Third verse 'O God beyond all praising'
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    Well, as you know, the tune is hugely popular in England with the patriotic text "I vow to thee my country" -- perhaps even more prominent than The Planets -- and the combination got a worldwide publicity boost in 1981 at the royal wedding. In 1982 Perry wrote the religious text for it.
    Thanked by 1Brian Michael Page
  • Annabel
    Posts: 12
    pace Chonak (who doubtless understands), Spring Rice's patriotic text was already a religious text also - after all, he called it "Urbs Dei or The Two Fatherlands".
    For a certain demographic, THAXTED is probably best known as the tune for "The World in Union". (A hearty type described "I vow to thee, my country" as "the rugby song" when it - rather than "Abide with me" or "O valiant hearts" - was the recessional at a requiem I attended a few weeks ago for an old soldier's anniversary.)
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,822
    Rather, the tune's popularity in the English-speaking world has to do with the text ("I Vow to Thee, My Country") penned by the British ambassador to the USA during World War I, and for which Holst adapted that melody in 1921 (The Planets was written during that war, but didn't premiere until September 1918). It became a national hymn for the British in the way The Battle Hymn of The Republic did for the Union in the generations after the Civil War. The text is an interesting thing, given how it embraces, and then transcends, national piety.
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    Poking round the web, I find he was inspired by the ancient motto of the Spring family "Non mihi sed Patriae"
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I respectfully disagree, Francis and Chuck. Cosmologies concur IMO.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,822
    From a Remembrance Day service:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0nBGdwOYUI


    When Elizabeth II passes from this mortal plane, "I Vow To Thee My Country" will cause a lot of people around the world to tear up as they sing it.
    Thanked by 2Spriggo canadash
  • The popularity is not that it came from The Planets which relatively few have heard. If it has an impetus it probably comes from its use in recent English state ceremonies (Diana's funeral, for example).... and the fact that despite it's unsingable tessitura, it is majestic. 'The flower of earthly splendor' is actually a rather nice verse, and I for one am glad that Proulx requested it.
  • Perryw
    Posts: 2
    A revision to the “second” verse I suggested above to give it a more doxological feel more consistent with the original two verses:

    For at the cross of Jesus we see your love displayed,
    As there he suffered for us, our sins upon him laid.
    And three days later rising, he triumphed o’er the grave,
    That we may know, rejoicing, your mighty power to save -
    To know of your forgiveness, to know your boundless grace,
    And give us hope in darkness that we will see your face.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 205
    There is a versification of the Te Deum to this tune by the Lutheran pastor Steven Starke (b. 1956), and included in the most recent hymnal of the Missouri Synod. For me, it knocks the socks off “God, we praise you, God we bless you...”, with its stream-of-consciousness cataloguing.

    We praise You and acknowledge You, O God, to be the Lord,
    The Father everlasting, by all the earth adored.
    To You all angel powers cry aloud, the heavens sing,
    the cherubim and seraphim their praises to You bring:
    "O holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth; Your majesty and glory fill the heavens and the earth!"

    The band of the apostles in glory sing Your praise;
    the fellowship of prophets their deathless voices raise.
    The martyrs of Your kingdom, a great and noble throng,
    sing with the holy Church throughout all the world this song:
    "O all-majestic Father, Your true and only Son, and Holy Spirit, Comforter -- forever Three in One!"

    You, Christ, are King of glory, the everlasting Son,
    yet You, with boundless love, sought to rescue everyone:
    You laid aside Your glory, were born of virgin's womb,
    were crucified for us and were placed into a tomb;
    then by Your resurrection You won for us reprieve -- You opened heaven's kingdom to all who would believe.

    You sit in splendid glory, enthroned at God's right hand,
    upholding earth and heaven by forces You command.
    We know that You will come as our Judge that final day,
    so help Your servants You have redeemed by blood, we pray;
    may we with saints be numbered where praises never end, in glory everlasting. Amen, O Lord, amen!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d51Mym0Mq6c
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,088
    My pastor is a Brit and when I first suggested alternate words to "Thaxted", he was shocked that there were other words and said he could not let go of his British heritage. So, we have not sung it. But right before summer started, he made a passing reference to it and said it was okay to find a text. The one that Gamba appropriated above might just fill the bill.
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 105
    Gamba - that is a terrific Te Deum if only a paraphrase. Could be used as a hymn. As a former Lutheran I am very proud of my old denomination on this one.
    Thanked by 1Gamba
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 205
    And the singing in the recording I linked to on YouTube, from a Lutheran youth conference in 2014, puts most any Catholic youth event to shame.
  • Amen, and amen!
    Catholics CAN, of course, sing like that.
    (If only they WOULD.)

    Singing is believing!
    Believing is singing!
    (And, no, that's not to deny the value of silence and attentiveness to that 'still, small voice'.
    There is a time and a place for both.)
  • Jackson,

    Catholics shouldn't sing like Lutherans. Rather they should sing like joyous (or sorrowful) Catholics. Music is in the soul, and those who disdain the importance of music (to paraphrase someone) don't belong in positions of authority.

