Monday, April 26, 2010

Horatio R. Palmer

Horatio Richmond Palmer (April 26, 1834 - November 15, 1907) was born in upstate New York, where he first sang at age seven in the church choir his father conducted. He later lived in the town of Rushford, where he first attended, then taught at the Rushford Academy of Music.

He later lived in Chicago and New York City, where he directed church choirs in addition to teaching and composing music. He wrote some texts also, but mostly tunes. He reportedly edited about fifty collections of hymns and gospel songs, including The Standard (1872) and Palmer's Songs of Love for the Bible School (1874), and also wrote popular textbooks on music instruction.

Under his leadership, the Church Choral Union, a federation of church choir singers in New York City drawn from more than two hundred congregations. Palmer supervised the teaching of music classes to the members. One of their combined concerts at the original Madison Square Garden featured a choir of nearly four thousand singers. The Choral Union then became the title of a popular 1884 book of music instruction by Palmer (subtitled An Improved Text Book in the First Principles of Singing). The Church Choral Union expanded to other cities around the country as well.

This song with a tune by Palmer is still remembered by many, and surely still sung. It begins with a story from Mark 4:35-41, of the disciples caught in a tempest at sea, then broadens the theme to our own lives, challenged by the metaphorical storms we face. Author Mary Ann Baker was a Sunday School teacher at the Second Baptist Church in Chicago when Palmer was the music director there, and he asked her to write some song texts based on her lessons.

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’erclouded with shadow,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest thou not that we perish?
How canst thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threatening
A grave in the angry deep?

The winds and the waves shall obey thy will,
Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea,
Or sorrows or fears, or whatever it be
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Ruler of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey thy will,
Peace, peace, be still!

Jesus, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of fear and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Savior,
Oh, hasten, and take control.

Jesus, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast;
Linger, O blessèd Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

Mary A. Baker, 1874; alt.
PEACE, BE STILL (Irregular with refrain)
Horatio R. Palmer, 1874

George C. Stebbins wrote of Palmer in his Reminiscences and Gospel Hymn Stories (1924):

His was a magnetic personality that enabled him to impart his enthusiasm to choruses. What a pleasure it always was to meet him! How his keen eyes and earnest, smiling expression held you as with a grip and left you with a feeling akin to his own enthusiasm.

P.S. The painting below, Jesus Stilling the Tempest (Jésus calmant la tempête) is by the French watercolor artist James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836 - 1902).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Safe By Thy Side I Go

The Fourth Sunday of Easter, as we have observed before, is also called Good Shepherd Sunday in some traditions. Psalm 23, undoubtedly the best known and best-loved of all the one hundred-fifty Psalms is always among the readings, as are other scripture lessons that use this metaphor for Jesus.

There are surely many hymns that speak of Jesus as a Shepherd tending a flock, and a good subset of these are actual paraphrases of Psalm 23. We have already seen four different ones of these over the last three years, and here is one more. I don't think we will run out of them for quite a while.

Thou art my Shepherd,
Caring in every need,
Thy loving lamb to feed,
Trusting thee still.
In the green pastures low,
Where living waters flow,
Safe by thy side I go,
Fearing no ill.

Or if my way lie
Where storms are raging nigh,
Nothing can terrify,
I trust thee still.
How can I be afraid,
While softly on my head
Thy tender hand is laid?
I fear no ill.

Goodness and mercy
Ever shall follow me,
Till by thy grace I see
Thy holy hill;
Christ, in that home with thee,
Joyful eternally,
Folded thy flock shall be,
Safe from all ill.

Elsie Thalheimer, c. 1866
st. 3, Margaret S. Haycraft; alt.
Thuringian folk tune,
arr.John Baptist Cramer, 19th cent.

One Year Ago: Saint Mark

Another Birthday Today: John Keble

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Georgia Harkness

Methodist theologian and hymnwriter Georgia Elma Harkness was born today in 1891. After graduating from Cornell University in 1912 she taught school for a few years before entering graduate studies in religion at Boston University. She was ordained in the Methodist Church in 1926, but women were not given full clergy privileges and responsibilities until 1956.

