A Text for Discussion: Baptism of the Lord
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    O seas and rivers, bless the Lord,
    The maker of all things.
    Today creation is restored:
    O bless him, all you springs.

    Behold: the Son of God baptized
    In waters He makes new.
    The Father's voice above the skies--
    Bless Him, you rain and dew.

    All natures, let His grace increase--
    O Jordan, fill the earth!
    In Him the Father is well pleased.
    In Him, the world's rebirth.

    Copyright © 2005 CanticaNOVA Publications. Duplication restricted.
    Meter: CM (8.6.8.6) Suggested tune: Winchester Old, or others:
    Azmon Richmond Saint Flavian
    Dundee Saint Agnes Saint Magnus
    Graefenburg Saint Anne Saint Peter
    Land of Rest Saint Columba Saint Stephen
    Newman
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    This is one of my texts, from Hymns for the Liturgical Year.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,463
    I like this one very much. It reminds me of the canticle of the three young men. It is easy to sing and I can imagine Jesus' baptism as I sing it. Lovely.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,209
    If I may offer one avenue for further development: this text neglects one of the key theological dimensions of the feast (one that is emphasized in all Eastern liturgies, and merits more attention in the Roman rite) - the first Theophany of the Most Holy Trinity to the world.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    Liam, you are right. This is also spoken of in the patristic reading from the Office of Readings: From the Office of Readings, from a sermon by St. Gregory Nazianzen
    Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God.



  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    Canadash, thank you for noticing the Canticle of the three young men. Yes, I took the lines about water from them for the initial structuring of the text.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,391
    The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself


    Jeez, I didn't know my hymns were that bad....
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,391
    The Father's voice above the skies--
    Bless Him, you rain and dew.


    This sentence confuses me.

    (Otherwise, I like it.)
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,209
    The Troparion for the Theophany:

    When You in Jordan for Your baptism were come, O Lord, then was revealed unto us to worship the Trinity, for lo, the Father's voice spoke to bear witness of You, by Name, declaring You His well-beloved Son; and the Spirit in form like a dove appeared to confirm the sure truth of the spoken Word; O Lord made manifest and light of the world, we give glory to You, O Christ our God
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Thank you, Liam. It's very moving. I worry tho' - might it not be over-complicated for John and Mary Catholic? Might Fr. stumble over it? Can you do an old-style ICEL translation?
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,391
    Can you do an old-style ICEL translation?


    I got this one.

    God:
    Your son was Baptized.
    That was pretty cool.
    Amen.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    I gave a presentation about this in a panel discussion at the Hymn Society a few years ago, using these notes:

    Elements of O Seas and Rivers, Bless the Lord
    A Constructed Hymn Text

    1. FRAMEWORK
    From the Book of Daniel, Chapter 3
    (Prayed on alternate Sundays and feastdays at morning prayer)

    Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;
    Praise and exalt him above all forever.
    Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord;
    You heavens, bless the Lord;
    All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
    All you hosts of the Lord; bless the Lord.
    Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
    Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

    Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
    All you winds, bless the Lord.
    Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
    Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
    DEW AND RAIN, BLESS THE LORD;
    Frost and cold, bless the Lord.
    Ice and snow, bless the Lord;
    Nights and days, bless the Lord.
    Light and darkness bless the Lord;
    Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord.

    Let the earth bless the Lord;
    Praise and exalt him above all forever.
    Mountains and hills, bless the Lord
    Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
    YOU SPRINGS, BLESS THE LORD;
    SEAS AND RIVERS, BLESS THE LORD.
    You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
    All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
    All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
    Praise and exalt him above all forever.
    You sons of men, bless the Lord;

    O Israel, bless the Lord.
    Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;
    Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
    Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord;
    Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
    Ananias, Azarias, Misael, bless the Lord;
    Praise and exalt him above all forever.

    Let us bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit;
    Let us praise and exalt God above all forever.
    Blessed are you O Lord in the firmament of heaven;
    Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

    2. SYMBOL: WATER
    a. Gladness
    i. CM
    ii. Tune: Morning Song

    b. Baptism

    From the Preface of John the Baptist:
    He baptized Christ, the giver of baptism, in waters made holy by the one who was baptized.

    c. Holy Spirit

    John 7: 37-39
    On the last and most important day of the festival Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, "whoever is thirsty should come to me and drink". As the scripture says "whoever believes in me, streams of life-giving water will pour out from his heart". Jesus said this about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were going to receive. At that time the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not been raised to glory

    3. RESTORATION AND RENEWAL: THEOLOGICAL PROPOSAL

    From the Office of Readings, from a sermon by St. Gregory Nazianzen
    Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God.

    Responsory, Office of Readings
    Today the heavens opened and the waters of the sea became sweet and fragrant; the earth rejoiced, the mountains and hills exulted, because Christ was baptized by John in the Jordan. What has happened that the sea has been put to flight, and the Jordan has turned back upon itself?

    Magnificat Antiphon, Evening Prayer I:
    Our Savior came to be baptized, so that through the cleansing waters of baptism he might restore the old man to new life, heal our sinful nature, and clothe us with unfailing holiness.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    Bumping for the Feast.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,025
    The Father's voice above the skies--
    Bless Him, you rain and dew.


    I'm assuming this issue is that it sounds like the Father's voice came from above, saying, "bless Him, you rain and dew," and not that that isn't in some way Biblical. Just that they don't go together, though the text may make some seem like they do.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    That's a fair point! One might be expecting the first line to be followed by the Father's speech. That hadn't occurred to me. Thank you for pointing that out, CCooze.