Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday Hymn - II

How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

Text: John Newton, 1779
Tune: ST. PETER (REINAGLE), Alexander Reinagle, 1836 (among other tunes)

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
’Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary, rest.

Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,
My Shield and Hiding Place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!

By thee my prayers acceptance gain,
Although with sin defiled;
Satan accuses me in vain,
And I am owned a child.

Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,
O Prophet, Priest and King,
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see thee as thou art,
I’ll praise thee as I ought.

Till then I would thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath,
And may the music of thy name
Refresh my soul in death!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Hymn - II

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

I chose this hymn because a special day is nearly here: the annual Children's Choir in the Loft Sunday! Our school-age children will be the choir for the morning, and they're singing Natalie Sleeth's "Feed My Lambs" for the anthem. We won't be singing this hymn, but it came to mind as I was thinking about Sunday.

Text: Attr. to Dorothy A. Thrupp, 1836
Tune: BRADBURY, William B. Bradbury, 1859

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need thy tender care;
In thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use thy folds prepare.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, thine we are.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, thine we are.

We are thine, thou dost befriend us, be the guardian of our way;
Keep thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to thee.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to thee.

Early let us seek thy favor, early let us do thy will;
Blessèd Lord and only Savior, with thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Hymn - II

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee (Jesu Dulcis Memoria)

Text: Attr. to Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th c.; Engl. tr. Edward Caswell, 1849
Tune: ST. AGNES, John B. Dykes, 1866 (among several tunes)

Iesu, dulcis memoria,
dans vera cordis gaudia:
sed super mel et omnia
eius dulcis praesentia.

Nil canitur suavius,
nil auditur jucundius,
nil cogitatur dulcius,
quam Iesus Dei Filius.

Iesu, spes paenitentibus,
quam pius es petentibus!
quam bonus te quaerentibus!
sed quid invenientibus?

Nec lingua valet dicere,
nec littera exprimere:
expertus potest credere,
quid sit Iesum diligere.

Sis, Iesu, nostrum gaudium,
qui es futurus praemium:
per cuncta semper saecula.

English Translation:
Jesus, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
O Savior of mankind!

O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah, this
Nor tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but his loved ones know.

Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Tthou our prize will be;
Jesus be thou our glory now,
And through eternity.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday Hymn - II

When Morning Gilds the Skies

Text: German, c. 1744; Engl. tr. Edward Caswall, 1854 and Robert S. Bridges, 1899
Tune: LAUDES DOMINI, Joseph Baraby, 1868 (composed for this hymn)

When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Whene’er the sweet church bell peals over hill and dell,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
O hark to what it sings, as joyously it rings,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

My tongue shall never tire of chanting with the choir,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
This song of sacred joy, it never seems to cloy,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

To God, the Word, on high, the host of angels cry,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let mortals, too, upraise their voice in hymns of praise,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this at meals your grace, in every time and place;
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this, when day is past, of all your thoughts the last
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When mirth for music longs, this is my song of songs:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evening shadows fall, this rings my curfew call,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When sleep her balm denies, my silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest, with this I shield my breast,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

The night becomes as day when from the heart we say:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear when this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

No lovelier antiphon in all high Heav’n is known
Than, Jesus Christ be praised!
There to the eternal Word the eternal psalm is heard:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Let all the earth around ring joyous with the sound:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
In Heaven’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Sing, suns and stars of space, sing, ye that see His face,
Sing, Jesus Christ be praised!
God’s whole creation o’er, for aye and evermore
Shall Jesus Christ be praised!

In Heav’n’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea and sky from depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tuesday Hymn - II

Jesus Lives!

Text: Christian F. Gellert, 1751; Engl. tr. Frances E. Cox, 1841
Tune: LINDISFARNE, John B. Dykes, 1857 (among several tunes)

Jesus lives! no longer now
Can thy terrors, death, appall us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
Thou, O grave, canst not enthrall us.

Jesus lives! henceforth is death
But the gate of life immortal;
This shall calm our trembling breath,
When we pass its gloomy portal.

Jesus lives! for us he died;
Then, alone to Jesus living
Pure in heart may abide,
Glory to our Savior giving.

Jesus lives! our hearts know well
Naught from us his love shall sever;
Life, nor death, nor powers of hell
Tear us from his keeping ever.

