Saturday, November 1, 2014

An Anglican Hymn for All Saints

The words of this hymn were written by an Anglican bishop, Walsham How, and first sung to the tune Sarum; most commonly, the hymn is now sung to a Ralph Vaughn Williams's melody, Sine Nomine!

1. For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

3. For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

4. For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

5. For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

6. O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

7. O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

8. And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

9. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

10. But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

11. From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

William Walsham How (Walsham), 13 December 1823 – 10 August 1897, wrote several other hymns:

  • Lord Jesus, when we stand afar
  • O Jesu, thou art standing
  • O my Saviour, lifted from the earth for me
  • It is a thing most wonderful
  • For all the Saints, who from their labours rest
  • "Thou art the Christ, O Lord"
  • To Thee, Our God, we fly
  • Jesus! name of wondrous love
  • Soldiers of the cross, arise
  • We give thee but thine own

  • He was the first bishop of Wakefield in the north of England from 1888 until  his death (that Anglican diocese was absorbed into Leeds). Although neither biography I've found (Wikipedia and here) states it directly, he must have been Anglo-Catholic. He wrote a book on devotion to Holy Communion; founded an order of deaconess sisters to serve the poor, and obviously, wrote a hymn to celebrate All Saints! Happy All Saints Day!

    No comments:

    Post a Comment