each day to grieve thee less;

Enjoy my fuller faithfulness.

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Spirit of Joy, who makest glad

Each broken heart by sin made sad,

Pour on these mourning souls thy cheer;

Give us to bless our Comforter;

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Till thou shalt make us meet to bear

The sweetness of heaven’s holy air,

The light wherein no darkness is,

Th’eternal, overflowing bliss!

Our God, Our God, Thou Shinest Here   1 comment

Christ the King Jan Van Eyck

Above:  Christ the King, by Jan van Eyck

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches (1937), American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America

Text (1846) by Thomas Hornblower Gill (1819-1906)

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Our God, our God, thou shinest here,

Thine own this latter day;

To us thy radiant steps appear,

Here goes thy glorious way!

To us thy radiant steps appear,

Here goes thy glorious way!

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We shine not only with the light

Thou sheddest down of yore;

On us thou streamest strong and bright,

Thy comings are not o’er.

On us thou streamest strong and bright,

Thy comings are not o’er.

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The fathers had not all of thee,

New births are in thy grace;

All open to our souls shall be

Thy glory’s hiding-place.

All open to our souls shall be

Thy glory’s hiding-place.

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Thou comest near; thou standest by;

Our work begins to shine;

Thou dwellest with us mightily,–

On come the years divine!

Thou dwellest with us mightily,–

On come the years divine!

Lord God, By Whom All Change Is Wrought   1 comment

White Mountains Scenic

Above:  White Mountains Scenic

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches of America (1937), American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America

Text (1869) by Thomas Hornblower Gill (1819-1906)

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Lord God, by whom all change is wrought,

By whom new things to birth are brought,

In whom no change is known,

Whate’er thou dost, whate’er thou art,

Thy people still in thee have part,

Still, still, thou art our own.

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Spirit who makest all things new,

Thou leadest onward; we pursue

The heav’nly march sublime;

‘Neath thy renewing fire we glow,

And still from strength to strength we go,

From height to height we climb.

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Darkness and dread we leave behind;

New light, new glory, still we find,

New realms divine possess,

New births of grace raptures bring;

Triumphant the new song we sing,

The great Renewer bless.

I Walk Amidst Thy Beauty Forth   1 comment

Landscape Summer Lake

Above:  Landscape Summer Lake

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches of America (1937), American Unitarian Association and Unitarian Church of America

Text (1852) by Thomas Hornblower Gill (1819-1906)

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I walk amidst thy beauty forth,

My joy thy praise declares;

I bless thee with thy blooming earth,

I drink thy vernal airs.

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Those old eternal hills of thine,

What mighty cheer they breathe!

What fulness of delight divine

Thy solemn stars bequeath!

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Each wonder of thy hand still makes

My gladness fresh and strong;

The glory of my God still wakes

The glory of my song.

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When cheer and strength my heart doth lack,

Thy gladness makes me whole;

Amidst thy summer I win back

The summer of my soul.

Our Blest Redeemer, Ere He Breathed   2 comments

Pentecost Dove May 24, 2015

Above:  The Holy Spirit as a Dove

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor from a Church Bulletin, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, Pentecost 2015

Text (1829) by Harriet Auber (1773-1862)

Hymn Source = A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship (1830), American Unitarian Association

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Our blest Redeemer, ere he breathed

His tender, last farewell,

A Guide, a Comforter, bequeathed

With us to dwell.

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He came in tongues of living flame,

To teach, convince, subdue;

All powerful as the wind he came,

As viewless too.

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He came sweet influence to impart,

A gracious willing guest,

While he can find one humble heart

Wherein to rest.

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And his that gentle voice we hear,

Soft as the breath of even,

That checks each fault, that calms each fear,

And speaks of heaven.

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And every virtue we possess,

And every victory won,

And every thought of holiness,

Are his alone.

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Spirit of purity and grace,

Our weakness pitying see;

O make our hearts thy dwelling place,

And worthier thee.

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