Jesus lives! to him the throne
Over all the world is given;
May we go where he is gone,
Rest and reign with him in heaven.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Hymn

Come, Christians, Join to Sing

Text: Christian H. Bateman, 1843
Tune: MADRID (EVANS), Spanish melody, harm. David Evans, 1927

Come, Christians, join to sing
Alleluia! Amen!
Loud praise to Christ our King;
Alleluia! Amen!
Let all, with heart and voice,
Before his throne rejoice;
Praise is his gracious choice.
Alleluia! Amen!

Come, lift your hearts on high,
Alleluia! Amen!
Let praises fill the sky;
Alleluia! Amen!
He is our Guide and Friend;
To us he’ll condescend;
His love shall never end.
Alleluia! Amen!

Praise yet our Christ again,
Alleluia! Amen!
Life shall not end the strain;
Alleluia! Amen!
On heaven’s blissful shore,
His goodness we’ll adore,
Singing forevermore,
“Alleluia! Amen!”

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Second Sunday of Easter: Hymn

Christ Is Risen from tne Dead

Text: Henry Albert Becker, 1880
Tune: MAIDSTONE, Walter B. Gilbert, 1865

Christ is risen from the dead!
Darkness now no more shall reign;
Thorns no more shall crown the head
That was bowed with grief and pain:
Christ the Lord, the mighty King,
From our sin hath made us free.
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Where, O grave, thy victory?

Scoffers now no more will say:
If Thou be the Christ, come down
From the cross, and prove today
That to thee belongs the crown!
For our risen Lord and King
From our sin hath made us free,
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Where, O grave, thy victory?

Faith now knows he is the Lord,
Gives assent to his decree,
Trusts the promise in his Word,
And is crowned with victory,
Shouting praises to the King,
Who from sin hath made us free.
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Where, O grave, thy victory?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Hymn

He Is Risen!

Text: Eric Schumacher, 2004

This text is very new and is under copyright, though the note here in the Cyberhymnal entry indicates that it may be used in worship without further permission. Here are the last two lines plus the refrain of this excellent text:

Now we await the coming day,
When all those raised in Christ will say:
Give Him glory! Give Him glory!
He is risen! He is risen!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Hymn

Hearts to Heaven and Voices Raise

Text: Christopher Wordsworth, 1872
Tune: HYFRYDOL, Rowland H. Prichard, 1830 (among other possible tunes)

Alleluia, alleluia! Hearts to Heaven and voices raise:
Sing to God a hymn of gladness, sing to God a hymn of praise.
He, who on the cross a Victim, for the world’s salvation bled,
Jesus Christ, the King of glory, now is risen from the dead.

Now the iron bars are broken, Christ from death to life is born,
Glorious life, and life immortal, on the holy Easter morn.
Christ has triumphed, and we conquer by his mighty enterprise:
We with Him to life eternal by His resurrection rise.

Christ is risen, Christ, the first fruits of the holy harvest field,
Which will all its full abundance at His second coming yield:
Then the golden ears of harvest will their heads before him wave,
Ripened by his glorious sunshine from the furrows of the grave.

Christ is risen, we are risen! Shed upon us heavenly grace,
Rain and dew and gleams of glory from the brightness of thy face;
That we, with our hearts in heaven, here on earth may fruitful be,
And by angel hands be gathered, and be ever, Lord, with thee.

Alleluia, alleluia! Glory be to God on high;
Alleluia! to the Savior who has gained the victory;
Alleluia! to the Spirit, fount of love and sanctity:
Alleluia, alleluia! to the Triune Majesty.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Hymn

I hope you won't mind that I'm a bit heavy on the John of Damascus/John M. Neale hymns lately. Blame it on their genius! I think the former especially has just made it to my "must meet in Heaven" list!

Let Us Rise in Early Morning

Text: John of Damascus, 8th c. Greek, Engl. tr. John M. Neale, 1862?
Tune: CWM RHONDDA, John Hughes, 1907

Let us rise in early morning,
And, instead of ointments, bring
Hymns of praises to our Master,
And his Resurrection sing:
We shall see the Sun of Justice
Ris’n with healing on his wing,
Ris’n with healing on his wing.

Thy unbounded loving-kindness,
They that groaned in Hades’ chain,
Prisoners, from afar beholding,
Hasten to the light again
And to that eternal Pascha
Wove the dance and raised the strain,
Wove the dance and raised the strain.

