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!

3 comments:

P.S. an after-thought said...

I like this song. REading it today, I was stuck by the contrast between this song and some of the modern praise songs. Some of the modern ones are about what "I" will do. This song is about God and humans, less emphasis on "I" but also some quality of not being as personally involved with the prains, sort of trying to remove it from a particular person and make it more general.

Psalmist said...

P.S., that's what I call corporate texts, ones which an entire congregation can sing together. The contemporary body of work is almost exclusively singular in the focus, glorifying the person experience but sadly neglecting the corporate experience of the worship of God. And for some of the singular, I wonder whether it's all that conducive to genuine worship, even private worship. As you say, it's all about "I-I-I" (thinking here of "Breathe," but there are plenty of others.

Anonymous said...

I hear what you are saying with the I-I-I thing...parts of that song do really connect with my spirit, though. How could it be re-written to be more corporate or community worship? could it?
Paisley