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St Oswald's

The parish church of Bollington

Bollington Road, Bollington Cross, SK10 5EG
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Sing-Along Hymns

Revd George Hugh Bourne (1840-1925)

From 1879 to 1898 he was Chaplain to his sister’s husband, Rt Revd Alan Becher Webb, Bishop of Bloemfontein (and later Grahamstown) in South Africa. In 1901, Bishop Webb retired from South Africa and became Dean of Salisbury Cathedral, and Revd Bourne became Treasurer and Prebendary there (he had been Sub-Dean since 1887).

Lord, enthroned in Heavenly splendour

This is the only one of Bourne's hymns that is in regular use today. It was first published (privately) in 1874.

These days in UK, the hymn is usually sung to the perfectly good tune St Helen by George Martin (1844-1916). Another tune used (although less popular today) is Bryn Calfaria by William Owen (1813-1893). These tunes (and some others) require the repetition of some words (often “Alleluia”) to make the words fit.

The fifth verse is omitted from most modern hymnals; it is shown below.

As one of the objectives of this collection of hymns is to introduce some new or unfamiliar tunes, the hymn is here coupled with Kingley Vale. No repetition of words is necessary for this tune.

It was written by Sir Hugh Percy Allen (1869-1946), a parish church organist from the age of 11. Later he was organist at St Asaph Cathedral, Ely Cathedral and from 1901 of New College, Oxford. He died at the age of 75 a few days after being knocked down by a motor-cycle.

[1] Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour,
First-begotten from the dead,
Thou alone, our strong Defender,
Liftest up Thy people’s head
Alleluia!
Jesus, true and living Bread!

[2] Here our humblest homage pay we;
Here in loving reverence bow;
Here for Faith’s discernment pray we,
Lest we fail to know Thee now.
Alleluia!
Thou art here, we ask not how.

[3] Though the lowliest form doth veil Thee
As of old in Bethlehem,
Here as there Thine angels hail Thee,
Branch and Flower of Jesse’s stem.
Alleluia!
We in worship join with them.

[4] Paschal Lamb, Thine offering, finished
Once for all when Thou wast slain,
In its fullness undiminished
Shall forever more remain,
Alleluia!
Cleansing souls from every stain.

[6] Life-imparting, heavenly Manna,
Stricken Rock with streaming side,
Heaven and earth with loud hosanna
Worship Thee, the Lamb who died,
Alleluia!
Risen, ascended, glorified!

Kingley Vale

[5] Great High Priest of our profession,
through the veil Thou ent’redst in;
by Thy mighty intercession
grace and mercy Thou dost win.
Alleluia!
Only sacrifice for sin.

Scarce discerning aught before us

This hymn is probably not familiar to many people. It was written in Switzerland in 1861 and published in Lyra Messianica in 1864. Some of the ten verses have been omitted from the setting and are shown below.

It is an opportunity to use John Stainer's tune All for Jesus, as the words for which this tune was written are still in copyright.

[1] Scarce discerning aught before us,
On our weary way we go;
But one guiding Star is o’er us,
Beaming forth the way to show.

[2] Watch we, pray we, let us sink not
Journeying on while yet we can;
At a moment when we think not
Shall we meet the Son of Man.

[3] See! e’en now the east is brightening;
See! the cloud of gloom is riven;
See! a flash more swift than lightning
Gleaming all athwart the Heaven.

[4] Christ hath come—oh, joy and wonder!
Clothed in majesty sublime,
Glorious as the Son of Thunder
Saw Him in the olden time.

[6] Lo! a form from earth ariseth,
Pure and lovely, who is she?
She it is whom Jesu prizeth,
’Tis the Church, whose spouse is He.

[9] White robed bands of His redeemèd
Stand around her by the throne;
Sorrowful on earth they seemèd,
Now their great reward is shown:

[10] For with joy how passing fervent
Each doth hear the gracious voice—
"Come, thou good and faithful servant,
Come, and evermore rejoice."

All for Jesus

[5] Hark, the trumpets’ note is pealing;
All the dead it summoneth,
Endless life to some revealing,
But to some—the second death.

[7] See the robes of dazzling brightness
That adorn the glorious bride;
God hath clothed her in the whiteness
Of the saints all purified.

[8] Hark! she hails Him: "Thou that savest,
Thy salvation draweth nigh;
With the children that Thou gavest,
Jesu, Bridegroom, here am I."

For each hymn we have provided a set of verses together with an electronically generated sound-track. The sound track does not provide any words - just the tune.

The selection of hymns to be included was subject to certain limitations, notably the restrictions of copyright. This meant that many modern hymns were excluded, and the exclusion even applied to some updated versions of traditional hymns. Some publishers have made a few minor changes to make hymns more "inclusive" and have then claimed copyright over the revised text. So in most cases the ORIGINAL texts have been used, even though these may not be the versions that appear in modern hymnals.

In deciding what tunes to be used, this has largely been the Webmaster's personal choice. It is a mixture of familiar tunes and tunes that are not well-known, but deserve to be better known. The webmaster has included some personal favourites (and excluded some pet hates!). The soundtracks provided go with the words provided - if there are four verses, the tune is repeated four times. Where possible tunes have been provided with descants or alternative arrangements.

Wherever possible, there is an explanation of who wrote the words or tunes, the circumstances under which they were written, when (and sometimes why). Many hymns include references to verses appearing in the King James Version of the Bible; more modern translations were not then available! In some cases we have tried to explain these scriptural references or other instances where words have changed their meaning over time.

This selection of "Sing-along Songs of Praise" was originally a series of blog posts written during the COVID Lockdowns of 2020. It was intended to allow people to sing hymns in the safety and privacy of their own homes at a time when hymn-singing in church was not allowed (even if the church building was open!).

When hymns are sung as part of a church service, it is normally the case that the hymn books are set aside at the end of the hymn and the next part of the service continues. There is no time to sit and reflect on the meaning or the beauty of words and/or music. This collection allows you to take your time, to read, listen sing along, reflect, and to repeat a hymn again if you wish.

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Last modified: 03 March 2021