Archive for the ‘Afterlife’ Tag

O, Exalt and Praise the Lord   2 comments

Christ Enthroned in Heaven

Above:  Icon of Christ Enthroned in Heaven

Image in the Public Domain

Original German Text (1566) by Petrus Herbert (1530-1571)

English Translation (1789) by Frederick William Foster (1760-1835)

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


O, exalt and praise the Lord,

Laud His Name forevermore,

Gratefully with one accord,

With angels, Him adore;

Thank Him for the faithfulness

Wherewith He His witnesses,

Who in heaven are perfected,

Through great tribulation led.


Since we likewise may attain

To this happiness through grace,

And, by following Jesus, gain

With the saints in heaven a place;

May we tread the narrow path,

Not unfruitful in the faith,

And unto the end endure,

Making our election sure.


May we always have in view

The example of our Lord,

Faithfully His steps pursue,

Giving heed unto His word;

In our bodies, while we’ve breath,

May we bear about His death,

That His life may even here

In our mortal flesh appear.


Let us call to mind, with joy,

Those who have before us gone,

Who obtained the victory

Through the blood of Christ alone;

That we all may zealously

Imitate their constancy,

Till we too the prize receive,

And with them in glory live.

Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep   3 comments


Above:  Country Churchyard, Monona County, Iowa, 1940

Photographer = John Vachon (1914-1975)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USF34-060720-D

Text (1832) by Margaret Mackay (1802-1887)

Hymn Source = William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America

Margaret Mackay wrote more hymns than this one, but “Asleep in Jesus” is the most popular of her works of that genre.  (I had to consult obscure and long out-of-print sources at to find other hymns she wrote.)  This hymn debuted in The Amethyst; or Christian’s Annual (1832).  She composed the text after visiting a rural cemetery, that of Pennycross Chapel, or the Chapel of St. Pancras, in Devonshire, England.

Seldom does a hymnal contain all six stanzas.  I have a collection of hymnals old and recent (mostly old).  Usually, when I found this hymn, I found four stanzas–not always the same ones.  Occasionally I located five stanzas on a page.  I had to resort to a hymnal companion volume to find all six stanzas.


Asleep in Jesus! Blessed sleep,

From which none ever wakes to weep;

A calm and undisturbed repose,

Unbroken by the land of woes.


Asleep in Jesus! Oh, how sweet

To be for such a slumber meet,

With holy confidence to sing

That death has lost his venomed sting!


Asleep in Jesus! Peaceful rest,

Whose waking is supremely blest;

No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour

That manifests the Saviour’s power.


Asleep in Jesus! Oh, for me

May such a blissful refuge be!

Securely shall my ashes lie

And wait the summons from on high.


Asleep in Jesus! Time nor space

Debars this precious “hiding-place”;

On Indian plains or Lapland snows

Believers find the same repose.


Asleep in Jesus! Far from Thee

Thy kindred and their graves may be;

But there is still a blessed sleep,

From which none ever wakes to weep.


One Radiant Morn the Mists Will All Surrender   1 comment

Mountain Morning

Above:  Mountain Morning

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Concordia Hymnal:  A Hymnal for Church, School and Home (1932), Norwegian-American Lutheran

Original Words by Wilhelm Andreas Wexels (1797-1866)

English Translation (1931) by Oscar R. Overby (1892-1964)


1.  One radiant morn the mists will all surrender,

And life’s uncertain shadows pass away;

When light celestial breaks in dazzling splendor

To lead my step into eternal day.

2.  One radiant morn the mysteries I ponder,

And leave unsolved on all my quests abroad,

Shall be construed for me in fullness yonder

When I awake to sense the ways of God.

3.  One radiant morn when hearts bowed down in sorrow

Are comforted and reconciled above,

All pain and tears I here in anguish borrow

Shall be dissolved in fountain-rays of love.

4.  One radiant morn with eyes unveiled before Him,

I’ll see the One my faith and hope embrace;

Within the holy realms I’ll praise, adore Him,

And kneel to thank my Savior face to face.

