Saturday, 21 April 2012

Making a Hymn Available

Theology isn't everything with hymns; some express sentiment simply through singing and relating to a longstanding traditional hymn and tune. There's an obvious reason the following hymn (before alteration) hasn't appeared in Unitarian hymnals, because its core verses are trinitarian and about salvation. So add in some of those extra verses and change a few words, and it is a usable hymn. We in Hull should be able to use it:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Eternal Father, Lord of hosts,
Watch o'er the souls who guard our coasts.
Protect them from the raging seas
And give them light and life and peace.
Grant them from Thy great throne above
The shield and shelter of Thy love.

Lord, guard and guide the ones who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!

O Unity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from air and sea.

From William Whiting, 1860; Mary

Hamilton, 1915; George Jenks, 1955.

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