She became the first woman professor of theology at a major seminary, first at Garrett Biblical Institute in 1940 and then at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. She also accepted visiting professorships in Japan and the Philippines.

Harkness was a prolific writer, publishing more than thirty books, the last published posthumously after her death in 1974. Three of those books were poetry, and included some of her hymns. In 1954 she wrote her most well-known hymn, Hope of the world, which was the winning entry in a contest sponsored by the Hymn Society of America, for a hymn to be sung that year at the opening service of the World Council of Churches (an organization that Harkness had helped found). Hope of the world was included in many hymnals published over the next forty years; it's likely to be in your own church's hymnal.

Harkness's hymns were written on a variety of subjects. Hope of the world is a hymn of social justice, perhaps illustrating a quote from her that "it is easier to praise Jesus than to follow him." At the 2008 Hymn Society Conference, we sang a number of her less-familiar hymns, including one on the subject of recovery from depression. Harkness herself went through a long period of depression in the early 1940s, after a period of illness and isolation. In 1944 her pastor introduced her to another member of their congregation, a musician named Verna Miller. The two women moved in together and remained together until Harkness died thirty years later. After Harkness retired from the Pacific School of Religion, she and Miller wanted to move into a retirement residence in nearby Claremont but were denied, so they bought the house next door and were fully part of the social circle of the other retirees.

Her books were out of print for many years but a new collection of her early essays was published last month, Georgia Harkness: the Remaking of a Liberal Theologian.

One Year Ago: Reginald Heber

Two Years Ago: Saint Anselm

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Days of Lengthening Light

It's probably not that common to sing two hymns with tunes by the same composer in the same worship service unless it's an intentional choice. It happened today in my church, apparently by coincidence, but, as noted here before, Arthur Sullivan did write four different hymn tunes commonly used for Easter texts. We sang the two most common, LUX EOI and ST. KEVIN, but this one is in our hymnal too.

"Welcome, happy morning!"
Age to age shall say:
Hell today is vanquished,
Heav'n is won today!
Lo! the dead is living,
Christ for evermore!
Thou their true Creator,
all thy works adore!

"Welcome, happy morning!"
Age to age shall say!

Earth her joy confesses,
Clothing her for spring,
All fresh gifts returning
On the morning's wing:
Bloom in every meadow,
Leaves on every bough,
Speak thy sorrow ended,
Hail thy triumph now.

Months in due succession,
Days of lengthening light,
Hours and passing moments
Praise thee in their flight.
Brightness of the morning,
sky and fields and sea,
Vanquisher of sadness,
bring their praise to thee.

Thou, of life the Author,
Death didst undergo,
Tread the path of weakness,
Saving strength to show;
Come then, true and faithful,
Now fulfill thy word,
'Tis thine own third morning!
Rise, to life restored!

Loose the souls long prisoned,
bound with sorrow's chain;
All that now is fallen
Rise to life again;
Show thy face in glory,
Bid the nations see;
Bring again our daylight:
Day returns with thee!

Venantius Honorius Fortunatus, 6th cent,
tr. John Ellerton, 1868; alt.
FORTUNATUS ( with refrain)
Arthur S. Sullivan, 1872

This text appears in several other hymnals to the tune HERMAS, the most well-known tune written by Frances Ridley Havergal, which is also a good match (it doesn't use the refrain).

Sullivan's fourth Eastertide tune, RESURREXIT, has not lasted as well, though I'm sure there have been services somewhere which used all four

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Earth Awakes From Winter’s Gloom

Easter hymns and songs often incorporate the theme of renewal alongside resurrection, and use the imagery of spring. We see one of these texts today, by Grant Colfax Tullar, but in this case, the tune holds some interest (!) all its own.

The music of our worship encompasses a broad range of types and styles. Here on this blog we have focused on the music of Western Christianity, from plainsong chant through psalm tunes, developing into the standard four-part hymn tunes, from Sunday school songs developing into the gospel song style. We're all familiar with the contemporary style of song that many churches use today, not really covered here, partly because of copyright issues and also because I'd rather focus on things I like than complain about things I don't.

