Thursday, September 24, 2015

135. Hymn for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany

The mass for the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany is traditionally celebrated only when Easter falls in the April 22-25 range, or April 21 in a Leap Year. I guess that makes it a statistical rarity. The Epistle is Colossians 3:12-17, one of only two Sundays when that book of the Bible is heard in the historic lectionary (the other being Trinity 24 when the lesson is Colossians 1:9-14). The Gospel is the parable of the tares according to Matthew 13:24-30. The tune I have in mind is SONG 1 by Orlando Gibbons, 1583-1625.
Heirs of God's realm, be not discouraged, though
False brethren bide among you, bringing pain!
The seed He sows is good, and yet the foe
Sows other seed by night among the grain.
It pleases Christ to wait till He return
To gather in His wheat, the tares to burn.

Far be it from our Lord to suffer weeds
To shade His planting's leaf or crowd its root;
For dearly bought indeed are we His seeds,
And dear to Him our cultivated fruit.
Such is His love for us, that He forbears
Lest we be lost in pulling out the tares.

Be patient yet a while, till Christ appears
To bring the consummation of the age!
His angels then will winnow out the tares;
The sons of lawlessness shall have their wage.
Then will the just by faith shine as the sun
And see the kingdom of the Three in One.

Meantime, beloved, chosen holy ones,
Put on a heart of mercy, kind and meek,
Forbearing, gentle, as becomes God's sons,
And bonds of peace with one another seek!
The peace of Christ let rule within your hearts,
That His word may indwell your inner parts!

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