St Andrew

Commemorated on 30 November

A hymn to sing along with…

(part of a set of hymns about the Twelve Apostles)

Andrew the Apostle was the brother of Simon Peter. They were both fishermen. Andrew was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, a region where Greek language and culture were known. The name “Andrew” is of Greek origin and no Hebrew or Aramaic name has been recorded for him. it is thought that he preached along the Black Sea and as far east as Novgorod, so became patron saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia.

He is said to have been martyred by crucifixion on an X-shaped cross at Patras in Achaea in AD 60. Legend has it that his relics were brought to the site of the modern city of St Andrews in Scotland. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland’s conversion to Christianity by Andrew, “the first to be an Apostle”; he had by then been considered to be Scotland’s patron saint for several centuries. The Saltire (national flag of Scotland) is a white X-shaped cross on a blue background.

The words were written by Irish-born Cecil Frances Alexander née Humphreys (1818-1895), wife of Revd William Alexander, who later became Archbishop of Armagh. She wrote many well-known hymns. A number of the hymns she wrote for children are still popular today, including Once in royal David’s city, There is a green hill far away and All things bright and beautiful.

The tune St Andrew is by Edward Henry Thorne (1834-1916). He was appointed organist of Henley Parish Church at the age of 19 and was organist of Chichester Cathedral from 1863-1870. A number of his hymns were included in Hymns Ancient and Modern, but this is the only one in common use today.

St Andrew

Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me;”

As of old, Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home, and toil, and kindred,
Leaving all for His dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store;
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“That we love Him more than these.”

Jesus calls us: by Thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.

Jerusalem the golden

A hymn to sing along with…

Fresco at Assisi

Bernard of Cluny was a 12th century Benedictine monk, whose dates of birth and death are uncertain. He is best known as the author of De contemptu mundi (On Contempt for the World), a long verse satire in Latin. He spared no one; priests, nuns, bishops, monks, and even Rome itself were mercilessly scourged for their shortcomings. The poem also included highly wrought pictures of heaven and hell.

Seven hundred years later the Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Chevenix Trench, published the initial stanzas of the poem, beginning “Urbs Sion aurea, patria lactea,” in his Sacred Latin Poetry (1849). John Mason Neale (1818-1886) translated part of this to create the first three verses of this hymn. The fourth verse is thought to have been added by the editors of the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861. Another part of the Latin text was translated by Neale as For thee, O dear, dear country, a verse of which is shown below.

Alexander Ewing was a career officer in the British Army who served in Constantinople during the Crimean War. He later served in China and Canada, but never (as far as we know) visited Dallas. When he arrived at Fredericton, New Brunswick (Canada) in 1867, the bulk of the garrison troops were from the 1st Cheshire Regiment.

Before the Crimean War, Ewing had composed a tune for For thee, O dear dear country. His cousin, the Bishop of Argyll and The Isles (whose name was also Alexander Ewing) later submitted the tune to the editors of Hymns Ancient and Modern, who used it for Jerusalem the Golden instead. However, at first it was thought that it was the Bishop who had written the tune, which is simply called Ewing.


Jerusalem the golden,
with milk and honey blest,
beneath thy contemplation
sink heart and voice opprest.
I know not, O I know not,
what social joys are there,
what radiancy of glory,
what light beyond compare.

They stand, those halls of Sion,
Conjubilant with song,
and bright with many an angel,
and all the martyr throng;
The Prince is ever in them,
the daylight is serene,
the pastures of the blessèd
are decked in glorious sheen.

There is the throne of David,
and there, from care released,
the song of them that triumph,
the shout of them that feast;
and they who, with their Leader,
have conquered in the fight,
for ever and for ever
are clad in robes of white.

O sweet and blessèd country,
Shall I ever see thy face?
O sweet and blessed country,
Shall I ever win thy grace?
Exult, O dust and ashes!
The Lord shall be thy part:
His only, his for ever,
Thou shalt be, and thou art!

For thee, O dear, dear country,
Mine eyes their vigils keep;
For very love, beholding
Thy happy name, they weep;
The mention of thy glory
Is unction to the breast,
And medicine in sickness,
And love, and life, and rest.

On Jordan’s banks

An Advent hymn to sing along with…

The words were published in 1736. They were written in Latin by Charles Coffin (1676-1749). He was Rector of the University of Paris from 1718. The 1736 publication Pa­ris Brev­i­a­ry and Hym­ni Sac­ri Auc­to­re Ca­ro­lo Cof­fin was a collection of 100 of his hymns and poems.

The first three verses were translated by John Chandler (1807-76), who also translated Christ is our corner-stone. The translator of the other verses is unknown.

The melody Winchester New was adapted from a tune in Musikalisches Hand-Buch (published in Hamburg in 1690) by Revd William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), the father of Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) who wrote Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Father and daughter are buried side by side at St Peter’s church Astley, Worcestershire.

Winchester New

On Jordan’s banks the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh:
come then and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings from the King of kings.

Then cleansed be every breast from sin,
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.

For Thou art our salvation, Lord,
our Refuge and our great Reward.
without Thy grace our life must fade,
and wither like a flower decayed.