But I think that perhaps there has always been a contemporary strain of worship music that some people liked and some people didn't. Certainly, some tunes over the years have been criticized because they came from secular sources, such as those adapted from opera arias and ensembles. Not too far from these were melodies from the works of composers such as Mendelssohn, Handel, and Haydn (back then, they weren't "classical" yet), but we sing more of those today than we do the opera tunes. Also, one of the most widespread criticisms (or insults) made against some hymn tunes is that they were originally drinking-songs (often said, rightly or wrongly, about German tunes).

This song first appeared in Sunday School Hymns No. 1, published by the Tullar-Meredith company in 1903. The tune is very much of its time, and may sound a little unusual to us . With my uneducated musical ear, I wouldn't exactly call it ragtime, but there does seem to be a hint of Scott Joplin.

Morning light was dawning o’er the distant hills,
Banished was the midnight gloom;
Silently the angels clad in bright array
Came to guard the dear Redeemer’s tomb.
Soldiers were affrighted and in terror fled,
While the angels roll the stone away.
Then with joy proclaiming, “Jesus Christ is ris’n”
“See the place where once the Savior lay.”

Joy dispels our sorrow -- pleasures banish pain—
Earth awakes from winter’s gloom;
Easter anthems ringing tell the joyful news
“Christ is risen from the tomb.”

Loving ones who sought him at the break of day,
Found the angels waiting there;
Joy dispelled their sorrow -- fear gave way to faith—
Hope succeeded all their deep despair.
For the angels told them, “Jesus is not here,”
But had surely risen as he said.
Then with eager footsteps joyfully they tell
How that Christ had risen from the dead.

Easter tells its gladness all the year around—
Happy birds their tribute bring;
Fragrant flowers blooming after winter days
Speak to us the joys of coming spring.
Earthly pleasures vanish, flowers soon shall fade,
But the joy of Easter shall endure.
Hope of resurrection never shall grow dim
While the Word of God abideth sure.

Grant Colfax Tullar, 1903; alt.
Tune: AWAKENING (Irregular with refrain)
Joseph Lerman, 1903

Joseph Lerman was the music editor at Tullar-Meredith and composed many tunes for their hymnals and songbooks, but if much of his music was in this style, it's not surprising that we don't know it today. But it's fun to hear once in a while.

Two Years Ago:
Christopher Smart

Friday, April 9, 2010

Jane Laurie Borthwick

Jane Laurie Borthwick was born on this date in Edinburgh in 1813. Like her contemporaries Catherine Winkworth and Frances Cox, she is known today for her translations of Lutheran hymns from the German.

Borthwick's family belonged to the Free Church of Scotland, and she apparently became interested in German-language hymns during a trip to Switzerland, where a friend suggested that she try translating them. After returning to Scotland, her father also encouraged that idea. Jane and her sister, Sarah Borthwick Findlater, worked over the next several years and eventually brought out four volumes titled Hymns From the Land of Luther between 1854 and 1862. The total number of translated hymns was 122; 69 by Jane.

This Borthwick translation of a text by Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf first appeared in The Free Church Magazine in 1846, and was slightly revised for the first volume of Hymns From the Land of Luther.

Jesus, still lead on,
Till our rest be won,
And, although the way be cheerless,
We will follow calm and fearless,
Guide us by your hand
To your promised land.

If the way be drear,
If the foe be near,
Let no faithless fears o’ertake us,
Let not faith and hope forsake us,
For through many a woe
To our home we go.

When we seek relief
From a long felt grief;
When temptations come alluring,
Make us patient and enduring;
Show us that bright shore
Where we weep no more.

Jesus, still lead on,
Till our rest be won;
Heavenly Leader, still direct us,
Still support, control, protect us,
Till we safely stand
In your promised land.

Nicholas von Zinzendorf, 1721
tr. Jane Laurie Borthwick, 1846; alt.
Adam Drese, 1698

The four volumes of translated texts were attributed to "H.L.L.," a pseudonym shared by the sisters. Borthwick also published other books of poetry and original hymn texts as well as books of religious instruction for children as H.L.L. She was apparently quite unhappy when her real identity was revealed by hymn compiler Charles Rogers in Lyra Britanica, a Collection of British Hymns (1867).

