Saturday, September 10, 2022

335. Hymn for Epiphany 8 (Series A)

We come now to a vanishingly rare Divine Service in the LSB 3-year regime. Assuming that every Epiphany Season includes a Baptism of Our Lord Sunday and a Transfiguration Sunday, there may be as few as two numbered Sundays after Epiphany, based on the date of Easter. It would have to be about as late as possible to make room for an Epiphany 8, and with the three-year lectionary being what it is, that makes the occasion for this hymn thrice rarer still. In fact, I've looked ahead, and it looks like the next time Year A will have an Epiphany 8 is 2038; may I live so long.

Its lessons are Isaiah 49:8-16a (apparently ending at "Behold, I have in scribed you on the palms of My hands"), 1 Corinthians 4:1-13 and Matthew 6:24-34 – still doing the Sermon on the Mount. I'm repeating myself like a broken record, declining to repeat myself; and besides having done that hymn, I also did this.

O heavens, shout for joy!
O earth, make merry!
O hills, exulting, cry!
Glad tidings carry
Of comfort that His word
Bears, well depicted;
Of mercy that the Lord
Would graciously afford
To the afflicted!

How can the Lord forget
The grief of Zion?
To pay her fatal debt,
He sent a Scion,
Upon His very palm
Her name impressing.
The beauty of that balm
Eclipses every psalm
And blooms with blessing.

And so, take courage, dear;
Be not despairing!
The Lord is always near
His people, caring
Lest on the way you faint
From need or sorrow;
He hears your sore complaint,
Makes haste to fit His saint
For that bright morrow.

The tune that grabbed me, in this case, was NU RINDER SOLEN OP, a.k.a. SUNRISE, a.k.a. ZINCK, from Hartnack O.K. Zinck's Danish Koralbog of 1801. I chose the version of the tune in American Lutheran Hymnal (1930), where it appears twice, because I think the rhythm of that setting flows more smoothly than the halting arrangement found in Lutheran Hymnary, The Concordia Hymnal, The Lutheran Hymnal and Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary. Texts previously associated with it include "Give praise to God our King" (LHy, TCH), "O Jesus, blest is He" (LHy), "Stand fast, my soul, stand fast" (ALH) and above all, "The sun arises now" (ALH, TLH and ELHy).

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