Saturday, October 29, 2022

413. Easter 5 (Series B)

If you wonder what all the rush is about, I've been pushing for the next milestone in the present project, and with this hymn, I reach it. Believe it or not, this is the 100th original hymn written for Bountiful Hymns. Call it superstition, but I haven't considered any of my hymnbooks to be a book until it grew past 100 hymns (cf. the first edition of Useful Hymns, which had exactly that number). Another milestone is coming up shortly; can you guess? Anyway, the lessons for this service are Acts 8:26-40, 1 John 4:1-11 (optional 12-21) and John 15:1-8. I've previously written a hymn on part of the Epistle lesson, as well as multiple hymns running with the Gospel's vine-and-branches material. The tune is HANOVER (a.k.a. CONQUEST, a.k.a. DELAY NOT) by William Croft (1708), sometimes also attributed to Georg Friedrich Handel (†1759). The old Ev. Luth. Hymn-Book paired it with "Delay not, delay not, O sinner, draw near." All right, and pretty much all the books pair it with "O worship the King." It's a tune with more baggage than the ones I usually go for, but a glint of familiarity now and then doesn't hurt.

O Spirit, who all the Scriptures inspired,
Blow through them that faith to life may be fired
And, burning the tinder of falsehood away,
Be proven like steel, or as flame hardens clay.

But who shall explain, who shall make it clear?
Unless one is sent, Lord, how shall men hear?
A little while, Savior, Your presence You hide;
That we may perceive it, oh! send us a guide!

Then, having been taught, why need we delay?
Extend us the means You founded, we pray!
Baptize us, absolve us, feed us from Your board,
And let faith be joined to Your promises, Lord!

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