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O Worship the King; Spirit of the Living God; Father in Heaven

The three songs in this issue are all taken from the Psalter Hymnal (1987) and are accompanied by commentary from the new Psalter Hymnal Handbook (1998). We're celebrating the completion of that huge project in this issue (see also the editorial on p. 2, the interview with primary author Bert Polman on p. 7, and order information on the inside back cover). We're also heaving huge sighs of relief after ten years of research!

As you will see from these entries, there is a wealth of information available in the handbook. You may want to use some of this information in introducing the hymns, or perhaps in providing tidbits in your bulletin.

The three songs were chosen for three Sundays in a row: Ascension Sunday (May 24,1998), Pentecost (May 31, 1998), and Trinity Sunday Qune 7, 1998). But each of the hymns is useful for many other occasions throughout the Christian year as well.

ASCENSION

O WORSHIP THE KING

The first line of this beloved hymn immediately reveals its appropriateness for the festival of the Ascension. We know a good deal about the text, but the source of the tune was always a puzzle. Our "final" draft of the handbook included the usual indication that no one had been able to discover the origins of the tune. Though hymnals have always indicated "attributed to Haydn," no one could trace it to Haydn.

Now comes the fun part. Last summer at the Hymn Society Conference in Savannah, Georgia, I was talking with Daniel McKinley, then choirmaster and organist at First Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana, and learned that his assistant, Margaret Dinsmore, had just dug up some new information about this tune. Their congregation was in the process of producing its very own hymnal, a very big task! They wanted to be accurate in listing authors and composers, and since no one had ever uncovered the real source of this tune, Margaret Dinsmore went to work. She was researching Haydn sources in the University of Indiana library when a title popped up: "The Sonatina with Twelve Variations by J. Haydn (sic). It was the "sic." that intrigued her. After some more sleuthing, she got the title of a German book by Bertil H. Van Boer, Jr., who wrote about the Swedish composer Joseph Martin Kraus. That book listed the Sonatina, and the first few measures included in the book were obviously the same opening notes to the tune LYONS!

Mystery solved! In fact, the tune was written for piano with an added violin part. Dinsmore kindly faxed me the information; I went to the library, got some biographical information on Kraus, and quickly added the new information to the first page proofs of the handbook. The Psalter Hymnal Handbook is probably the first one to list Kraus as the composer, thanks to the impressive library research skills of Margaret Dinsmore.

What a rich testimony this hymn is to the communion of the saints: the hymn text is rooted in Scripture as well as the devotional life of someone with Scottish roots living in India and set to a tune by a German/Swedish composer living in England. And the hymn is still sung around the world a hundred and fifty years later!

PENTECOST
SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD

Here is another song with international roots. Many more hymns have come to North America from Britain than the other way around, but in the case of "Spirit of the Living God," the traffic flows both ways. When Anglican Bishop Michael Baughan heard this simple chorus by a Southern Presbyterian pastor and evangelist from North America, he added another stanza in order to move from individual prayer to a communal prayer for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

TRINITY SUNDAY
FATHER IN HEAVEN

In the Christian year, the Sunday following Pentecost is designated Trinity Sunday. Many hymns have a trinitarian structure, including this simple hymn that comes from the Philippines via Ceylon. Our knowledge about this hymn has expanded considerably since the Psalter Hymnal was first published in 1987. In the first printings of the Psalter Hymnal the hymn text was credited to Daniel T. Niles from Ceylon, but we subsequently learned that he translated it from a text written by Elena Maquiso from the Philippines. In fact, she had written a complete hymn, text and tune. The United Methodist Hymnal (1989) published her text and tune together, but with an altered first line ("O God in Heaven"). When first lines get altered, the sleuthing task of research gets even more complicated!

When we discovered the simple beauty of her tune, we included it in the children's hymnal Songs for LIFE. Both tunes are excellent, and you will be able to compare them in the settings available here.

