Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Feast of Pentecost

Joy! because the circling year
Brings its day of blessings here,
Day when first the light divine
On the church began to shine.

Like to quiv'ring tongues of flame,
Onto each the Spirit came:
Tongues, that earth might hear their call,
Fire, that love might burn in all.

So the wondrous works of God
Wondrously were spread abroad;
Ev'ry tribe's familiar tone
Made the glorious marvel known.

Hardened scoffers heard and jeered;
List'ning strangers heard and feared,
Knew the prophets' word fulfilled,
Owned the work which God had willed.

May your Spirit's pow'r restored
On your waiting Church be poured;
Grant our burdened hearts release,
Grant us your abiding peace.

Latin, 8th c.; tr. John Ellerton and F.J.A. Hart, 1871; alt.
Tune: SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT ( with Alleluia)
Bohemian Brothers' Kirchengesang, 1566

I like hymns that start with an exclamation. Usually it's Lo! or Hark! but here's a different one: Joy! Perfect for a day of celebration like this one. There is another translation of the original Latin text in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 by Robert Campbell (#224 - Hail this joyful day's return) but I like this one much better.

The sound file you'll hear when you click on the tune link is a little sloooow for this text, but the one with the slightly better tempo at the Oremus Hymnal is unfortunately missing a note in the first line.

Then there's this version, which has to be heard to be believed (wait for the actual melody, which doesn't start until you hear the piano). Maybe a bit too peppy for your church (but maybe not?).

P.S. The illustration above is a woodcut by Gustave Dore.


June Butler said...

C.W.S, a joyful Pentecost to you. The Doré was used by the editors at Pharisaios with a caption.

The third version of the hymn is nearly incredible. Peppy, all right.

C.W.S. said...

Grandmere Mimi, I nearly went back to search for another illustration after I saw what the Wenchoster scamps had done, but I still like it a lot. Thanks for stopping by.