I think I’m going to have to make this a semi-regular feature just so I can keep track of my new “finds”. 🙂 Hymns old or new… keep watching this spot for more of ’em!
This month my “new find” is a really old one. It’s called The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended. Victorian English in origin and sound, the words are by John Ellerton and music by Clement Scholefield. We sang it last night at the Carnegie Community Thanksgiving Service.
The song is meant to be sung to close an evening worship service, but the text has at least two other meanings, and I love double and triple meanings in lyrics! This song’s “bonus” meanings: (1) The unending praise that is God’s: as the world turns, and the sun rises over each land, there never fails to be someone somewhere on the planet who is awake and praising God; and (2) a peaceful and faith-full acceptance of death as part of the course of life in Christian community: as our sun sets, someone else’s rises, and the praises we have begun to sing to God in our lifetimes will be continued by the people our lives have touched for Him.
To hear a verse or two click here then click the “Listen to Samples” button. Scroll down to #20 on the list and click it. (If anyone knows a more convenient location for a good quality choir recording sample please let me know!) Here are the lyrics:
The Day Thou Gavest Lord Is Ended
The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.
As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.
The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.
So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.