Sunday, April 6, 2008

Calvin W. Laufer

Calvin Weiss Laufer was born on this day in 1874. After graduating from Union Seminary in 1900, he became a Presbyterian minister and later worked as the associate editor of the Presbyterian Hymnal of 1933. He wrote several hymns (both texts and tunes, sometimes together and sometimes separate), but this is the one I like best.

We thank thee, God, thy paths of service lead
To blazoned heights and down the slopes of need;
They reach thy throne, encompass land and sea,
And we who journey in them walk with thee.

We’ve sought and found thee in the secret place
And marveled at the radiance of thy face;
But often in some far off Galilee
Beheld thee fairer yet while serving thee.

We’ve felt thy touch in sorrow’s lonely way
Abound with love and solace for the day;
And, ’neath the burdens there, thy constancy
Has held our hearts enthralled while serving thee.

We’ve seen thy glory like a mantle spread
O’er hill and dale in saffron flame and red;
But in the eyes of all, redeemed and free,
A splendor greater yet while serving thee.

Calvin W. Laufer (text and tune), 1919; alt.
Tune: FIELD (

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