5.  One radiant morn when sinless souls assemble,

Where each desire is born in purity,

No more the thought of wrong shall make me tremble,

But, ransomed, I shall live forever free.

6.  One radiant morn in halls of home supernal,

I’ll meet again the friend I here esteem,

In glory speak with him of life eternal,

And of the life that vanished like a dream.

7.  O Jesus, stir within my heart of sadness

This vision fair whene’er I grieve forlorn,

That it may turn all bitter tears to gladness,

And lead my spirit to that radiant morn.

Some Day, I Know   3 comments

Cathedral Ruins

Above:  Cathedral Ruins

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Hymnal for Church and Home (1938), Danish Evangelical Lutheran Synods in America

Original Text by Wilhelm Andreas Wexels (1797-1866)

English Translation by Soren Damsgaard Rodholm (1877-1951)


1.  Some day, I know, the mist that is veiling

Shall roll away and darkness disappear

Before the day with radiance never failing,

On which my path shall lie before me clear.

2.  Some day, I know, all mysteries perplexing,

Which here I never quite could understand,

With all my problems yet unsolved and vexing,

Shall be revealed, and I shall see God’s hand.

3.  Some day, I know, all sorrow shall have vanished,

All wounds be healed and ev’ry want supplied.

All tears shall cease, all sighs for aye be banished;

In love’s embrace all unrest shall subside.

4.  Some day, I know, I shall appear before Him

Whom here I hold in love’s and faith’s embrace.

Shall humbly kneel and gratefully adore Him,

And with mine eyes behold Him face to face.

5.  Some day, I know, for sin no longer slaving,

Each tho’t and word and deed unstained and pure,

I shall not even fear a sinful craving

My purity and bliss might e’er obscure.

6.  Some day, I know, in yonder realms of glory,

I, with the friend I found while on the way,

Shall speak of that new life and tell the story

Of this old life, dimmed like a dream by day.

7. My Savior, give my heart this sweet conviction

Each time the way seems long and full of pain,

That it may lighten ev’ry deep affliction

And cause a smile to shine through tears again.

Lord Jesus Christ, My Life, My Light   3 comments


Above:  Christ the Merciful

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Lutheran Hymnary (1935), Norwegian Lutheran Church of America/The Evangelical Lutheran Church

Original German Words (1610) by Martin Behm (1557-1622)

English Translation (1858) by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)


1.  Lord Jesus Christ, my life, my light,

My strength by day, my trust by night,

On earth I’m but a passing guest,

And sorely with my sins oppressed.

2.  Far off I see my fatherland,

Where through Thy grace I hope to stand,

But ere I reach that paradise,

A weary way before me lies.

3.  My heart sinks at the journey’s length,

My wasted flesh has little strength,

Only my soul still cries in me,

Lord, fetch me home, take me to Thee!

4.  O let Thy sufferings give me power

To meet the last and darkest hour;

Thy cross the staff whereon I lean,

My couch the grace where Thou hast been.

5.  Since Thou hast died, the pure, the just,

I take my homeward way in trust,

The gates of heaven, Lord, open wide,

When here I may no more abide.

6.  And when the last great day is come,

And Thou, our Judge, shalt speak the doom,

Let me with joy behold the light,

And set me then upon Thy right.

7.  Renew this wasted flesh of mine,

That like the sun it there may shine,

Among the angels pure and bright,

Yea, like Thyself in glorious light.

8.  Ah, then I have my heart’s desire,

When singing with the angels’ choir,

Among the ransomed of Thy grace,

For ever I behold Thy face!

Saviour, Blessed Saviour, Listen While We Sing   1 comment

Above:  Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, May 13, 2012 

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta


Hymn Source = The New Psalms and Hymns (1901), of the Presbyterian Church of the United States (1861-1983)

Words (1862) by Godfrey Thring, a priest of The Church of England


1.  Saviour, blessed Saviour,

Listen while we sing,

Hearts and voices raising

Praises to our King;

All we have we offer;

All we hope to be,

Body, soul, and spirit,

All we yield to Thee.