Go ye forth, his saints, to meet him!
Go with lamps in every hand!
From the sepulcher he riseth:
Ready for the Bridegroom stand:
And the Pascha of salvation
Hail, with His triumphant band,
Hail, with His triumphant band.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wednesday Hymn

O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing

Text: Jean Tisserand, 15th c. (Latin), Engl. tr. John M. Neale, 1851
Tune: O FILII ET FILIAE, 15th c. French

O sons and daughters, let us sing!
The King of Heaven, the glorious King,
Over death today rose triumphing.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

That Easter morn, at break of day,
The faithful women went their way
To seek the tomb where Jesus lay.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

An angel clad in white they see,
Who sat, and spake unto the three,
“Your Lord doth go to Galilee.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!

That night th’apostles met in fear;
Amidst them came their Lord most dear,
And said, “My peace be on all here.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!

When Thomas first the tidings heard,
How they had seen the risen Lord,
He doubted the disciples’ word.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

“My piercèd side, O Thomas, see;
My hands, My feet, I show to thee;
Not faithless but believing be.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!

No longer Thomas then denied;
He saw the feet, the hands, the side;
“Thou art my Lord and God,” he cried.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

How blessed are they who have not seen,
And yet whose faith has constant been;
For they eternal life shall win.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

On this most holy day of days
Our hearts and voices, Lord, we raise
To Thee, in jubilee and praise.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday Hymn

Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain

Text: John of Damascus, 8th c. (Greek), Engl. tr. John M. Neale, 1859
Tune: ST. KEVIN, Arthur Sullivan*, 1872 (numerous other tunes sometimes used)

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.

’Tis the spring of souls today; Christ has burst his prison,
And from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen;
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
From his light, to whom we give laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb’s dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal hold thee as a mortal;
But today amidst the twelve thou didst stand, bestowing
That thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing.

“Alleluia!” now we cry to our King immortal,
Who, triumphant, burst the bars of the tomb’s dark portal;
“Alleluia!” with the Son, God the Father praising,
“Alleluia!” yet again to the Spirit raising.

* Note: Yes, this is Arthur S. Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan operetta fame. And did you ever wonder who composed the tune for "Onward, Christian Soldiers"? Yep. Sir Arthur did. There's your church music trivia for the week!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Monday

This Joyful Eastertide

Text: George R. Woodward, 1894
Tune: EASTER-TIDE, Dutch, unknown composer, 1685

This joyful Easter-tide,
Away with care and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
Hath sprung to life this morrow.


Had Christ, that once was slain,
Ne’er burst his three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

My flesh in hope shall rest,
And for a season slumber;
Till trump from east to west,
Shall wake the dead in number.


Death’s flood hath lost his chill,
Since Jesus crossed the river:
Lover of souls, from ill
My passing soul deliver.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Musical Journey to Easter

Dear readers,

This has been a blessed week. At every point, the week has been marked by powerful music. Here is a re-tracing of the steps we took together at my church.

Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! We sang "Hosanna, Loud Hosanna" as our opening hymn on Palm/Passion Sunday while the children waved palm branches. The choir sang the "Palm Processional" from our upcoming cantata (April 15), Benjamin Harlan's "Wondrous Love" (the movement combined "Hosanna, Loud Hosanna" and the refrain from "The Holy City"). After our pastor guided us scripturally from the palms of Sunday to the Friday cries of "Crucify him!", we closed the service with "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross."

Thursday we gathered again for Maundy Thursday communion, with our "informal service" music group (minus our lead singer, whose husband suffered a heart attack on Wednesday--doing well, praise God) singing "The Wonderful Cross" and our pianist providing exquisite communion musical meditation. The service ended with the hymn, "Go to Dark Gethsemane," as we did a ceremonial removal of Lenten purple and draped the communion table cross in black.

Our Good Friday was an evening service, so the sanctuary was fully draped in black. We have a very large central wooden cross on the front chancel wall, over which was displayed a black banner with a stark silver-gray outline of the suffering Savior in crown of thorns. It was visually stunning. We had diminished lighting and seven votive candles on the draped communion table, which were distinguished one by one during the final Scripture reading. Earlier readings were punctuated with several hymns, including "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" and "Jesus, Remember Me." The choir sang a dramatic piece by Don Besig and Nancy Price, "Within the Shadow of the Cross." The opening verse was done as a solo by a nearly ten-year-old girl, who sang absolutely perfectly (we were very proud of her; it was only her second time to sing a solo in public). The her solo's final phrase, "A little child, like me," which was echoed by the choir at the end of the piece: "A child of God, like you and me." The entire congregation filed out as we sang, "Were You There?" and gathered (shivering) on the sanctuary porch, where the pastor chained and padlocked the doors until Easter morning.