    Imagine if Catholics sang like Anglicans, and broke out in 4-part harmony at every opportunity!

    Imagine if Catholics sang like ….. (oh, wait, that would be a different post).

    In all seriousness, though, I don't think we can or should try to learn from those who lack the fullness of the faith on matters which impinge on the faith.
  • Chris -

    I shall (with a parcel of begrudgment) grant you your point about singing like Catholics - except that the singing of too many Catholics can hardly be styled 'singing' at all. One has to sing, really sing, to sing like a Catholic. For there to be an objectively Catholic manner of singing for Catholics to sing like (and it's highly debatable whether or not there is) Catholics first need to sing - really sing - like the good people at St Basil's Chapel, UST, Houston, did this morning. (They sang well 'Iste confessor', 'Wareham', and 'Duke Street' from 'Worship IV', in addition to the Belmont mass and a chant-like responsory which i improvised for them.) There is nothing, absolutely nothing so beautiful and inspiring than to hear a congregation really and heartily singing about something in which they truly believe.

    Further -

    If you were to be taken as correct in your last assertion (which you shouldn't be), then we should stop (right now, this very day) singing any German chorales, any English hymnody, any song at all that didn't flow from a Roman Catholic pen - and we would need to establish Hymn Police to see that we didn't. Argghhh! How much the poorer of inherently Catholic praise and sentiment would our Catholic singing be! No more 'Thaxted' to rake over the coals, and no more potent 'Te Deum' translations to go with it. No matter its literary and theological merit or its content, down with it all if it wasn't written by an actual 'bona fide' Roman Catholic. Oh! How great would be our loss that Johann Cruger, Paul Gerhardt, Johann Franck, and R Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, and Benjamin Britten (not to mention the Eastern schismatics, St John Damascene et al.) would be on the Index, 'verboten,' whilst Marty Haugen and GIA 'favoriti' get a free pass. What a cruel, cruel irony, a dumbfounding paradox.
  • Jackson,

    Let me try to be more precise.

    No one attending a Catholic Mass can really participate in that Mass who lacks the grace of baptism, for properly termed participation isn't external first at all, but interior (not internal). There is, I submit, a Catholic manner of singing, which doesn't depend on natural ability, training or snobbery, but on the condition of the soul.

    St. Paul used his considerable knowledge of the law, skill as an orator and ability to hold coats to persecute the Church until his conversion. God didn't abolish the skill Saul had developed while still outside the Church, but harnessed it for the advancing of His Divine Will in time. God grants even to non-Catholic the skills He invites them to turn toward His designs, and so Bach can produce great works of music which, in some manner, bring honor and glory to the God Who is the origin of the skills in the first place.

    To your point about being written by an actual 'bona fide' Roman Catholic, would music by Fr. John Foley S.J. or Fr. James Martin S.J. (if he has written any) be better than, say, the music of Ralph Vaughn-Williams or Sir Charles Parry.... evidently not, but the grounds for excluding the music of these four would not be identical.
  • Chris -

    Whilst I am much enlightened as to your thought and in agreement with the tenor of your reply, it is difficult to determine whether Bach is being 'damned with faint praise' or the opposite. Still, it isn't seemly, I think, for us to banter any further on this vexatious topic; though I do cringe at the sum of your last paragraph. No. I could not remain silent if the music of Vaughan Williams or Parry was banned on the grounds that it (or they) was not Roman Catholic. Nor do I think that I am the only Catholic who would not remain silent.

    (Chonak! the italics and other options are not working on this thread. Can that be fixed?)
  • Jackson,


    There is much ground to cover in the topic, and I consider that it would be valuable to cover it, but perhaps that is another thread.

    Here's one example of why.

    Thomas Day excoriated the "Voice of God" hymns which so populate the music of the Ordo of Paul VI, yet the Introit for Easter Day, "Resurrexi" is clearly a first-person narrative. Why is the one appropriate and the other, (say, "And He Will Raise you up on the last day") execrably not so?
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160

    "...whilst Marty Haugen and GIA 'favoriti' get a free pass."

    Church of Christ member Haugen hardly gets a pass here and elsewhere, Jackson. Theoretically he would be consigned to the non-RC dustbin, n'est pas?
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Carol
    Posts: 481
    Wait, are you saying Marty Haugen isn't Catholic?
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Never has been, Carol. I'm not "saying" it, it just is.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    "Wait, are you saying Marty Haugen isn't Catholic?" (quotes feature not working)

    I'm not always sure he's even Christian.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,822
    Well, he was at least baptized. From the Catholic Church's perspective, it's a roach motel in that regard. One might be a bad Christian, but becoming a non-Christian is very difficult in the Catholic perspective - the notion is more of a Protestant one.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    My understanding is that he was Lutheran - ELCA, if I remember correctly. Then he moved to the United Church of Christ, likely the most liberal church in the country.
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • Carol
    Posts: 481
    He is what my husband calls a "singer-songwriter."
  • Is the subject still THAXTED? Free third verse.
    https://hymndescants.org/thaxted