Songs of Thankfulness and Praise
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    Hello, everyone, I thought I would post an old essay of mine about Songs of Thankfulness and Praise.


    **********

    There is a hymn that captures very well the sentiments of the Magnificat antiphon for the second Vespers of Epiphany: "Three mysteries mark this holy day."

    It's called Songs of Thankfulness and Praise, by Christopher Wordsworth. It's in most of the hymnals but not done often enough, in my opinion. Probably because it's good for one Sunday of the year--not an "economical" choice, maybe, for congregational participation. But it goes with a lot of tunes, at least one of which most congregations are likely to know. I like it best set to Salzburg, as here.

    First is mentioned the mystery of the day:

    Songs of thankfulness and praise,
    Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise,
    manifested by the star
    to the sages from afar;
    branch of royal David's stem
    in thy birth at Bethlehem;
    anthems be to thee addressed,
    God in man made manifest.

    Then the appearance to the Magi is linked to those of the Baptism and the Wedding Feast at Cana:

    Manifest at Jordan's stream,
    Prophet, Priest and King supreme;
    and at Cana, wedding guest,
    in thy Godhead manifest;
    manifest in power divine,
    changing water into wine;
    anthems be to thee addressed,
    God in man made manifest.

    Finally there is an intercessory/ hortatory verse. Note the very high and correct view of salvation, in which we are both changed--by God, of course--into his likeness, and also given over totally to praise at the same time:

    Grant us grace to see thee, Lord,
    mirrored in thy holy Word;
    may we imitate thee now,
    and be pure, as pure art thou;
    that we like to thee may be
    at thy great Epiphany;
    and may praise thee, ever blest,
    God in man made manifest.

    Throughout the hymn a fairly unfamiliar word falls over and over like a hammer or a drumbeat: manifest, manifest.

    I think that those three verses stand alone as a unity for this feast, although I confess an affection for the following verse which deals with Jesus' public ministry:

    Manifest in making whole
    palsied limbs and fainting soul;
    manifest in valiant fight,
    quelling all the devil's might;
    manifest in gracious will,
    ever bringing good from ill;
    anthems be to thee addressed,
    God in man made manifest.

    A nice theological moment in lines 5 & 6 above. Both Sts. Augustine and Thomas (and many others, I'm sure) agree that God permits evil only to bring out a greater good. So this is one of the marks of his "showing forth" upon the earth: drawing good out of evil. But the use of the word "ill" for bad touches upon the form that the Son's power took most often in the Gospels: physical healings. Very nice. Note the compactness of the phrase: "ever bringing good from ill." A very admirable line.

    This is followed by a verse I'd not seen before, regarding the manifestation yet to come, the Epiphany to bring into one all Epiphanies, full of good scripture:

    Sun and moon shall darkened be,
    stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee;
    Christ will then like lightning shine,
    all will see his glorious sign;
    all will then the trumpet hear,
    all will see the Judge appear;
    thou by all wilt be confessed,
    God in man made manifest.

    If you don't sing this in your parish tomorrow, please ask for it next year. It's uplifting and doctrinally sound--really worthy of wide usage.
  • G
    Posts: 1,388
    I too have never seen that verse.
    It is stunning. (No wonder it does not appear in Gather, we have a Buddy, not a Judge, right?)
    Since we never sing all the verse of anything, its existence would be immaterial at my parish.

    We have, albeit rarely, sung SoT&P for a few Masses other than Epiphany, but my word people get their knickers in a twist if a song or hymn they think is Lenten, or for Christ the King makes its appearance at another time of the year.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    I hadn't thought of this before. It perhaps could be sung as a general Christological hymn, rather than being limited to the Epiphany and Baptism.
    Thanked by 2Jenny cesarfranck
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    I cannot imagine that there could be any controversy about this hymn, nor can I imagine it absent from any decent Catholic hymnal.