During the Easter Vigil, we offered a Catacombs service. The pastor and I were not actually in attendance, though we were able to listen at a distance. The simulation is that the church leaders had been arrested and all printed resources destroyed by "the authorities" who had declared Christian gatherings--and the faith itself--illegal. Those who attended this service had a combination of worship and discussion focused around how to keep the faith alive amidst persecution, when the only worship and study resources are the memories of the saints. We listened as the group of twenty or so people sang hymns of their own choosing ("Amazing Grace," "Jesus, Remember Me," "I Love to Tell the Story," and "Jesus Loves Me"), shared various memorized Scripture passages (including the 23rd Psalm and John 3:16-17), and recited the Apostles' Creed together. Testimonies were shared. There was excellent discussion about the difference between what Americans tend to call "persecution" and true persecution of faithful Christians. After 50 minutes, the "lookout" (pastor) gave a signal door knock to warn that the "patrols were on their way into town," and after closing with a prayer circle and ending with the Lord's Prayer, the group dispersed by ones and twos to return home.

I was still at church, working on final details for this morning's services, when the final scheduled on-site vigil prayer partner, a high school senior boy, finished his "shift" at midnight. He knocked at the office door to tell me he was leaving. I wished him a happy Easter and told him I'd see him later in the morning. He smiled as he realized it was technically a few minutes into Easter morning, and made my whole day by offering me the ancient greeting: "He is risen!" Of course, I replied, with joy in my heart, "He is risen indeed!"

Our liturgical dance group presented the sunrise service, which was once again reluctantly moved indoors because of our area's snow storm (no lie!) much of the day yesterday. It was near freezing this morning; in our part of Texas, that's not considered "outdoor weather." It is done entirely by school-age children and junior and senior high youth. They re-enact the entire passion and resurrection story in their unique combination of dance and American Sign Language. It is stunningly beautiful. As the Lord Jesus (one of my youth handbell ringers) was taken down from the cross and cradled by his mother (a high school girl), there was no one I could see who was not in tears. They perform to recorded music, which included
"Via Dolorosa," "At the Foot of the Cross," and "Was It a Morning Like this," among several other pieces.

We broke "new" ground with our informal group at the 9:00 service. We have had only piano/keyboard accompaniment until about a month ago, when a good guitarist joined us. Still, this means we don't have a complete rhythm section for the more energetic songs we do. Nevertheless, we presented a passable rendition of "My Redeemer Lives" this morning, greeted by more enthusiastic "Amens" than normal. People sang the chorus (many times) with gusto. (Though this is far from a favorite of mine, there's something to be said for people singing "My Redeemer lives! My redeemer lives!" with conviction.) At both the 9:00 and 10:45 services, the pastor preached on 1 Corinthians 15, focusing on "if" Christ had not been raised from the dead and looking at the reliable evidence passed on to us of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We were challenged both to believe the evidence we have received, and to testify to our own experience of the risen Christ in our own lives. Powerful!

At the late service, our handbell choir rang "Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain," which is one of the best efforts we've had all year. They also rang on the first hymn, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." The children of the church, including several of the many young guests we welcomed today, sang "He Is Exalted" and did a superb job. I've "come around" on the appropriateness of "In the Garden" at Easter; this is our prayer hymn through the rest of April. The choir took it a little easy, given our scheduled cantata next week, and sang Hal Hopson's arrangement of a William Boyce work, which Hopson calls "Let the Praise Go 'Round" (actually, it consists of a three-part canon to the primary text of "Hallelujah," which made it very appropriate for Easter). We closed with one of my personal least-favorite Easter hymns, "He Lives," but here again, it's hard to argue with "He ask me how I know...he lives within my heart."

Bells. Children's voices. Piano. Keyboard and guitar. Choral music. Enthusiastic hymn singing (we ARE Methodist!). All in worship of the One who suffered, died, and rose from the dead, for us.

Christ is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!

