Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wide open are Thy hands

This picture has nothing to do with this post. I just wanted to show off another of my favorite Prokudin-Gorskii pictures (pre-WWI color photos documenting Imperial Russia). This guy's name is Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara, and this gorgeous picture was taken in 1911. Look up the high-res version here.

And now to the business at hand... Bernard of Clairvaux, who died in 1153, wrote this hymn to our crucified Lord, here in the 1870 translation by Charles Porterfield Krauth. You could sing it to DIADEMATA (Lutheran Worship No. 278).

Wide open are Thy hands
To pay with more than gold
The awful debt of guilty men,
Forever and of old.
Ah, let me grasp those hands,
That we may never part,
And let the power of their blood
Sustain my fainting heart.

Wide open are Thine arms,
A fallen world t’embrace;
To take to love and endless rest
Our whole forsaken race.
Lord, I am sad and poor,
But boundless is Thy grace;
Give me the soul-transforming joy
For which I seek Thy face.

Draw all my mind and heart
Up to Thy throne on high,
And let Thy sacred cross exalt
My spirit to the sky.
To these, Thy mighty hands,
My spirit I resign:
In life, I live alone to Thee,
In death, alone am Thine.

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