Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Feast of Christ the King

The liturgical year of the church ends today with this relatively new celebration (which you can read more about at the linked posts below) which only began in the Roman Catholic Church in 1925 before slowly spreading to some other denomnations.

Soon may the last glad song arise
Through all the millions of the skies,
That song of triumph which records
That all the earth is now the Lord’s.

Let thrones and powers and nations be
Obedient, Jesus Christ, to thee;
And over land and stream and main
Show forth the scepter of thy reign.

O let that glorious anthem swell,
Let host to host the triumph tell,
Till not one rebel heart remains,
But over all the Savior reigns!

Mrs. Vokes, 1816; alt.
Ca­thol­ische Geist­liche Ge­säsange, 1608

Regarding the nameless Mrs. Vokes, the comprehensive Dictionary of Hymnology (1892) by John Julian declares: A long correspondence has failed to elicit any information concerning this hymn-writer beyond the facts that the earliest work in which her hymns are found is A Selection of Missionary and Devotional Hymns, edited by the Rev. J. Griffin, a Congregational minister at Portsea, and published in 1797.

More recent scholarship suggests that 'Mrs. Vokes' was perhaps a pseudonym for the Anglican priest Bourne Hall Draper (1775 - 1843).

Four (Liturgical) Years Ago: The Feast of Christ the King

Four (Calendar) Years Ago: Mabel Johnston Camp

Two (Liturgical) Years Ago: The Feast of Christ the King

Thursday, November 22, 2012

We Owe Thee Thankfulness and Praise

O God of heaven and earth and sea,
To thee all praise and glory be;
How shall we show our love to thee,
Who givest all?

The golden sunshine, vernal air,
Sweet flow'rs and fruits, thy love declare;
Where harvests ripen, thou art there,
Who givest all.

For peaceful homes and healthful days,
For all the blessings earth displays,
We owe thee thankfulness and praise,
Who givest all.

We lose what on ourselves we spend,
We have as treasure without end
Whatever, God, to thee we lend,
Who givest all.

To thee, from whom we all derive
Our life, our gifts, our power to give:
O may we ever with thee live,
Who givest all. 

Christopher Wordsworth, 1862, 1870; alt.
Johann D. Meyer, 1692

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anne Steele

Hymnwriter Anne Steele (May 1717 - November 11, 1778), born in Broughton,  was the first female writer to produce a large number of hymns that were widely sung for over a hundred years.  She was a Baptist, but her hymns were used across many denominations in a time when the hymns of many writers from any particular denomination were not accepted elsewhere.  Though far fewer of her 180 texts are sung today, she is not completely forgotten and several hymnals still contain her work.

To our Redeemer’s glorious name
Awake the sacred song:
O may his love — immortal flame —
Tune every heart and tongue.

His love, what mortal tongue can reach?
What mortal tongue display?
Imagination’s utmost stretch
In wonder dies away.

Let wonder still with love unite,
And gratitude and joy;
Be Jesus our supreme delight,
His praise our best employ.

O Christ, while we adoring pay
Our humble thanks to thee,
May every heart with rapture say,
"The Savior died for me."

O may the sweet, the blissful theme
Fill every heart and tongue,
Till all shall love thy charming name,
And join the sacred song.

Anne Steele, 1760; alt
Tune: AZMON (C.M.)
Carl G. Glaser, 1828;
arr. Lowell Mason, 1839

She was confined to bed for the last nine years of her life, but continued to write.  The following verse appears on her gravestone:

Silent the lyre, and dumb the tuneful tongue
That sung on earth her Great Redeemer’s praise
But now in Heaven she joins the angels’ song
In more harmonious, more exalted lays

Four Years Ago: Anne Steele

Two Years Ago: Anne Steele

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Feast of All Saints

Hark! the sound of holy voices,
Chanting at the crystal sea,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Christ, to thee;
Multitude, which none can number,
Like the stars in glory stand
Clothed in bright apparel, holding
Palms of victory in their hand.

Now they reign in heav’nly glory,
Now they walk in golden light,
Now they drink, as from a river,
Holy bliss and infinite:
Love and peace they taste forever,
And all truth and knowledge see
In the beatific vision
Of the blessèd Trinity.

God of God, the One begotten,
Light of light, Emmanuel,
In whose body joined together
All the saints forever dwell;
Pour upon us of thy fullness
That we may forevermore
Great Creator, risen Christ, and
Holy Spirit all adore.

Christopher Wordsworth, 1862; alt.
James Baden Powell, 1885

Four Years Ago: The Feast of All Saints

Three Years Ago: The Feast of All Saints

Two Years Ago: The Feast of All Saints