Resurrection Day - Easter Sunday

The Day of Resurrection

Text: John of Damascus, 7th c. (Greek); tr. by John M Neale, 1862
Tune: LANCASHIRE, Henry T. Smart, 1835

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;
And listening to his accents, may hear, so calm and plain,
His own “All hail!” and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Holy Week: Saturday (Lent 40)

Ave Verum Corpus (Hail, True Body)

Text: 14th c., attr. to Innocent VI (d. 1362)

Tune/Choral Settings: Various composers, notably Byrd, Mozart, and Elgar

Ave verum corpus, natum
De Maria Virgine,
Vere passum, immolatum
In cruce pro homine,
Cujus latus perforatum
Unda fluxit et sanguine,
Esto nobis praegustatum
In mortis examine.

English Translation:
Hail, true Body,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Who truly suffered, sacrificed
On the cross for humanity,
Whose pierced side
Flowed with water and blood,
Be for us a foretaste
Of death's trial.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Week: Good Friday (Lent 39)

He Never Said a Mumbalin' Word

Text and tune: African-American Spiritual

They crucified my Lord,
And he never said a mumbalin’ word;
They crucified my Lord,

And he never said a mumbalin’ word.
Not a word, not a word, not a word.

They nailed him to a tree,
And he never said a mumbalin’ word;
They nailed him to a tree,


They pierced him in the side,
And he never said a mumbalin’ word;
They pierced him in the side,


The blood came trickalin’ down,
And he never said a mumbalin’ word;
The blood came trickalin’ down,


He bowed his head and died,
And he never said a mumbalin’ word;
He bowed his head and died,


Holy Week: Maundy Thursday (Lent 38)

Bread of the World

Text: Reginald Heber, 1827
Tune: EUCHARISTIC HYMN, John S. B. Hodges, 1868

Bread of the world, in mercy broken,
Wine of the soul, in mercy shed,
By whom the words of life were spoken,
And in whose death our sins are dead.

Look on the heart by sorrow broken,
Look on the tears by sinners shed;
And be thy feast to us the token,
That by thy grace our souls are fed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Holy Week: Wednesday (Lent 37)

Go to Dark Gethsemane

Text: James Montgomery, 1820
Tune: REDHEAD, Richard Redhead, 1853
or GETHSEMANE (Monk), William H. Monk, 1861 (adapt. of a 1553 Christopher Tye tune)

Go to dark Gethsemane, ye that feel the tempter’s power;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see, watch with him one bitter hour,
Turn not from his griefs away; learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

See him at the judgment hall, beaten, bound, reviled, arraigned;
O the wormwood and the gall! O the pangs his soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; learn of Christ to bear the cross.

Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete.
“It is finished!” hear him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die.

Early hasten to the tomb where they laid his breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom. Who has taken him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes; Savior, teach us so to rise.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Holy Week: Tuesday (Lent 36)

Ah, Holy Jesus

Text: Johann Heermann, 1630; tr. Robert Bridges, 1899
Tune: HERZLIEBSTER JESU, Johann Crueger, 1640

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
That we to judge thee have 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.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For our atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

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.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Holy Week: Monday (Lent 35)

Throned upon the Awful Tree

Text: John Ellerton, 1875
Tune: ARFON, Hugh Davies, c. 1906 or GETHSEMANE (OUSELEY), Frederick A. Gore-Ouseley, 1869

Throned upon the awful tree,
Lamb of God, Your grief I see.
Darkness veils Your anguished face;
None its lines of woe can trace.
None can tell what pangs unknown
Hold You silent and alone.

Silent through those three dread hours,
Wrestling with the evil powers,
Left alone with human sin,
Gloom around You and within,
Till the appointed time is nigh,
Til the Lamb of God may die.

Hark, that cry that peals aloud
Upward through the whelming cloud!
You, the Father’s only Son,
You, His own anointed One,
You are asking “can it be”
“Why have You forsaken Me?”

Lord, should fear and anguish roll,
Darkly o’er my sinful soul,
You, Who once were thus bereft
That Your own might ne’er be left,
Teach me by that bitter cry
In the gloom to know You nigh.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm-Passion Sunday

All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Text: Theodulph of Orleans, c. 820, tr. John M. Neale, 1851
Tune: ST. THEODULPH, Melchior Teschner


All glory, laud and honor,
To thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.


The people of the Hebrews
With palms before thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before thee we present.


To thee, before thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.


Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.