Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost
September 3, 2000
|Song of Solomon 2:8-13
The Renewing Power of Love, New Life
480 O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
292 What Wondrous Love is This
646 Canticle of Love
408 The Gift of Love
|God's Blessing of the Just,
|247 O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright
441 What Does the Lord Require
|Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23||The Evil Heart,
|410 I Want a Principle Within|
|James 1:17-27||Pure Religion,
The Power of the Word,
Doing the Word
|358 Dear Lord and Father
595 Whether the Word be Preached or Read (sing to #60)
Text: Charles Wesley
This text of Charles Wesley's was first published in 1742. It was based on the Anglican prayer book's version of Psalm 51:1-10. It fully expresses Methodism's understanding of Christian Perfection -- a perfection in love.
John Wesley spoke of "inward holiness" (love of God and the assurance of God's love for humanity) and "outward holiness" (love of neighbor and acts of kindness). It is this oft-misunderstood doctrine that this hymn explains. So it bears careful consideration both for it's value as a hymn in the liturgy and as a exegetical resource if the preacher of these Lections isn't too squeamish about preaching a doctrinal sermon.
Originally the text was in eight stanzas. It remained in that form in every Methodist hymnal up to 1849, when the Methodist Episcopal hymnal dropped vs. 5,6, and 7. The hymn in 5 stanzas has been included in every Methodist hymnal since.
Still as important as the text is to Methodist hymnody and theology, it suffers from the lack of a suitable and singable tune. In the 1939 hymnal, BELMONT, while singable, dulled the vitality of the words. In 1964, IRISH restored the liveliness to the text. But apparently this tune did little to encourage its singing as well, because the 1989 hymnal set it to yet another tune: RICHMOND. Perhaps this tune will be successful in restoring this historic and doctrinally significant Wesleyan hymn to Methodist congregational singing.
RICHMOND, by Thomas Haweis (1733-1820) has also been known as HAWEIS or SPA FIELDS CHAPEL. The composer was ordained in 1757 as an Anglican priest. However he was attracted to Methodism and entered into chaplain work in London and Northamptonshire. A champion of interdenominational missions, he helped found the London Missionary Society.
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Lection at HymnSite.com
Contributed by Rev. Linda K. Morgan-Clark
See also Index listings: "Love" p.947. Also Hymns 382-394 (Rebirth and New Creature) [Song...]. (The Book of the Church (594-603) [Deut.]
Consider substituting "Canticle of Covenant Faithfulness, #125 for Psalm 45. See also also Hymns 395-424 (Personal Holiness); 415-450 (Social Concerns) [Ps. 15]
See index listing "Integrity" p.944; also Hymns 395-424 (Personal Holiness)
See also Index listings: "Discipleship and Service" p.940; also Hymns 415-450 (Social Concerns)
God bless you!
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|