Hymns that Speak to Me Right Now (VI)

I posted a lot of these (like 5 of them) during Lent and I think this is a series that I’d like to continue.

Our selection this time is “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” that is used as a processional hymn/gathering hymn/opening hymn in a number of Protestant denominations, mainstream and conservative alike. The tune is Unser Herrscher by Joachim Neander (composed in 1680 — my taste in hymns settings is “the older the better”) and the lyrics are:

Open now thy gates of beauty,
Zion, let me enter there,
Where my soul in joyful duty
Waits for Him Who answers prayer.
Oh, how bless├Ęd is this place,
Filled with solace, light and grace!

Lord, my God, I come before Thee,
Come Thou also unto me;
Where we find Thee and adore Thee,
There a heav??n on earth must be.
To my heart, oh, enter Thou,
Let it be Thy temple now!

Here Thy praise is gladly chanted,
Here Thy seed is duly sown;
Let my soul, where it is planted,
Bring forth precious sheaves alone,
So that all I hear may be
Fruitful unto life in me.

Thou my faith increase and quicken,
Let me keep Thy gift divine,
Howsoe??er temptations thicken;
May Thy Word still o??er me shine
As my guiding star through life,
As my comfort in my strife.

Speak, O God, and I will hear Thee,
Let Thy will be done indeed;
May I undisturbed draw near Thee
While Thou dost Thy people feed.
Here of life the fountain flows,
Here is balm for all our woes.
(HT: Net Hymnal)

I love it. because it totally describes the way we should be as we head into Mass/worship/prayer: open to hearing God’s voice with the realization that God is present.

I’m amazed that I found this on YouTube but there *is* a video. Woo. It’s from the installation of a bishop in the ELCA so they have the phatty organ and handbells with a sweet choir. You’ll see women processing in wearing their stoles — the ELCA ordains women as pastors. The last man in the procession who is tall/thin/bearded is Bishop Mark Hanson, the presiding bishop of the ELCA. I actually *like* this particular YouTube video because it shows us Lutherans doing church music well. The congregation is singing in addition to the choir and handbells, which is how I think hymns should be done.

OK… WordPress apparently hates me tonight so click here to see it.