2.  Nearer, ever nearer,

Christ, we draw to Thee,

Deep in adoration

Bending low the knee;

Thou for our redemption

Cam’st on earth to die;

Thou, that we might follow,

Hast gone up on high.

3.  Great, and ever greater

Are Thy mercies here,

True and everlasting

Are the glories there;

Where no pain nor sorrow,

Toil nor care is known,

Where the angel legions

Circle round Thy throne.

4.  Brighter still, and brighter,

Glows the western sun,

Shedding all its gladness

O’er our work that’s done;

Time will soon be over,

Toil and sorrow past,

May we, blessed Saviour,

Find a rest at last!

5.  Onward, ever onward,

Journeying o’er the road

Worn by saints before us,

Journeying on to God!

Leaving all behind us,

May we hasten on,

Backward never looking

Till the prize is won.

6.  Higher, then, and higher,

Bear the ransomed soul,

Earthly toils forgetting,

Saviour, to its goal;

Where in joys unthought of

Saints with angels sing,

Never weary, raising

Praises to their King.

I Heard a Sound of Voices   1 comment

Above:  The Vision of John of Patmos

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Hymnal (1911), the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1869-1958)

Words (1886) by Godfrey Thring (1823-1903), a priest of The Church of England


1.  I heard a sound of voice

Around the great white throne,

With harpers harping on their harps

To Him who sat thereon;

“Salvation, glory, honor,”

I heard the song arise,

As through the courts of heaven it rolled

In wondrous harmonies.

2.  From every clime and kindred,

And nations from afar,

As serried ranks returning home

In triumph from a war,

I heard the saints upraising

The myriad hosts among,

In praise of Him who died, and lives,

Their one triumph song.

3.  I saw the holy city,

The New Jerusalem,

Come down from heaven a Bride adorned

With jeweled diadem:

And there His servants serve Him,

And, life’s long battle o’er,

Enthroned with Him, their Saviour, King,

They reign for evermore.

4.  O Lamb of God who reignest,

Thou Bright and Morning Star,

Whose glory lightens that new earth

Which now we see from afar;

O worthy Judge Eternal,

When Thou dost bid us come,

Then open wide the gates of pearl,

And call Thy servants home.

Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing   1 comment

Above:  Diocesan Confirmation, Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, April 29, 2012

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta


Hymn Source = The New Psalms and Hymns (1901), of the Presbyterian Church in the United States

Words (1773), by the Reverend John Fawcett (1740-1817), English Baptist


1.  Lord, dismiss us with Thy blessing;

Fill our hearts with joy and peace,

Let us each Thy love possessing

Triumph in redeeming grace

O refresh us,

Trav’ling thro’ this wilderness.

2.  Thanks we give and adoration

For Thy Gospel’s joyful sound;

May the fruits of Thy salvation

In our hearts and lives abound;

Ever faithful

To the truth may we be found!

3.  So, when’er the signal’s given

Us from earth to call away,

Borne on angel’s wings to heaven,

Glad the summons to obey,

May we ready

Rise, and reign in endless day.


Another Hymn With the Same Name:


O Paradise! O Paradise!   1 comment

Above:  Diocesan Confirmation, Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, April 29, 2012

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta


Words (1862) by Frederick W. Faber (1814-1863)

Hymn Source = The Church Hymnal (1935), of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ


1.  O Paradise, O Paradise,

Who doth not crave for rest?

Who would not seek the happy land

Where they that love are blest?


Where loyal hearts and true

Stand ever in the light,

All rapture, thro’ and thro’,

In God’s most holy sight.

2.  O Paradise, O Paradise,

‘Tis weary waiting here;

I long to be where Jesus is,

To feel, to see him near;


3.  O Paradise, O Paradise,

I want to sin no more,

I want be as pure on earth

As on thy spotless shore;


4.  O Paradise, O Paradise,

I greatly long to see

The special place my dearest Lord

Is destining for me,


5.  Lord Jesus, King of Paradise,

Oh, keep me in thy love,

And guide me to that happy land

Of perfect rest above;