Saturday, April 08, 2006

Easter Music, Easter Thoughts

Easter Music

Easter Week is about to begin, and during an early-morning discussion today with my wife, the words of my all-time favorite hymn, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," came to mind. That's the one I'd be pleased to have sung at my funeral:

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
This biographical summary tells us a little about the author, Robert Robinson. The music is a beautiful traditional tune named "Nettleton," about which you can find more in Wyeth's Repostory of Sacred Music, Part Second, by John Wyeth. I've heard several hymns set to the same tune. As a congregational hymn "Come Thou Fount" is a little on the difficult side but most church choirs can handle it easily.

Easter Thoughts

This is another favorite, from the late Neal A. Maxwell, of whom Hugh Hewitt is a great admirer. It's full of quotable nuggets:

The gift of immortality to all is so choice a gift that our rejoicing in these two great and generous gifts should drown out any sorrow, assuage any grief, conquer any mood, dissolve any despair, and tame any tragedy.

Even those who see life as pointless will one day point with adoration to the performance of the Man of Galilee in the crowded moments of time known as Gethsemane and Calvary. Those who now say life is meaningless will yet applaud the atonement, which saved us all from meaninglessness.

Christ’s victory over death routs the rationale that there is a general and irreversible human predicament; there are only personal predicaments, but even from these we can also be rescued by following the pathway of Him who rescued us from general extinction.

A disciple’s “brightness of hope,” therefore, means that at funerals his tears are not because of termination, but because of interruption and separation. Though just as wet, his tears are not of despair, but of appreciation and anticipation. Yes, for disciples, the closing of a grave is but the closing of a door that will later be flung open.

It is the Garden Tomb, not life, that is empty!
Neal A. Maxwell, Wherefore Ye Must Press Forward, pp. 132-3

"Those who now say life is meaningless will yet applaud the atonement, which saved us all from meaninglessness."

I love that. Happy Easter.


Blogger SkyePuppy said...

Yes, I love that song too. That last verse was written for me--Prone to wander, prone to leave the God I love. I need Him to hold tight to my heart for me.

It's similar to the last part of another Easter hymn, "O Sacred Head Now Wounded." The last verse goes like this:

What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, Dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever,
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never never
Outlive my love for Thee.

What a wonderful reminder, as we head into Holy Week. 

Posted by SkyePuppy

Saturday, April 08, 2006 6:12:00 PM  
Blogger The Kosher Hedgehog said...

Hedgehog: But let's not be singing anything at your funeral for awhile yet. Bis hundert und zwanzig jahr.
Regards, your blog teammate. 

Posted by The Kosher Hedgehog

Saturday, April 08, 2006 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hedgehog, I would like to send you an InsideOut A Capella CD with a very nice rendition of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." Is there a postal address I could send it to? 

Posted by Virginia

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:57:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

Virgnia, you're very kind. Fortunately for me, my just-returned missionary son already gave that CD to me!


Posted by The Hedgehog

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous BlueBuffoon said...

If anything comes close to Mack Wilberg's arrangement of this wonderful hymn and its performance on "A Thanksgiving of American Folk Hymns" , I would love to know about it.

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:54:00 AM  

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