Her most famous translation today is certainly Be still, my soul, which became much more popular after 1933 when it was first matched with the tune FINLANDIA, which was adapted from a portion of the instrumental tone poem of the same name by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Her most known original text may be one we have already seen here: Come, labor on.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

William Augustus Muhlenberg

Episcopal priest and occasional hymnwriter William Augustus Muhlenberg (September 16, 1796 - April 8, 1877) is honored today on that church's calendar. He was ordained in 1820 and shortly thereafter was named to the committee which produced the third Episcopal hymnal in 1826. (Rather than downloading that book, you can also see its contents listed at the Oremus Hymnal site, which links to the texts of each of the hymns).

Muhlenberg moved to New York City in the 1840s, when be became rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, and oversaw the construction of the church building at Sixth Avenue and 20th Street. Around this time he met Anne Ayres, who wished to pursue a religious life. As there were no established religious orders for women in the Episcopal Church at that time, he named her a "sister of the Holy Communion" and began to think and write about the possibility of creating such an order. In 1852, the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion was officially established, with Anne Ayres as its head (as of this year, Ayres is also commemorated on this day).

The Sisterhood was instrumental in Muhlenburg's next great project, the founding of St. Luke's Hospital, which he had been planning since 1846. The first patients were admitted on Ascension Day, 1858 to the new facility, only the third hospital in New York City at that time. The Sisterhood was primarily responsible for patient care. The Alumni Association of the St. Luke's School of Nursing, which was established in later years, when professional nurses replaced the Sisters, has an interesting history of the founding of the hospital at their website (our commenter Dorothy is a graduate of that school).

This hymn was written by Muhlenberg in 1859, to be sung at the reception of a new Sister. While we would find it somewhat dated today (as, indeed, are most of his other hymns), I think it is interesting historically.

Thine handmaid, Savior! can it be?
Such honor dost thou put on me?
To wait on thee, do thy commands,
The works once hallowed by thy hands?

Daily thy mercy paths to go,
Bearing thy balm for every woe;
Thy sick and weary ones to cheer,
Bid them thy words of pity hear;

Parting with earth thy cross to bear,
Content thy poverty to share,
Rich in thy love, thou blessed Lord,
This life to me dost thou accord?

Oh, marvellous grace -- yea, even so!
The call I heard, 'twas thine I know,
"Come follow me," the heavenly voice,
How could it but constrain my choice!

Ny heart's free choice, yet bound by thee;
Thrice welcome, sweet captivity,
My soul and all its powers to fill
With love of thee and thy dear will!

Lord, give but light to show the way,
Strength from thyself to be my stay,
Grace, always -- grace to feel thee nigh --
Thine handmaid then, I live and die.

William A. Muhlenberg, 1859
Lowell Mason, 1830

While I don't know what tune they sang this hymn to, UXBRIDGE by Lowell Mason appeared in many nineteenth century hymnals (and even some modern ones) and would have been known by Muhlenberg and his church.

Anne Ayres wrote and published The Life and Work of William Augustus Muhlenberg in 1880, following her retirement as director of the nursing and housekeeping department of St. Luke's.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Calvin Weiss Laufer

Presbyterian minister and hymnographer Calvin Weiss Laufer was born today in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania in 1874. Following his graduation from Union Seminary in 1900 he was ordained into the Presbyterian ministry and led congregations in New York and New Jersey for several years.

Laufer had a generally cheerful outlook on his Christian life, and his first two books, Key-Notes of Optimism (1911) and The Incomparable Christ (1914) expressed that viewpoint. A review of the first book spoke of the "crisp and stirring note in these sermonettes which is well calculated to rouse the mind of readers and banish dejection." His books were popular in their time but today are seen as somewhat superficial.

He later began to work with the Presbyterian Board of Christian Education and became its editor of musical publications, producing books such as The Junior Church School Hymnal (1927), The Church School Hymnal for Youth (1928) and When the Little Child Wants to Sing (1935). He was also the associate editor of the Presbyterian Hymnal of 1933, a very popular book which was used in many churches for more than fifty years.

