Monday, February 9, 2009

Angel Voices

Yesterday was Founder's Sunday at our church. Like many Boston Area "First Parishes" we have a wonderful and rich history (and a vibrant and living present.) We celebrated the ancient "angel voices" (from a sermon by a past minister) in our meetinghouse by raising our earthly voices in a closing hymn that was written by "member of the society" for the installation of our most "famous" past minster in 1836. I very slightly edited the lyrics to replace "your" charge with "Our" to emphasize the continuing and comprehensive ministry of all in the church. We sung it to the tune of "O God Our Help in Ages Past"

O thou! Whose chariot is the wind,
Whose word all worlds obey,
Before whose throne archangels bow,
O hear us while we pray.

Thy servant, whom thy Providence
Hath set to guard thy sheep
Give us the strength, the power, the grace,
The will, our charge to keep

Inspire our souls with holy zeal
To herald forth thy truth
To cheer and comfort hoary age:
To guide and counsel youth.

To soothe the mourner, be his care
And point him to thy word-
The fearful, doubting, trembling one,
To lead him to his God.

Pastor and people bless, O Lord!
And may they ne’er be riven,
Till, called by death they part in time,
To meet again in Heaven.

Our Benediction came from the 1865 "Hymns of the Spirit"
Part in peace! With deep thanksgiving
Rendering, as we homeward tread,
Gracious service to the living
Tranquil memory to the dead.
Amen and blessings

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