 

Excerpts
428
O Worship the King
Text

Scripture References

St. l=Ps. 18:2
Dan. 7:9,13,22
st. 2 = Ps. 18:9-12
Ps. 104:1-3'
st. 3 = Ps. 104:7-10
st. 5 = Ps. 145:10

Robert Grant (b. Bengal, India, 1779; d. Dalpoorie, India, 1838) was influenced in writing this text by William Kethe's ""(PHH lOO^paraphrase of Psalm 104 in the Anglo-Genevan Psalter (1561). Grant's text was first published in Edward Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody (1833) with several unauthorized alterations. In 1835 his original six-stanza text was published in Henry Elliott's Psalms and Hymns. Stanza 3 was omitted in the Psalter Hymnal.

Rather than being a paraphrase or versification, the text is a meditation on the creation theme of Psalm 104. Stanzas 1-3, which allude to Psalm 104:1-6, focus on God's creation as a testimony to his "measureless Might." More personal in tone, stanzas 4 and 5 confess the compassion of God toward his creatures and affirm with apocalyptic vision that the "ransomed creation, with glory ablaze" will join with angels to hymn its praise to God.

Of Scottish ancestry, Grant was born in India, where his father was a director of the East India Company. He attended Magdalen College, Cambridge, and was called to die bar in 1807. He had a distinguished public career as Governor of Bombay and as a member of the British Parliament, where he sponsored a bill to remove civil restrictions on Jews. Grant was knighted in 1834. His hymn texts were published in the Christian Observer (1806-1815), in Elliott's Psalms and Hymns (1835), and posthumously by his brother as Sacred Poems (1839).

Tune

LYONS, named for the French city Lyons, appeared with a reference to "Haydn" in volume 2 of William Gardiner's (PHH 111) Sacred Melodies. However, the tune was never found in the works of Franz Joseph Haydn or those of his younger brother Johann Michael Haydn. Recent research revealed that the tune was composed by Joseph Martin Kraus, a German composer who settled in Sweden and who traveled widely throughout Europe. Die Werke von Joseph Martin Kraus systematisch-thematisclies Werkvereichnis, by Bertil H. Van Boer,Jr. (Stockholm, 1988), includes information on Kraus's "Tema con variazioni (Scherzo)" a work composed around 1785 in London with -»ai(lncipTrthat clearly matches the opening measures of LYONS. The work was published as aseToftwelve variations for piano and violin in London in 1791. The violin part may have been an addition by another composer, perhaps a "G. Haydn," since a subsequent London edition (c. 1808) was entitled "Sonatina with Twelve Variations for the Piano Forte with Violin Accompaniments, composed by G. Haydn."

CREATION & PROVIDENCE

Joseph Martin Kraus (b. Miltenberg am Main, Germany, 1756; d. Stockholm, Sweden, 1792) spent his youth in Germany, but in 1778 moved to Stockholm. He was elected to the Swedish Academy of Music and became the conductor of the court orchestra and eventually the best-known composer associated with the court of Gustavus III. On his travels, Kraus did meet Franz Joseph Haydn, who considered Kraus "one of the greatest geniuses I have met." Kraus wrote operas as well as many vocal and instrumental works.

A bright melody, LYONS is much loved by many congregations. Lines 1,2, and 4 are similar in shape; lines 2 and 4 are identical. The climbing melody and dominant pedal-point of line 3 provides contrast. Sing stanzas 1,3, and 5 in solid unison and stanzas 2 and 4 in harmony. Use clear, bright accompaniment. MaixUaia-Qne pulse per bar. LYONS's opening figure is similar to that of HANOVER(149 and 477) a good alternate tune.

Liturgical Use

An opening hymn of praise; because of the hymn's relationship to Psalm 104, see suggestions for use at PHH 104.

PENTECOST AND HOLY SPIRIT
424
Spirit of the Living God
Text

Scripture References

st. = Acts 10:44

The composite hymn text is a prayer for the Holy Spirit to work Scripture References renewal in the individual heart (st. 1) and to make these renewed all people one in love and service (st. 2).

Daniel Iverson (b. Brunswick, GA, 1890; d. Asheville, NC, 1977) wrote the first stanza and tune of this hymn after hearing a sermon on the Holy Spirit during an evangelism crusade by the George Stephans Evangelistic Team in Orlando, Florida, 1926. The hymn was sung at the crusade and then printed in leaflets for use at other sendees. Published anonymously in Robert H. Coleman's Revival Songs (1929) with alterations in the tune, this short hymn gained much popularity by the middle of die century. Since the 1960s it has again been properly credited to Iverson.

