In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

All Creatures of Our God and King

An extra Easter treat! Here is another of my favorite hymns, All Creatures of Our God and King, which was sung in church today. It's the greatest hymn to the wonder of Creation that I know. You might also call it "Ecumenism Gone Wild": the text was composed in Italian by the monk St. Francis of Assisi cir­ca 1225; it remained virtually unknown for almost 400 years and was finally trans­lat­ed to Eng­lish by Wil­liam H. Drap­er for a child­ren’s Whit­sun­tide fes­ti­val in Leeds, Eng­land, and first appeared in print in 1919; the basic melody is from an old German Catholic hymn; and the arrangement you hear today is by the great English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Anglican English Hymnal.

The version immediately below is by the contemporary "Christian rock" David Crowder Band. I usually prefer traditional arrangements, but this one--while featuring modern rhythmization and instruments--is completely faithful to the original words, melody, and spirit, and is set to a beautiful video that includes the text you can read along to.

The version below features a traditional arrangement by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It's lovely, and has a very nice video, but (as is often the case with MoTab) it's hard to discern the words in all the voices and orchestration. I've included the text below this video, which you can copy and save. Once again, HAPPY EASTER!

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!


O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!


Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.


Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.


And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!


And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.


Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!



It's A Wonderful said...

Beautiful! I may have to find that and put it on my ipod! Thanks!

JoJo said...

I agree with Aunt Patti; beautiful! This is also one of my favorites. Great music and great lyrics.

Ed Maisch said...

Hi Tom...
Bev told me about your blog so I decided to check it out. Enjoyed it greatly.
The story about the dog reminded me of my Dad dog sitting my Aunt's mean little poodle. My Dad always watched TV with a drink or a beer. One night while dog sitting he was puzzled to find his drinks going faster that he thought he was drinking them. He then found the dog passed out on the floor. When my Aunt came back to pickup the dog that night, the dog was still out cold. My Aunt thought it was that the dog was really tired from playing with my Dad. No one ever told my Aunt the truth. My father had found a way to deal with a yipping, snapping annoyance. And my Aunt was convinced that my Dad was the best dogsitter in the world.