    SALZBURG is perhaps not the most inspiring hymn tune, but it's much better than most.
    Thanked by 1Settefrati93
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Actually I would say sing it through the whole Epiphany Season. The abolition of which is the greatest sin of the calendar reforms.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    This is another of my fav hymns, but done much more frequently in Anglican churches. I don't think my current place of work had ever sung it before I came. LOL

    Donna
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    Want to sing only particular verses - the MOST fitting for the day? Finale (Sibelius, whatever) is the key. I've been doing this for years. Weekly pew worship aids are also the best way to go.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,692
    I do this hymn EVERY year, and if it aint in the PBEH then I is photocopying it out of somethin else!
  • If this is to be included in PBEH, please include the verse "Sun and moon..." as Kathy noted above. I hope the PBEH will look to the original versions of the texts rather than relying on the editing work of various generations of hymnal editors. Admittedly, some of the edited versions are superior in terms of liturgical use, nonetheless it is most appropriate to go ad fontes and get to know the hymn from the author's first intention.
  • Here is the hymn in Latin (!) - a translation *into* Latin - along with hundreds of other translated hymns.

    http://www.latinisedhymns.org.uk/hymn/236

    Sam Schmitt
  • JDE
    Posts: 584
    The verse about the sun and moon is included. I've done it that way at my church several Epiphanies in a row. When we used to print a weekly worship aid, we had a reprint license, but I still set about finding original texts where possible. That's how I discovered this wonderful, usually omitted verse.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    Just thought I'd bump this up to the top. We're singing it 3 weeks in a row this year, mbwaaahaaa.
  • Aaron
    Posts: 106
    We are singing it 3 weeks in a row as well.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,692
    Three weeks in a row? Interesting. Is that a tradition we have lost?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    Epiphany, Baptism, Wedding Feast at Cana--the three Sunday Gospels, the three manifestations.

    See Gary Penkala's fine treatment here:
    http://www.canticanova.com/articles/xmas/art3b1.htm
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,692
    Thanx Kathy
  • Hi, can anyone explain to me what "...that we like to thee may be...." means in the third verse? This line is somewhat confusing.
    If it means " ....that we may be like you....", then does it mean that we want to be like the Lord at his great Epiphany?
    What does that mean?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,170
    1 John 3:2 :When Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

    ---
    This is part of the destiny of the believer, that our baptism and our communion with Christ here on earth makes us like him.

    Man is made in God's image and likeness, and while the image remains unaltered after the Fall, our likeness to him was marred by original sin and our personal sins. Christ restores this likeness in us, and it shall be revealed in the end, that we are made sons of God in a way that is not identical to his sonship but analogous to it. St. Peter even writes in one of his epistles (2 Pt 1:4) that we are made partakers of the divine nature, an amazing expression. In the 300s, the great St. Athanasius wrote "God became man so that man might become god."

  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,310
    There is yet another stanza to this marvelous hymn which takes up the Transfiguration, which may be found in The Hymnal 1982. And, although it is by F. Bland Tucker, rather than Christopher Wordsworth, it is quite word-worthy of inclusion. I've included it as the fourth stanza below.

    1
    Songs of thankfulness and praise,
    Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise,
    manifested by the star
    to the sages from afar;
    branch of royal David's stem
    in thy birth at Bethlehem;
    anthems be to thee addressed,
    God in man made manifest.

    2
    Manifest at Jordan's stream,
    Prophet, Priest and King supreme;
    and at Cana, wedding guest,
    in thy Godhead manifest;
    manifest in power divine,
    changing water into wine;
    anthems be to thee addressed,
    God in man made manifest.

    3
    Manifest in making whole
    palsied limbs and fainting soul;
    manifest in valiant fight,
    quelling all the devil's might;
    manifest in gracious will,
    ever bringing good from ill;
    anthems be to thee addressed,
    God in man made manifest.

