Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Feast of Pentecost

Happy Birthday to the Church!  One more Pentecost - a day that I have not yet missed here for the last six years (so there are plenty of hymns to explore again below) You have to look closely at the picture above to see the tongues of fire on the heads of Mary and the apostles.

Spirit of grace and health and pow'r,
Fountain of life and light below,
On us your healing influence show'r
O'er all the nations let it flow.

Inflame our hearts with perfect love;
In us the work of faith instill;
So not heavn's host shall swifter move
Than we on earth to do your will.

In faith we wait and long and pray

To see that time by prophets told,
When nations, new-born into day,
Shall be ingathered to your fold.

We cannot doubt your gracious will,
O Spirit, merciful and just;
And you will speedily fulfill
The word in which your people trust.

Charles Wesley, 1742; alt.
Tune: HEBRON (L.M.)

Lowell Mason, 1830

This text, which I found in the Mission Hymnal (1929) of the Unitarian Laymen's League, is at least partly taken from Charles Wesley's Son of thy Sire's eternal love,  The text as amended seems to have appeared first in a later edition of A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion, which was originally compiled in 1844 by our old friends Samuel Longfellow and Samuel Johnson, so it's likely that they adapted it from Wesley's original words. 

Six Years Ago: Joy! because the circling year

Five Years Ago:  O prophet souls of all the years

Four Years Ago: Above the starry spheres

Three Years Ago: Hail thee, festival day

Two Years Ago: Hail festal day! through every age

One Year Ago: O God, the Holy Ghost