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 blessèd 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.