Hymn #114: Return, My People

James F. D. Martin (b. 1953) wrote this Advent hymn in 1981 while in his second year as an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.  He and his wife, Jenny Dawson, were expecting their first child, and the season of obedient and patient waiting took on special meaning for them, reflected in this text.

 

James F. D. Martin was born on June 8, 1953, in Elmhurst, Illinois, and grew up in nearby Villa Park.  His grandfather was a United Church of Christ minister in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Oregon.  When Martin was age five he announce, "I'm going to be a minister like Grandpa."  Martin was ordained in 1980.

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) composed this music for use in his oratorio Judith in 1888.  It was later adapted as a hymn tune and named Repton.  Parry spent his life teaching and composing and was knighted in 1898 for his contributions to English Music.

 

C. Hubert H. Parry was born in Bournemouth, England, and grew to be expert in music of all kinds.  He became director of the Royal College of Music in 1894 and was professor of music at Oxford University from 1900 until 1908.  Parry died at Rustington, England, in 1918.