Monday, June 13, 2016

Seasonal Hymns: The Common of Saints 394-404

The Common of Saints
God, deigning man to be – F Damrosch

The eternal gifts of Christ the King – Ambrose / J Neale trans

The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
the apostles' glory, let us sing,
and all, with hearts of gladness, raise
due hymns of thankful love and praise.

For they the Church's princes are,
triumphant leaders in the war,
in heavenly courts a warrior band,
true lights to lighten every land.

Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
and hope that never yields nor faints;
and love of Christ in perfect glow
that lays the prince of this world low.

In them the Father's glory shone,
in them the will of God the Son,
in them exults the Holy Ghost,
through them rejoice the heavenly host.

To thee, Redeemer, now we cry,
that thou wouldst join to them on high
thy servants, who this grace implore,
for ever and for evermore.

Come, sing, ye choirs exultant – A St. Victor / J Mason trans

Come sing, ye choirs exultant,
those messengers of God,
through whom the living Gospels
came sounding all abroad!
Whose voice proclaimed salvation
that poured upon the night,
and drove away the shadows,
and flushed the world with light.

He chose them, our Good Shepherd,
and, tending evermore
his flock through earth's four quarters,
in wisdom made them four;
true Lawgiver, he bade them
their healing message spread,
one charter for all nations,
one glorious title deed.

In one harmonious witness
the chosen four combine,
while each his own commission
fulfills in every line;
as, in the prophet's vision
from out the amber flame
in mystic form and image
four living creatures came.

Lo, these the wingèd chariots
that bring Emmanuel nigh;
the golden staves uplifting
the ark of God on high;
and these the fourfold river
of Paradise above,
whence flow for all the nations
new mysteries of love.

Fourquare on this foundation
the Church of Christ remains,
a house to stand unshaken
by floods or winds or rains.
O glorious happy portion
in this safe home to be
by God, true Man, united
with God eternally!

Come, pure hearts, in sweetest measures – Latin / R Campbell trans

Come, pure hearts, in sweetest measures,
sing of those who spread the treasure
in the holy Gospels shrined;
blessèd tidings of salvation,
peace on earth their proclamation,
love from God to lost mankind.

Thou, by whom the words were given
for our light and guide to heaven,
Spirit, on our darkness shine;
graft them in our hearts, increasing
faith, hope, love and joy unceasing,
till our hearts are wholly thine.

O that we, thy truth confessing,
and thy holy Word possessing,
Jesus, may thy love adore;
unto thee our voices raising,
thee with all thy ransomed praising,
ever and forevermore.

Blessed feasts of blessed martyrs – Latin 12th cent. / Hymns Ancient and Modern

Blessed feasts of blessed martyrs,
holy days of holy men,
with affection's recollections
greet we your return again.
Worthy deeds they wrought, and wonders,
worthy of the Name they bore;
we, with meetest praise and sweetest,
honor them for evermore.

Faith ne'er altered, hope ne'er faltered,
love of Jesus filled their heart;
thus they glorious and victorious
bravely bore the martyr's part,
by contempt of worldly pleasures,
and by deeds of valor done.
they have reached the land of angels,
and with them are knit in one.

Made co-heirs with Christ in glory,
his celestial bliss they share:
may they now before him bending
help us onward by their prayer;
that this weary life completed,
and its fleeting trials past,
we may win eternal glory
in our Father's home at last.

Let us now our voices raise – Joseph the Hymnographer

Let us now our voices raise,
wake the day with gladness;
God himself to joy and praise
turns our human sadness:
joy that martyrs won their crown,
opened heaven's bright portal,
when they laid the mortal down
for the life immortal.

Never flinched they from the flame,
from the torture never;
vain the foeman's sharpest aim,
vain each fierce endeavor:
for by faith they saw the land
decked in all its glory,
where triumphant now they stand
with the victor's story.

Up and follow, Christian men!
Press through toil and sorrow;
Spurn the night of fear, and then,
O the glorious morrow!
Who will venture on the strife?
Who will first begin it!
Who will grasp the land of life?
Warriors, up and win it!

King of the martyrs' noble band – latin 6th cent. / J grant trans

Hearken to the anthem glorious – C Smart

Hearken to the anthem glorious
of the martyrs robed in white;
they, like Christ, in death victorious
dwell for ever in the light.

Living, they proclaimed salvation,
heaven endowed with grace and power;
and they died in imitation
of their Savior's final hour.

Christ, for cruel traitors pleading,
triumphed in his parting breath
o'er all miracles preceding
his inestimable death.

Take from him what ye will give him,
of his fullness grace for grace;
strive to think him, speak him, live him,
till you find him face to face.

Saints In General
By all your saints still striving – H Nelson

Give me the wings of faith to rise – I Watts

Give me the wings of faith to rise
within the veil, and see
the saints above, how great their joys,
how bright their glories be.

Once they were mourning here below,
and wet their couch with tears:
they wrestled hard, as we do now,
with sins, and doubts, and fears.

I ask them whence their victory came:
they, with united breath,
ascribe their conquest to the Lamb,
their triumph to his death.

They marked the footsteps that he trod,
his zeal inspired their breast;
and following their incarnate God,
possess the promised rest.

Our glorious Leader claims our praise
for his own pattern given;
while the long cloud of witnesses
show the same path to heaven.

The Blessed Virgin Mary
To bless thee O Theotokos – S Houghton

To bless thee O Theotokos
Thou ever blessed and blameless
Who art the mother of our God
Is our meet and righteous duty

More honor than the Cherubim
Art thou owed most blessed Virgin
More glory than the Seraphim
Dost thou show O blessed women

Thou who bore without stain of sin
God the Word made flesh true human
Thou art truly Theotokos

With all time we magnify thee.

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