    4
    Manifest on mountain height,
    shining in resplendent light,
    where disciples filled with awe
    thy transfigured glory saw.
    When from there thou leddest them
    stead fast to Jerusalem,
    cross and Easter Day attest
    God in man made manifest.

    5
    Sun and moon shall darkened be,
    stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee;
    Christ will then like lightning shine,
    all will see his glorious sign;
    all will then the trumpet hear,
    all will see the Judge appear;
    thou by all wilt be confessed,
    God in man made manifest.

    6
    Grant us grace to see thee, Lord,
    mirrored in thy holy Word;
    may we imitate thee now,
    and be pure, as pure art thou;
    that we like to thee may be
    at thy great Epiphany;
    and may praise thee, ever blest,
    God in man made manifest.

  • Many thanks for these beautiful lines of poetry. I had programmed this for next Sunday from Worship III -- but will now put it in the program with stanza's 4, 5 & 6. If we are to use hymns, they must earn their keep - and may only the strong and beautiful survive!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • I have always loved singing this hymn on Epiphany. All by itself, it accounts for probably 80% of my usage of the word "manifest" for the entire year. (That includes discussions of shipping and passenger manifests.)
  • Thanks Chonak.
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 819
    Gather Comp has stanzas 1-3 and 6 from above. Of course all the Thees and Thys have been "updated" to make it more relevant. Still, it's one of the better hymns in the book and we do sing it this time each year.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    I was googling for this text (esp. verse 4) and came across this thread, which I'd forgotten about.

    What an awesome hymn.
    Thanked by 1Spriggo
  • Spriggo
    Posts: 122
    I love this hymn. We're singing it this weekend.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    In the OF, in Year C like this year, also consider it for OT2.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,450
    Great hymn! One of my favorites.
  • Mine, too!

    One that's sadly missing, though, just about in any book other than The 1940 is 'Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning', sung to Morning Star.
  • Great hymn. We're singing on Sunday to the tune King Divine.
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    Singing it this week!
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    It also works for the Second Sunday after Epiphany, since the Gospel pericope is the wedding feast at Cana.
  • PhatFlute
    Posts: 219
    On sazlburg is bad accent,
    Ph
  • Does anyone have the Latin original text or the appropriate chant?

    I went looking for it, and came up with nothing - so far.
  • bump, since I got no answer to the original question nearly 3 years ago...
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    I don't think this is a direct translation of a Latin text. It was written by Christopher Wordsworth, later Bishop of Lincoln (UK, Anglican)
    Wordsworth described the text as follows
    [It is a] recapitulation of the successive manifestations of Christ, which have already been presented in the services of the former weeks throughout the season of Epiphany; and anticipation of that future great and glorious Epiphany, at which Christ will be manifest to all, when he will appear again to judge the world.
    He was a renowned scholar of Greek, so probably referred to the Greek NT rather than a Latin translation. Scripture References: st. 1 = Matt. 2:1-12 st. 2 = John 2:1-11, John 3:13-17 st. 3 = Matt. 4:1-11, 23-24 ref. = Mark 8:29, John 1:14
    If you want it in Latin, for a translation into that language look at http://www.latinisedhymns.org.uk/hymn/236
  • Hawkins,

    Thank you very much.
  • This is one of my favorite hymns and I am fond of the tune as well. There are several good arrangements of Salzburg for organ. Pachelel's partita on the tune is elegant, easy, and contains enough variations for both an opening and closing voluntary or prelude and postlude. The tune is also commonly set to an excellent Easter text, "At the Lamb's high feast," and a more general hymn of praise, "Let the whole creation cry." I am truly inspired by the additional verses quoted above and plan to use them in my January parish newsletter music column.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • After the Kings and the Baptism, the hymn goes on to reference the Gospels for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Sundays after Epiphany in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Because the 6th Sunday after Epiphany is a wandering Sunday (gets tacked on to the end of Trinitytide more often than not), the apocalyptic reference is appropriate there, and is possibly suggestive of impending Septuagesimatide when used in Winter.