Saturday, January 10, 2009

The United Methodist Hymnal

I have come to appreciate the hymnal more and more over the years, finding it to be an important part of my devotional time. As one who enjoys singing, I have also tried to learn more about things like the metrical index and tune names.

I love the many prayers that are part of the book as well. The prayer below is from Charles Wesley and is on page 594. It is a wonderful prayer for illumination. It can be sung to two popular hymn tunes, Dix and Toplady, more commonly known as "For the Beauty of the Earth" (92) and "Rock of Ages" (361).

However, this takes a slight adjustment to the last line; "when thou comest on earth to abide" has to be sung more like "when thou comest on earth to 'bide" or "when you come on earth to 'bide" (to avoid the awkward comest).

Here's the prayer (595 is another great prayer by CW)

Come, divine Interpreter,
bring me eyes thy book to read,
ears thy mystic words to hear,
words which did from thee proceed,
words that endless bliss impart,
kept in an obedient heart.

All who read, or hear, are blessed,
if thy plain commands we do;
of thy kingdom here possessed,
thee we shall in glory view
when thou comest on earth to abide,
reign triumphant at thy side.

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