Thursday, June 24, 2021

306. Hymn for the Epiphany Season

Further to my plans to publish a second book of original hymns titled Edifying Hymns, here's one of those hymns whose first and last stanza are to be sung throughout the liturgical season in question, with the proper stanza for each Sunday thereof in between. Like my previous hymn for the season of Pre-Lent, its stanzas take their riffs from the propers in the historic lectionary, with a feeble attempt to tie them in with the Gospel for the day. I stuck in the Baptism of Jesus (although it's a more recent addition to the lectionary) as either an alternate text for the First Sunday after Epiphany or a special observance on Jan. 13. I also had to be a bit creative with Epiphany 4 and 5, since their propers are thin on the ground.
Lo, Christ is manifested:
Come, worship Him and lift,
All lands from darkness wrested,
Pure hearts and songs and gifts!
Arise! Your Light is come;
His Word proclaims salvation
To every kith and nation,
Yea, even heathendom.

(Epiphany Day: Visit of the Magi)
This King holds pow'r and glory
In tiny, infant hands:
A tinpot tyrant's quarry,
Yet sought from distant lands
By men who saw His star,
An ancient promise knowing
And kingly gifts bestowing:
He draws them from afar.

(Epiphany 1: Young Jesus in Temple)
We saw, enthroned in Godhead,
The fruit of Mary's pains.
A multitude applauded:
The Lord Almighty reigns!
Wise in His Father's word,
His Father's undertaking
He does, all else forsaking;
Let songs of joy be heard!

(Baptism of Jesus)
Praise Him, the Lord appointed,
Unequaled of our race,
Whose lips have been anointed
With everlasting grace.
For love of righteousness
The oil of joy He carried,
The tempter's kingdom harried;
His glorious name we bless.

(Epiphany 2: Wedding at Cana)
All earth shall sing His praises
And lift His name on high
Who wine from water raises,
Gives joy when cheer runs dry.
His healing word He sends,
Restoring sight for blindness,
Repaying hurt with kindness
Unto the sons of men.

(Epiphany 3: Two Healing Miracles)
You hosts of heaven, praise Him,
That Zion may rejoice;
Let isles and mountains raise Him
A single, worthy voice!
For them who cry for aid,
In abject need appealing,
He answers, bringing healing;
Therefore be unafraid!

(Epiphany 4: Stilling the Storm)
Who is this Man, whose orders
The wind and sea obey?
What terrors or disorders
Can answer Jesus nay?
Although our courage fails,
Our Savior will protect us
And finally collect us,
Safe from all squalls and gales.

(Epiphany 5: Parable of the Tares)
What joy, in His house dwelling,
In true faith to be kept!
What honor, to be telling
That nourishing precept!
Oh, that His word would grow—
Despite the devil's cunning
And lying prophets running—
A harvest white as snow!

(Last Sunday after Epiphany: Transfiguration)
The lightning blazed in heaven;
The earth with thunder shook.
The Father's witness given,
The honored Son betook
His way to cross and grave;
From thence to be perfected,
All things to Him subjected,
Most fair and strong to save.

(Closing stanza)
To You, Christ, and Your glory
Shall come the nations' kings;
Drawn to Your wondrous story,
Rich tribute they will bring.
Still richer be our praise
For Your cross-beckoned turning,
Your heart with passion burning
To lighten all our ways.

The intented tune is ZEUCH EIN by Johann Crüger (1598-1662), below. I can't remember if I've paired it with one of my hymns before; but I've loved it for ages and I've often felt it deserves to be heard more often.

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