Sunday, November 7, 2010

All Saints' Day Hymn

Today my LCMS church in the city of St. Louis celebrated All Saints' Day, albeit transferred to the next available Sunday. Here is a hymn that came to me during the sermon at early service (forgive me, dear Pastor):
For those whom God has set apart
To serve the purpose of His heart
From ages past up to this day,
Henceforth till ages end, we pray:
May Christ be glorified!

For those who fought the fight and won;
Who bore the cross with God's dear Son;
Who, cleansed in His baptismal flood,
Are robed in that Lamb's righteous blood:
May Christ be glorified!

For those who ran life's urgent race;
Who boxed the flesh with battered face;
Who bore the test of sin and death
Till God received their dying breath:
May Christ be glorified!

For those who, poor in spirit, grieve,
Thirst, hunger for God's just reprieve;
The meek; the merciful; the pure;
The peaceful, whose reward is sure:
May Christ be glorified!

By their confession, true and strong,
We know the faith of that blest throng.
Their fellowship we long to share
Here, now, and ever after, where
Christ shall be glorified.

And so through God's beloved Son,
With God the Father ever One,
Whose Spirit, blowing from the cross,
Makes death a sleep and all else loss,
We shall be glorified!

3 comments:

Robbie F. said...

FOOTNOTE: 1) The jumping-off point for this hymn was the thought: "Saints" mean "holy ones." "Holy" means "set apart." So "For all the saints" means "For those whom God has set apart." The rest of the hymn seemed to grow organically out of that line & the readings for the day.

2) Unfortunately I wasn't thinking about making this fit any particular tune when I wrote it. And now I find that the only tune that will fit it is ST. MARGARET, the shmaltzy tune to "O Love that will not let me go." Eurgh.

3) After reading this, my pastor said: "You are absolved."

Your constructive criticism & helpful suggestions are welcomed.

revalkorn said...

You have excellent imagery in your text, bringing together classic images of all saints themes (the robe cleansed in blood, baptism, Paul's "race", the sermon on the mount) and tying them to fellowship and the confession of faith. Perhaps it's time for you to put your musical background to work in writing a better tune.

As a relatively new writer of hymn texts (I wrote my first in the middle of 2009), I've never been able to bring myself to write hymns for days where I think there are already great texts. For example, I've never really considered writing an All Saints hymn because of the existence of "For all the Saints" and "By All Your Saints in Warfare". That's my own personality quirk, of course, and I'm glad you're not afflicted in the same manner.

Robbie F. said...

Thanks. I forgot about this hymn after I posted it, but I really should write a tune for it. I might also think about making my next big project the writing of a hymn to go with the pericopes of each Sunday & feast of the church year. That would make a nice book, don't you think?