Stretch forth Thy hand, to health restore,
and make us rise, to fall no more:
once more upon Thy people shine,
and fill the world with love divine.

To Him who left the throne of heaven
to save mankind, all praise be given:
like praise be to the Father done,
and Holy Spirit Three in One.

Hark the glad sound

An Advent hymn to sing along with…

The words were written by Philip Doddridge (1702-1861). He also wrote My God and is Thy Table spread and you can read more about him on that post.

The tune appeared in The Whole Booke of Psalmes: With The Humnes Evangelicall, and Songs Spiritual published in 1621 by Thomas Ravenscroft (c1588-1635). Of the 150 Psalms, 78 have tunes by Ravenscroft (although some tunes are duplicated). Little is known of his early life; it is thought that he was a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral. Apart from a number of hymn tunes, much of his music has been forgotten. He also wrote the words to a number of songs, although he is not often credited as the author of his most enduring creation – Three Blind Mice.

The tune was set in his psalter to a metrical version of Psalm 16 (and also Psalm 64). As is often the case, Ravenscroft put the melody line in the tenor part.

Each line of the tune begins and ends with a long note. This original rhythm is preserved* in the setting provided here (although some modern hymnals, including ours, have “modernised” the rhythm). Here the first two verses have the melody in the top line, the third verse is in the Ravenscroft format, and the last verse has a modern descant. (*although the first note of the last line of verse 3 is split to accommodate the first two syllables of “to enrich”, which appeared as “t’enrich” in the original version of the words.)


Hark, the glad sound! The Saviour comes,
the Saviour promised long!
Let every heart prepare a throne,
and every voice a song.

He comes the prisoners to release,
in Satan’s bondage held;
the gates of brass before Him burst,
the iron fetters yield.

He comes the broken heart to bind,
the bleeding soul to cure,
and with the treasures of His grace,
to enrich the humbled poor.

Our glad Hosannas, Prince of Peace,
Thy welcome shall proclaim;
and heaven’s eternal arches ring,
with Thy beloved Name.

O quickly come

An Advent hymn to sing along with…

It was traditional to preach on each of the Four Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell) on the four Sundays in Advent. I get the impression in the words of this hymn that the author would like to get all this over with as quickly as possible.

There’ll be a more cheerful hymn tomorrow!

Revd Lawrence Tuttiett (1825-1897) was ordained deacon in 1848 and priested the following year. his first curacy was at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, and after a a few parish posts in England he was appointed as Rector of St Andrews, Scotland in 1870. He wrote a number of hymns, but most have fallen out of fashion. This is one of the few that appear in modern hymnals.

The original composer of the tune Vater Unser (the opening words of The Lord’s Prayer in German) is unknown. It appeared in Valentin Schumann’s Geistliche Lieder in 1539 and was used by Martin Luther for his hymn based on The Lord’s Prayer. (The first of its nine verses is given below along with an English translation.) The harmonisation of the melody is by Johann Sebastian Bach. If I’m perfectly honest, I have included this hymn more for the tune than the words. There aren’t all that many English hymns that would go with this tune, the metre is more suited to the German language. Eternal father, strong to save and O come, O come Emmanuel would fit, although these have perfectly good familiar tunes.

Vater Unser

O quickly come, dread Judge of all;
for, aweful though thine advent be,
all shadows from the truth will fall,
and falsehood die, in sight of thee:
O quickly come, for doubt and fear
like clouds dissolve when thou art near.

O quickly come, great King of all;
reign all around us and within;
let sin no more our souls enthral,
let pain and sorrow die with sin:
O quickly come, for thou alone
canst make thy scattered people one.

O quickly come, true Life of all,
for death is mighty all around;
on every home his shadows fall,
on every heart his mark is found:
O quickly come, for grief and pain
can never cloud thy glorious reign.

O quickly come, sure Light of all,
for gloomy night broods o’er our way;
and weakly souls begin to fall
with weary watching for the day:
O quickly come, for round thy throne
no eye is blind, no night is known.

Here is the start of Luther’s hymn expounding the Lord’s Prayer:

Vater unser im Himmelreich,
Der du uns alle heißest gleich
Brüder sein und dich rufen an
Und willst das Beten von uns han,
Gibt, daß nicht bet allein der Mund,
Hilf, daß es geh von Herzensgrund.

Our Father in the heaven Who art,
Who tellest all of us in heart
Brothers to be, and on Thee call,
And wilt have prayer from us all,
Grant that the mouth not only pray,
From deepest heart oh help its way.

Crown Him the King of Love

A hymn to sing along with…

Revd Patrick Robert Norman Appleford (1925- 2018) wrote this hymn for the tune Diademata in 2015 at the age of 90. These words are free of copyright. Read more about Patrick Appleford here.

The tune is familiar to the hymn Crown him with many crowns, for which it was written in 1868 by Sir George Job Elvey (1816-1893). As a young boy, Elvey was a chorister in Canterbury Cathedral and later studied at Royal Academy of Music. He was appointed organist of St George’s Chapel, Windsor at the age of 19. He was knighted after providing music for Princess Louise’s wedding in 1871. He retired from St George’s Chapel in 1882 after 47 years in the post.

