Sunday, June 9, 2013

Before Thy Mercy Seat

In honor of the anniversary of the consecration of my own church's current building (June 9, 1930). we have today a hymn of dedication.  Unfortunateky, we do not know what hymns they sang on that day.  One possibility might have been Christ is made the sure foundation (sung to the well-known tune REGENT SQUARE), but the parish at that time considered itself rather "high church," and unfortunately the more likely possibility from their hymnal of that time (Christ is our Cornerstone) does not have an available sound file for the tune they would have sung.

Thou, whose unmeasured temple stands,
Built over earth and sea,
Accept these walls that human hands
Have raised, O God, to thee.

And let the Comforter and Friend,
Thy Holy Spirit, meet 
With those who here in worship bend
Before thy mercy seat.

May all who seek be guided here
To find the better way;
And they who mourn, and they who fear,
Be strengthened as they pray.

May faith grow firm, and love grow warm,
And pure devotion rise,
While 'round these hallowed walls the storm
Of earth-born sorrow dies.

William Cullen Bryant, 1820; alt.
Tune: ST. FULBERT (C.M.)
Henry J. Gauntlett, 1849

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