Sunday, March 1, 2015
It's already the second Sunday in Lent and you may find that the hymns in your church this season are a little more dreary. Not all hymns for the season are like that but many are, especially, it seems, the Lenten hymns that have survived in most hymnals.
Some churches choose to emphasize the example of Christ's whole life on earth, his teaching and his acts of mercy and healing, during Lent rather than on the stricter themes of penitence and sacrifice. Of course, there are many hymns that go along with these ideas. I found today's hymn in the Lenten section of an Episcopal children's collection, Hymnal with Music for Children (1887) and tracked down a more complete version of the text, choosing five of the several stanzas.
Sing of Jesus, sing forever
Of the love that changes never;
Who, or what from Christ can sever
Those he makes his own?
Jesus, with his love has bought us;
When we knew him not, he sought us,
And from all our wand’rings brought us;
His the praise alone.
Though we pass through tribulation,
Christ will be our consolation,
Ours will be a full salvation;
All will then be well.
Through the desert Jesus leads us,
With the bread of heaven feeds us,
And through all the way he speeds us
To our home above.
There the saints have lasting treasure,
There they sing with endless pleasure,
There their joy will know no measure,
In that final day.
Thomas Kelly, 1814; alt.
Tune: ACCLAIM (18.104.22.168.)
German melody, 19th cent.
Four Years Ago: Saint David
Six Years Ago: Thirsting for a living spring