• Hymns

    My God, thy table now is spread

    Hymn #203 Text: Philip Doddridge (1702-1751) Music: Edward Miller (1731-1807) Tune name: ROCKINGHAM   THE TEXT A prominent nonconformist educator and minister in the 18th century, Philip Doddridge’s writing had an influence in the lives of William Wilberforce, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, and many others. He wrote more than 400 hymns, many of which were summarized his sermons, and none of which published in his lifetime, although many were printed as “handouts” for temporary congregational use. This hymn was first published in 1755, with the caption: “God’s Name profaned, when his Table is treated with contempt. Malachi 1:12. Applied to the Lord’s Supper.” The text in our Hymnal is significantly altered…

  • Hymns

    O Splendor of God’s glory bright

    Hymn #158 Text: St. Ambrose (?) (339-397) Music: [1] Sarum Plainsong [2] Piae Cantiones (1582), arr. by Michael Praetorius (1572-1621) Tune name: [1] SPLENDOR PATERNAE [2] PUER NOBIS   THE TEXT While this hymn has been traditionally attributed to St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, some scholars question his authorship. It has long been the office hymn for Lauds on Mondays, having thus been sung every week for well over a thousand years. The translation in our Hymnal is by Robert Bridges (1844-1930), English poet laureate, literary scholar, and cultivated musician. The Hymnal reproduces 5 of the 9 verses that Bridges translated; below, the omitted verses are presented in italics. 1.…

  • Hymns

    We sing the praise of him who died

    Hymn #340 Text: Thomas Kelly (1769-1855) Music: 17th century German hymn Tune name: BRESLAU   THE TEXT Born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, Thomas Kelly intended to go into the law. A deep spiritual yearning took him in another direction. Having taken Holy Orders in 1792, Kelly became an intense and earnest preacher in churches in Dublin, so much so that his Archbishop inhibited from preaching in the city. Kelly found another mode of expression of his deep piety in hymn writing. He is said to have written 765 hymns, three of which are in our Hymnal, including the triumphant Ascension hymn “The head that once was crown with…

  • Hymns

    Sion, praise thy Saviour, singing; & Very Bread, good Shepherd, tend us

    Hymns #193 & 194 Text: St. Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274) Music: Adam of St. Victor  (d. c. 1192) Tune names: LAUDA SION & BONE PASTOR   THE TEXT In the 1260s, Pope Urban IV commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas to compose texts for a special Mass and offices for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Among the texts St. Thomas produced was a 24-stanza sequence (i.e., the hymn sung in the Mass just before the Gospel) known as Lauda Sion Salvatorem. The text used in hymns #193 and #194 in our Hymnal are paraphrases of stanzas 1, 2, 5, 3 and 12 of this longer work   THE TUNES In our parish, we most frequently…

  • Hymns

    Blest are the pure in heart

    Hymn #418 Text: John Keble (1792-1866); W. J. Hall (1793-1861) Music: Johann B, König (1691-1758) Tune name: FRANCONIA   THE TEXT The son of an Anglican vicar, John Keble was a brilliant scholar who was instrumental in starting the Oxford Movement. His 1827 collection of religious verse, The Christian Year: Thoughts in Verse for the Sundays and Holidays throughout the Year, was one of the most popular collections of English poetry in the nineteenth century. The first and last stanza of this hymn are from a 17-stanza poem by Keble, based on the Beatitudes. The middle stanzas are the work of W. J. Hall, an Anglican priest and hymnal editor. 1.…

  • Hymns

    Spread, O spread, thou mighty word

    Hymn #253 Text: Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier (1774-1841) Music: Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen (1670-1739) Tune name: LÜBECK   THE TEXT Bahnmaier, a German educator, published two volumes of hymns. This text, privately printed in 1827, is one of the first early nineteenth-century Lutheran hymns to move away from individualistic Pietism toward a more outward, world-embracing faith. 1. Spread, O spread, thou mighty word, spread the kingdom of the Lord, that to earth’s remotest bound men may heed the joyful sound; 2. Word of how the Father’s will made the world, and keeps it, still; how his only Son he gave, Man from sin and death to save; 3. Word of how the Saviour’s…

  • Hymns

    Let thy Blood in mercy poured

    Hymn #190 Text: Ancient Greek hymn Translator: John Brownlie (1859-1925) Music: Johann Crüger (1598-1662) Tune name: LUISE   THE TEXT This text was first published in 1907 in Hymns from the East, being Centos and Suggestions from the Service Books of the Holy Eastern Church. The volume was one of many books of hymn translations edited by John Brownlie, a Scots educator and Free Church minister. Sadly, the source for this hymn is not cited in Brownlie’s book. 1. Let thy blood in mercy poured, let thy gracious body broken, be to me, O gracious Lord, of thy boundless love the token.   Refrain: Thou didst give thyself for me, now I give…

  • Hymns

    O Lamb of God, still keep me

    Hymn #339 Text: James George Deck (1802-1884) Music: Fredecick D. Maker (1844-1927) Tune name: ST. CHRISTOPHER   THE TEXT Born in the county of Suffolk in 1802 and educated for the army, Deck became an officer in the Indian service. After retiring from the Army for health reasons, Deck returned to England and became involved with the Plymouth Brethren movement. He wrote dozens of hymns, most of which reflect on the Second Coming, a central concern for the Brethren faithful. Hymnologist John Julian judges: “His compositions are marked by directness of aim, simplicity of language, and great earnestness. The rhythm is good, and an expressive tenderness pervades many of them.”…

  • Hymns

    Saviour, when in dust to thee

    Hymn #332 Text: Robert Grant (1739-1838) Music: Benjamin Carr (1768-1831) Tune name: SPANISH CHANT   THE TEXT Educated at Cambridge, Sir Robert Grant served as a Member of Parliament, a Director of the East India Company, and Governor of Bombay. A medical college was established in Bombay (now Mumbai) in his name, and to this day is considered one of India’s premier health-care institutions. Among Grant’s other hymns is the lofty “O worship the King” (#288). The present hymn was first published in 1815, and included a stanza omitted in our Hymnal: By the sacred griefs that wept o’er the grave where Lazarus slept; by the boding tears that flowed over…

  • Hymns

    Lord Jesus, think on me

    Hymn #417 Text: Synesius of Cyrene (370-430) Translation: Allen William Chatfield (1808-1896) Music: Samuel Howard (1710-1782) Tune name: ST. BRIDE THE TEXT Synesius of Cyrene, noted as a philosopher and statesman, was made bishop of Ptolemais (now in modern Libya) in 410. The text of this hymn was an epilogue/prayer appended to a collection of nine other hymns. The text we sing is more of a poetic paraphrase than a translation. A more literal translation of the original is offered by Erik Routley in his A Panorama of Christian Hymnody:  Christ, Son of the most high God, remember your servant, a man of sinful heart, who writes this; send deliverance…