Hymn Notes

Weekly Hymn Notes

Learn about the origin of  hymns, lyrics, and melodies, and other music that will be used during Sunday worship service. Contact Don De Bruin, Director of Music Ministries for more information at 608.233.9751.

Hymn Notes for November 17, 2019

From The New Century Hymnal Companion, Copyright 1998, The Pilgrim Press.

#1 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908) based the words of this hymn on 1 Timothy 1:17 for his 1867 Hymns of Christ and the Christian Life.  It subsequently appeared with Smith's own revisions in Congregational Hymns (1884), edited by W. Garrett Horder, a Congregational minister in England.

 

A minister of the Free Church of Scotland, Walter C. Smith served churches in London, Milnathort, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.  His interest in poetry led to the publications of a number of collections, including The Bishop's Walk (1860) and A Heretic and Other Poems (1891).

This hymn's tune, ST. DENIO, known in Wales as JOANNA, was based on an old folk melody traditionally sung with words about a cuckoo.  It was modified and first used as a hymn tune by John Roberts in his Canaidaeth y Cysegr (1839).  St. Denio is the Latin form of St. Dennis.

 

Many Welsh hymn tunes originated from folk songs or ballads that were already familiar in secular settings.  These typically strong tunes adapted well to hymn textw and are often memorable in their predictable structure.  ST. DENIO was first used with this text in The English Hymnal (1906) - a pairing that has proved widely successful for over a century.

#462 Creating God, Your Fingers Trace

Jeffery Rowthorn (b. 1934) assigned his students at Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music the task of paraphrasing a psalm in modern language.  Never having done this himself, he decided to complete the assignment as well.  This text was the result of that exercise and has appeared in many hymnals.

 

Jeffery Rowthorn was born in Wales, educated and ordained in England, worked as a seminary professor and dean in the United States, and in 1987 was consecrated bishop suffragan of Connecticut.  In 1993, he moved to Paris, France to serve as bishop of the American Convocation of Churches in Europe.

Eugene W. Hancock (1929-1993) composed this tune, now titled HANCOCK in his honor, in 1989.  It was played at an organist guild meeting and later brought to the attention of the committee for the Presbyterian Hymnal (1990), in which it was published.

 

Eugene W. Hancock was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but raised in Detroit, Michigan.  Beginning in 1970, he served as professor of music at the Borough of Manhattan (New York) Community College.  Hancock also served as director of music at West End Presbyterian Church in New York.

#589 Let There Be Light, O God of Hosts

William Merrill Vories (1880-1964) wrote this poem in 1908 after reading an account of the rise of German militarism.  Published by the American Peace Society, it later was set to music and translated into Japanese.  Vories was a lay missionary to Japan who devoted his life to nondenominational missions work.

 

William M. Vories was born October 28, 1880, in Leavenworth, Kansas.  In college, he decided to enter the missionary field but did not want to work under the auspices of his own denomination (Congregational) or any other.  He established the Omi Mission in Japan and spent the remainder of his life working for that cause.

William Boyd (184701928) composed the tune PENTECOST for his teacher Sabine Baring-Gould's text "Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire" for use at the author's parish.  Boyd was seventeen at the time.  The tune was published in a small collection, Thirty-Two Hymn Tunes (1868), at Oxford University.

 

William Boyd was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, but moved to England for his education at Worcester College, Oxford.  In addition to his accomplishments as an organist, he studied for the ministry and was ordained in 1877 by the Church of England.

Hymns by Title

Hymn Number Title Service Date
#1 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise November 17, 2019
#462 Creating God, Your Fingers Trace November 17, 2019
#589 Let There Be Light, O God of Hosts November 17, 2019
#8 Praise to the Living God November 10, 2019
#487 Surely No One Can Be Safer November 10, 2019
#603 Giver of Life, Where'er They Be November 10, 2019
#63 Holy Spirit, Truth Divine November 3, 2019
#299 For All the Saints November 3, 2019
#342 Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread November 3, 2019
#374 O God of All Your People Past November 3, 2019
#83 I Sing As I Arise Today October 27, 2019
#451 Be Now My Vision October 27, 2019
#82 Go, My Children, with My Blessing October 27, 2019
#69 Come, God, Creator, Be Our Shield October 20, 2019
#316 We Limit Not the Truth of God October 20, 2019
#538 Standing at the Future’s Threshold October 20, 2019
#74 We Have Gathered, Jesus Dear October 13, 2019
#575 O for a World October 13, 2019
#84 This Is the Day October 6, 2019
#542 Born of God, Eternal Savior October 6, 2019
#346 Bread of the World, in Mercy Broken October 6, 2019
#311 Renew Your Church October 6, 2019
#553 There is a Balm in Gilead September 29, 2019
#612 Strengthen all the Weary Hands September 29, 2019
#66 O Day of Radiant Gladness September 22, 2019
#306 The Church of Christ, in Every Age September 22, 2019
#542 Born of God, Eternal Savior September 22, 2019
#9 We Sing to You, O God September 15, 2019
#551 Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior September 15, 2019
#543 Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life September 15, 2019
#22 Sing Praise to God, Who Has Shaped September 8, 2019
#350 Now in the Days of Youth September 8, 2019
#319 Sing Them Over Again to Me (Wonderful Words of Life) September 8, 2019
#70 God Is Here! As We Your People Meet September 1, 2019
#391 In the Midst of New Dimensions September 1, 2019
#495 Called as Partners in Christ’s Service September 1, 2019
#70 God Is Here! As We Your People Meet August 27, 2019
#391 In the Midst of New Dimensions August 27, 2019
#495 Called as Partners in Christ’s Service August 27, 2019
#325 Child of Blessing, Child of Promise August 25, 2019
#585 O God, We Bear the Imprint of Your Face August 25, 2019
#582 O God of Earth and Altar August 25, 2019
#556 God, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens August 18, 2019
#418 My Faith, It Is an Oaken Staff August 18, 2019
#18 Guide Me, O My Great Redeemer August 18, 2019
#67 Let Me Enter God’s Own Dwelling August 11, 2019
#28 For the Beauty of the Earth August 11, 2019
#571 O God of Love, O God of Peace August 11, 2019
#433 In the Bulb There Is a Flower August 4, 2019
#26 We Worship You, God July 28, 2019

Hymns by Date

Service Date
November 17, 2019
November 10, 2019
November 3, 2019
October 27, 2019
October 20, 2019
October 13, 2019
October 6, 2019
September 29, 2019
September 22, 2019
September 15, 2019
September 8, 2019
September 1, 2019
August 27, 2019
August 25, 2019
August 18, 2019
August 11, 2019
August 4, 2019 Hymn #433: In the Bulb There Is a Flower
July 28, 2019
July 21, 2019
July 14, 2019
July 7, 2019
June 30, 2019
June 23, 2019
June 16, 2019 Hymn #530: God Our Author and Creator
June 9, 2019
June 2, 2019
May 26, 2019
May 19, 2019
May 12, 2019
May 5, 2019
April 28, 2019
April 21, 2019
April 18, 2019
April 14, 2019
April 10, 2019
April 7, 2019
April 3, 2019
March 31, 2019
March 27, 2019
March 24, 2019
March 20, 2019
March 17, 2019
March 13, 2019
March 10, 2019
March 6, 2019
February 27, 2019
February 24, 2019
February 17, 2019
February 3, 2019
January 27, 2019
January 20, 2019
January 13, 2019
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