Sunday, November 4, 2007

"For All the Saints"

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor's crown of gold!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day:
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Text: William W. How
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams

I love this hymn--it's in my top 5 favorite hymns. And pretty much All Saints Sunday is the only time we sing it (though I have been at some funerals where it is sung, and want it sung at mine). I love the music and of course the words reminding us of those in the faith that have gone on before us, and how in Him, we all are one. Such hope in this hymn--though life is a battle, and we can get weary, we are confident of the victory we have in Christ, and have so much to look forward to. I mean, really picturing what vs. 7-8 are saying, how can you not have a tear in your eye and unspeakable joy in your heart?! Pure awesomeness!

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