Saturday, December 10, 2022

455. Epiphany 4 (Series C)

The lessons for this Sunday are Jeremiah 1:4-10 (optional 17-19), 1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13 and Luke 4:31-44. I previously wrote a hymn about 1 Cor. 13 back here. Nevertheless, here I go again. The tune is WAS MEIN GOTT WILL, a French melody (1529) attributed to Claudin de Sermisy and also credited to an Antwerp songbook of 1540. I was just reading a hymn translated by Matthew Carver with the tune DURCH ADAMS FALL above it, but at the bare suggestion that it could also be sung to this tune, I could hear only it in my minds ear. It goes with "Who trusts in God a strong abode" in many hymnals and, in a goodly handful, with "The will of God is always best." The rhythmic setting above borrows the harmony from an isometric setting by J.S. Bach, only with a second-inversion tonic chord inserted at three strategic points. And for what it's worth, this is going to be "Hymn 500" in Bountiful Hymns.

Dear Christians, seek that greater gift
Than tongues and prophesying,
Which not yourself, but others lifts,
Your brother's need supplying.
Had I all knowledge, speech and faith,
No love the while possessing,
It were but striving after breath
And I, estranged from blessing.

Love suffers long, is kind and meek;
Is never proud or greedy;
Gives no offense, nor power seeks,
To vengeance is not speedy;
Plans not, rejoices not in ill,
In truth its gladness mooring;
Bears all, believing, hoping still,
All that may come enduring.

Love never fails, though tongues will cease
And prophets' visions falter;
Yea, even knowledge will decrease
As portents fade and alter.
What now is hoped for and believed,
Seen dimly in a mirror,
Will soon be grasped, in full received,
While Love remains, still dearer.

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