A Hymn you can Sing at Home!

We are pleased to be back worshipping inside the church while celebrating a full Eucharist. We have limited our singing to “service music”. Due to mask restrictions it can be hard to sing hymns for some without getting short of breath. We also acknowledge that a community choir practice back in March brought about one of the first group exposures to the Corona virus in Mt. Vernon, WA. Do not despaire, here is a hymn you can sing at home:

God the Omnipotent! King who ordainest thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword;

Show forth thy pity on high where thou reignest;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

God the All-merciful! Earth hath forsaken thy ways all holy and slighted thy word;

Bid not thy wrath in its terrors awaken; 

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

The words were written in 1842 by Henry Chorley, an English writer and critic of literature and music. The words echo a passage from the Book of Revelation, 19:6: The Lord God omnipotent reigneth (as the King James version has it). Two more verses were added in 1870 by John Ellerton, an English chaplain and hymn editor.

The tune was originally titled “God Save the Tsar!” It was written by Alexei Lvov and chosen as the national anthem of Tsarist Russia from a competition in 1833. It was quoted in several compositions by Tchaikovsky, memorably in the 1812 Overture. Its majestic tones make it a good match for Chorley’s powerful words. 

This hymn reminds us of some of the paradoxes of God. God is omnipotent, in charge of the entire universe, and in some moods we would like God to rise with thunder and lightning to defeat sin and vindicate virtue. On the other hand, we recall that we are sinners and that we would deserve to be overwhelmed in any such divine uprising, so we ask for pity and mercy. Finally, we confidently ask the God of the universe to look down on this tiny planet and give us peace. Why are we confident? Because God’s son, Jesus, came to this tiny planet and said, “Peace be with you!” 

Of course, we are not in charge of the universe and we have no power to grant our own prayers. God will do what is best, whether we can see it or not. But Jesus instructed us to address prayers to God, and we believe that praise and petitions for mercy and peace are among the prayers that he approves. You are welcome to join us for these prayers.  We are currently offering a limited drive through communion from 9:00 am to 9:30 am on Sunday mornings. Stay in your car, masks are not required. Just pull up to the red doors and we will come out to meet you. Following the drive through Eucharist, we celebrate Mass, inside the church at 10:00am. Masks are required, as is social distancing. We will make sure you have what you need to worship safely inside the church. May all be blessed.

About Saint Barnabas Anglican Church of Seattle

Rooted in Scripture & Steeped in Anglican Tradition. A church that worships from the King James Version of the Bible and the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer. A diverse congregation committed to Jesus Christ.
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