In 1932, his book Hymn Lore was published, which contained the stories of fifty hymns from The Church School Hymnal for Youth, with information about their writers and composers (much like this blog). He chose a broad range of hymns, some quite modern and others well-known and loved for centuries. Several of them were by his mentor and friend Louis F. Benson, who had edited the Presbyterian Hymnal of 1895 and its 1911 revision (and also wrote The Best Church Hymns). In the preface to Hymn Lore, Laufer wrote:

To live with hymns and to make them one's own is the only sure way of appreciating their literary beauty and spiritual power. (...) That the reading and singing of hymns may become less mechanical, more thoughtful and intelligent, and emotionally more effective, this volume is released to the public.

Laufer wrote both hymn texts and tunes himself, most of which first appeared in the books he edited but also had some life outside Presbyterian circles. This tune was written while Laufer was attending a conference in Kansas, though with no particular text in mind. Not long after, he hummed it to a friend, William H. Foulkes, who then wrote the text Take thou our minds, dear Lord. The tune suits this communion text as well, I think.

Here at thy table, Christ, this sacred hour,
O let us feel thee near, in loving power,
Calling our thoughts away from grief and sin
As to thy banquet hall we enter in.

Sit at the feast, dear Friend, break thou the bread;
Fill thou the cup that our souls shall be fed;
That we may find in thee pardon and peace,
And from all bondage win a full release.

So shall our life of faith be full, be sweet;
And we shall find our strength for each day meet;
Fed by thy living bread, all hunger past,
We shall be satisfied, and saved at last.

Come then, O holy Christ, feed us, we pray;
Touch with thy piercèd hand each common day;
Making this earthly life full of thy grace,
Till in the home of heaven we find our place.

May Pierpont Hoyt,19th cent.;alt.
Calvin W. Laufer, 1918

Laufer's tune was originally called STONY BROOK, but he changed it to honor a friend, William Ralph Hall. Little is known about the writer May Pierpont Hoyt. Her text is generally sung to the tune BREAD OF LIFE by William F. Sherwin, but since that tune is more known with Break thou the Bread of life, this text could use a different one.

Two Years Ago: Calvin Weiss Laufer

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

In some traditions, the word Alleluia is not spoken during worship in Lent, making its return on Easter Sunday more significant. Easter hymns are therefore full of Alleluias, making up for lost time, so to speak (or sing). This one begins and ends with a triple Alleluia (actually, four in a row at the end).

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The strife is o'er, the battle done,
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun.

The powers of death have done their worst,
But Christ their legions hath dispersed:
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.

The three sad days are quickly sped,
Christ rises glorious from the dead:
All glory to our risen Head!

Christ closed the yawning gates of hell,
The bars from heaven's high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise his triumphs tell!

Christ! by the stripes which wounded thee,
From death's dread sting thy servants free,
That we may live and sing to thee.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Latin, 17th cent.
tr. Francis Pott, 1859; alt.
VICTORY (8.8.8. with Alleluias)
Giovanni da Palestrina, 1591
adapt. William H. Monk, 1861

This hymn which will be sung in many places today comes to us from a Latin Jesuit hymn printed in Symphonia Sirenum Selectarum (1695), though some sources claim it dates back as far as the twelfth century. The first Latin stanza was:

Finita jam sunt praelia,
Est parta jam victoria;
Gaudeamus et canamus,

John Mason Neale translated this text for one of his collections as:

Finished is the battle now;
The crown is on the Victor's brow!
Hence with sadness, sing with gladness,

and though he may have followed the rhythm and rhyme scheme better, I think everyone agrees that Francis Pott came up with the better verse in this case.

William H. Monk, in his capacity as musical editor of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861), derived this tune for this text from a section of a longer choral work by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, probably the finest Italian composer of the sixteenth century. From the final Gloria Patri section of Palestrina's Magnificat tertii toni Monk took the first and second lines here, repeated the first line, and added the Alleluias. In some hymnals the triple Alleluia is used as a refrain, repeated after each stanza, but his intention was to use those only at the beginning and end. Maybe he thought that it was possible to sing too many Alleluias.

