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

1 comment:

AuntE said...

The title for your post caught my eye, CWS. (As an aside, I do like the way you choose a line from the hymn as a title, and especially that it's often further down in the hymn.) I was quite pleased to realize on Fri. night that the sky still had some blue in it after 9 p.m. These long days are one of the joys of enduring a cold winter! By the time June 21st rolls around, there'll be light in the sky well after 11 p.m.!

Our God is an awesome God. The creation reveals the genius of the Creator!