The Latin word Diademata translates as “crowns”


Crown him the King of love,
Jesus, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
His love divine outpoured
on every tribe and tongue,
to fire each heart and mind
with love for God and neighbours,
who can help us to be kind.

Jesus is Mary’s son,
born long ago, a Jew
who growing up in Nazareth learned
the love of God is true.
His ministry of love
broke free from time and space,
to reach the rich variety
of all the human race.

Let all the world rejoice
and praise the Prince of Peace.
He reconciles and heals with new life:
His love will never cease.
All glory be to God,
the Father and the Son,
who with the Spirit – and with us
shall be for ever one.

Jesus is with us

A hymn to sing along with…

Another hymn by Revd Patrick Robert Norman Appleford (1925- 2018) that is probably not familiar to many people. He wrote both words and music. He described it as “exploring what the Christian greeting ‘The Lord be with you’ means today, and how Jesus still inspires us to live and serve like him.” This hymn has not been published in any printed hymnal as far as I know. There is more about Patrick Appleford here.

I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Psalm 16.8

[There is a two-bar introduction to each verse.]

Jesus is with us

Jesus is with us, his spirit inspires us,
Leading us on to love and serve like Him.
“I am with you Always”, He promises His friends
His love for us all never ends.

Jesus is with us, a spiritual presence,
Feeding our minds and hearts with gifts of grace.
Bind us all together, an internet of prayer
sharing in your love now and here.

Jesus is with us and present in people,
suffering, put upon, alone or poor;
people needing us to be with them, and to care;
Love can still break through anywhere.

Now I have seen my Saviour

A hymn to sing along with…

This hymn is probably not familiar to many people. It is a reworking of the Nunc Dimittis by Revd Patrick Robert Norman Appleford (1925- 2018). He wrote both words and music. One of his objectives was to make words and music accessible to younger people. There is more about him here. This hymn has not been published in any printed hymnal as far as I know.

Nunc dimittis

[Four bar intro]

Now I have seen my Saviour,
Lord let me go in peace.
Just as you promised, Christ has come
to save the human race.
My heart is bursting with joy to see
this boy in my arms, who is born to be
a light to lighten the nations
and the glory of his own.

Blest be the holy Christ-child,
His blessings shall not cease.
Many will find the life in Him
who gives to us His peace.

Now I have seen my Saviour,
Lord let me go in peace.
Just as you promised, Christ has come
to save the human race.
My heart is bursting with joy to see
this boy in my arms, who is born to be
a light to lighten the nations
and the glory of his own.

Glory to God our Father.
Glory to God the Son,
Glory to God the Spirit,
One in Your eternal peace

Firmly I believe and truly

A hymn to sing along with…

The traditional version of this hymn written by John Henry Newman can be found here.

This version has a modern tune Alton by Revd Patrick Robert Norman Appleford (1925-2018). He served his first curacy at All Saints, Poplar. With Revd Geoffrey Beaumont and others he was a founder of the “Twentieth Century Church Light Music Group” around 1960, which significantly affected the development of hymn-writing and hymn-singing across English-speaking churches from that time onwards. He served as Dean of Lusaka, Zambia 1966-1972 before returning to England to a parish in Hereford diocese. He was Director of Education in Chelmsford Diocese from 1975 until he retired in 1990.

Revd Canon Veronica Hydon also served at All Saints Poplar – as Parish Deacon 1991-94 and Curate 1994-1995. (At that time in the Diocese of London, an ordained Deacon was not given the title of Curate until ordained as a Priest.)


Firmly I believe and truly
God is Three and God is One;
and I next acknowledge duly
manhood taken by the Son.

And I trust and hope most fully
in that manhood crucified;
and each thought and deed unruly
do to death, as he has died.

Simply to his grace and wholly
light and life and strength belong,
and I love supremely, solely,
him the holy, him the strong.

And I hold in veneration,
for the love of him alone,
Holy Church as his creation,
and her teachings as his own.

Adoration ay be given,
with and through the angelic host,
to the God of earth and heaven,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Father, Son and Holy Ghost

O come, O come, Emmanuel

This ancient advent hymn originated in part from the “Great ‘O’ Antiphons,” part of the medieval Roman Catholic Advent liturgy. On each day of the week leading up to Christmas, one responsive verse would be chanted, each including a different Old Testament name for the coming Messiah. Five of the seven verses were translated by Revd John Mason Neale (1818-1866).

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Matthew 1.23

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Isaiah 11.1

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1.76-79

And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

Isaiah 22.22

And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

Exodus 19.16

The tune now known as Veni Emmanuel was not associated with the hymn in ancient time (although as the Latin metre is the same as that of the English translation, it would fit). It has been found in a 15th century French manuscript in a set of processional chants for burials and may have an earlier source in a Missal. The tune was first published with an earlier version of Neale’s translation in 1851. A selection of arrangements is provided here.

Veni Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save
and give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
our spirits by Thine advent here;
and drive away the shades of night,
and pierce the clouds and bring us light!
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height
in ancient times didst give the law
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!