P.S. The Resurrection window above is from the Church of St. James the Lesser in the English village of Dorney, near Eton.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Holy Saturday

When Jesus was convicted
That tree of torture rose
To threaten all who loved him,
To reassure his foes.

Disciples feared the outcome
And left their friend alone,
Deserted by his followers,
Entombed behind a stone.

Three days they stayed in silence,
Denial, and despair;
The cross's shadow o'er them
Prevented even prayer.

Christ's rising in the morning
Went unobserved by all;
No witness to the glory,
But Mary heard his call.

She told the joyful story
To those who hid in fear;
Some said it could not happen,
And some refused to hear.

Then Jesus stood among them,
Their grieving hearts were thrilled;
Though many there had doubted,
His promise was fulfilled.

Though we, in bleakest hours,
May fear, and doubt our way,
This resurrection promise
Upholds us every day.

C.W.S., 2010
Melchior Vulpius, 1609
Text © 2010

Today is often a somber day in the church calendar, suspended between the Good Friday story of crucifixion and the joy we know that comes tomorrow on Easter. This time between is part of the story too, but the Gospels say almost nothing about it. We read that only one of the disciples remained with Jesus during his execution (only Luke says that the others “stood at a distance, watching”) and later, that they had hidden in fear for their own lives. Next week, Thomas gets held up as the bad example who didn't believe in the resurrection without seeing Jesus for himself, but in fact, none of them believed Mary Magdalene when she told them what she had seen. The time between Jesus' death and the joy and relief at his return must have been both grim and dispiriting for his friends.

There are hymns that deal with this in-between time (see below) but it seems to me that they are considered a bit old-fashioned in some circles. The liturgy of the Great Vigil of Easter has been gaining in popularity for this Saturday, and there is usually no place for these hymns there. That service goes back to the creation story, proceeding through the Old Testament stories of God's covenants, leading to the renewal of baptismal vows and jumping directly to the proclamation of Easter.

Being a bit old-fashioned myself, I think this time is still an important part of the story. Something struck me during the performance of the Passion story on Palm Sunday and the second stanza above came almost immediately.

The tune name CHRISTUS, DER IST MEIN LEBEN (Christ, you are my life) is certainly suited to these words as well as the tune itself, but I didn't write the text with it in mind. The German composer Melchior Vulpius is better known for a tune that will be sung in many churches tomorrow: GELOBT SEI GOTT. I've mentioned before my research into hymn tunes by women composers and there is one that would also work here called BESIDE THE CROSS, which first appeared in Hymns for the Children of the Church (1907) and probably nowhere else, credited only to a “Mrs. Strickland.” No sound file for us to hear, unfortunately.

The in-between time is nearly over. We know what happens next in the story -- come back tomorrow for the return of the word that hasn't been spoken for the last six weeks.

One Year Ago: Holy Saturday

Two Years Ago: Easter Eve

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
That we to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
’Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee!
I crucified thee.

For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
Think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

Johann Heerman, 1630
tr. Robert Bridges, 1899; alt.
Johann Cruger, 1640

P.S. The painting above is detail from The Ascent to Calvary by Jacopo Tintoretto (1566)

One Year Ago: Good Friday

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday

Thou, who at thy first Eucharist didst pray
That all thy Church might be forever one,
Grant us at ev’ry Eucharist to say
With longing heart and soul, “Thy will be done.”
O may we all one bread, one body be,
Through this blest sacrament of unity.

For all thy people, Christ, we intercede;
Make thou our sad divisions soon to cease;
Draw us the nearer each to each, we plead,
By drawing all to thee, O Prince of Peace;
Thus may we all one bread, one body be,
Through this blest sacrament of unity.

And so, at length when sacraments shall cease,
May we be one with all thy Church above,
One with thy saints in one unbroken peace,
One with thy saints in one unbounded love;
More blessèd still, in peace and love to be
One with the Trinity in Unity.

William H. Turton, 1881; alt.
SONG 1 (
Orlando Gibbons, 1633

One Year Ago: Maundy Thursday

Two Years Ago: Maundy Thursday