During this time of fear and uncertainty in the COVID-19 wilderness, I’ve decided to do something a little different. I’m going to be daily using my blog to share texts and videos of hymns that pass along hope and comfort until the restrictions are lifted, and we can worship in our buildings once again. I hope you find them to be encouraging and edifying during this time.
Take care, everyone. Wash your hands. And keep the faith.
Here’s St. Bartholemew’s Episcopal Church in New York City, giving us a great Ascension hymn, penned by Charles Wesley. If you’re one of those silly boomers who claim to dislike organ music, but really just see the organ as representative of the church experience of your formative years, the interlude before the last stanza of this hymn should convert you. If not, music is probably not for you, and you should seek therapy.
Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia!
glorious to his native skies; Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia!
enters now the highest heaven! Alleluia!
There the glorious triumph waits; Alleluia!
lift your heads, eternal gates! Alleluia!
Wide unfold the radiant scene; Alleluia!
take the King of glory in! Alleluia!
See! he lifts his hands above; Alleluia!
See! he shows the prints of love: Alleluia!
Hark! his gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
blessings on his Church below. Alleluia!
Lord beyond our mortal sight, Alleluia!
raise our hearts to reach thy height, Alleluia!
there thy face unclouded see, Alleluia!
find our heaven of heavens in thee. Alleluia!
Charles Wesley, 1739