Hymn #575: O for a World

Miriam Therese Winter (b. 1938) wrote this text for the Presbyterian Women’s triennial Conference in 1982 and revised in 1987, when it was recorded for the Medical Mission Sisters.  It was published in The Presbyterian Hymnal (1990) prior to its appearance in The New Century Hymnal.

Miriam Therese Winter has been writing biblical songs and hymns that have enriched the worship life of churches since Vatican II.  Winter serves as professor of liturgy, worship, and spirituality at Hartford (Connecticut) Seminary, a historically related seminary of the United Church of Christ.

Carl Gotthelf Gläser (1784-1829) composed this tune in 1828.  It was “discovered” in Germany by Lowell Mason, who was searching for new tunes for his 1839 hymnal, Modern Psalmist.  Mason named the tune AZMON, a Hebrew word for “Fortress,” found in Numbers 34:4-5.

Carl G. Gläser was born in Weissenfels, Germany, on May 4, 1784.  He learned to play the violin from his father, which led to a career as a violinist, a teacher, and a choral conductor.  In addition, he composed a number of works and operated a music store.  Gläser died April 16, 1829, in Barmen, Germany.