Iverson studied at me University of Georgia, Moody Bible Institute, Columbia Theological Seminary, and die University of South Carolina. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1914, he served congregations in Georgia and in North and South Carolina. In 1927 he founded the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida, and served there until his retirement in 1951. An evangelist as well as a preacher, Iverson planted seven new congregations during his ministry in Miami.

Michael Baughen (b. Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, 1930) added a second stanza to the text in 1980. That stanza's emphasis on the Spirit moving "among us all" provides a necessary complement to die first stanza's focus on the Spirit's work in die individual ("fall afresh on me"). The stanzas were first published together in the British Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Baughen was a priest in the Church of England since 1964 and Bishop of Chester from 1982 until he retired in 1996. He now lives in London. Educated at London University and Oak Hill Theological College, he served as rector of Holy Trinity Church in Rushholme, Manchester (1964-1970), and All Saints, Langham Place, London (1970-1982). Baughen has written four books including Chained to the Gospel (1986) and The Prayer Principle (1981). He also founded the Jubilate Group and served as editor of four hymnals: Youth Praise (1966), Youth Praise II (1969), Psalm Praise (1973), and Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Tune

IVERSON is a simple chorus; its original melody line was altered in 1929 (see above). Southern Baptist leader Baylus B. McKinney wrote the harmony, which was published in his Songs of Victory (1937).

 

THE PSALMS, BIBLE SONGS, AND HYMNS
252
Father in Heaven
Text

Featuring a trinitarian structure, this hymn is a prayer for God's presence in both worship and life. It was written in 1961 by Elena G. Maquiso (b. Guindulman, Bohol, Philippines, 1914). She was educated both in the Philippines and the United States, received a doctorate from the Hartford Theological Foundation in 1960, and taught at Silliman University in Mumaguete, Philippines, where she directed its Ulahingan Research Project. Her publications, related to indigenous folklore and hymnody, include Awitan Ta AngDyos (1962), Mga Sugilanon Sa Negros (1980), and Ulahingan: Epic of the Southern Philippines (1992).

Daniel Thambyrajah Niles (b. Telipallai, Ceylon, 1908; d. Vellore Christian Medical College, India, 1970) translated this hymn text for the EACCHymnal (1964), which he produced almost single-handedly. That hymnal includes forty-four of his own hymns and translations and adaptations of others. Niles began studies in law at Ceylon Christian University, but changed his course of study to the ministry, due in part to a devout Hindu warden at the University who greatly influenced him. Niles was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1932. After serving in Ceylon, he became the president of the East Asia Christian Conference (EACC), and later the evangelism secretary for the World Council of Churches in Geneva.

A few word changes are included in the text published in the Psalter Hymnal; some other modern hymnals have changed the first line to "O God in heaven."

Tune

A simple, attractive tune, RESTORATION features the pentatonic (five-pitch) style typical of Appalachian music. It was first published in Southern Harmony (1835), published by William Walker (PHH 44). The tune name derives from "Mercy, O Thou Son of David," the text to which this tune was set in Walker's book.

Sing this music in four phrases at a good tempo. It is suitable for guitar or light organ registration. Try introducing it on folk instruments—for example, play the melody on recorder or flute (up an octave) and the harmony on guitar or Orff instruments. The most simple Orff accompaniment, which children can easily handle, is the playing of repeated rhythmic ostinati on the B and E pitches throughout.

Gary Warmink (b. Everson, WA, 1940) harmonized this tune in 1973 when serving as a member of the Psalter Hymnal Supplement Committee; his arrangement was first published in the 1974 Psalter Hymnal Supplement. A graduate of Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the University of Washington, Warmink also received a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He taught music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa (1963-1980), Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas (1980-1984), and was minister of music at First Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas (1984-1996). He is currently pursuing a variety of service projects in Russia and Romania, including organ-building projects there and in Texas.

Liturgical Use

Beginning of worship; before the proclamation of the Word; with spoken prayers following the sermon; as a short sung prayer; Lord's Supper.