Hymn for Lent (Day 12): The God of Abraham praise

This will be our opening hymn at the principal Holy Eucharist at Christ Church. Who says you have to sing dour hymns during Lent? Not me, that’s for sure. Check out the excellent videos at the bottom of this post.

The God of Abraham praise,
who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days,
and God of love;
Jehovah, great I AM,
by earth and heaven confessed:
I bow and bless the sacred Name
for ever blessed.

The God of Abraham praise,
at whose supreme command
from earth we rise, and seek the joys
at his right hand;
we all on earth forsake,
its wisdom, fame and power;
and him our only portion make,
our Shield and Tower.

The goodly land we see,
with peace and plenty blessed:
a land of sacred liberty
and endless rest;
there milk and honey flow,
and oil and wine abound,
and trees of life for ever grow,
with mercy crowned.

There dwells the Lord, our King,
the Lord, our Righteousness,
triumphant o’er the world and sin,
the Prince of Peace;
on Zion’s sacred height
his kingdom he maintains,
and, glorious with his saints in light,
for ever reigns.

The God who reigns on high,
the great archangels sing,
and “Holy, holy, holy,” cry,
“Almighty King!”
Who was and is the same,
and evermore shall be:
Jehovah, Father, great I AM,
we worship thee.”

The whole triumphant host
give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”
they ever cry;
hail, Abraham’s God and mine;
I join the heavenly lays;
all might and majesty are thine,
and endless praise!

Words: Thomas Olivers (1725-1799)

Here’s a recording from June 15, 2008, when it was the opening hymn at Washington National Cathedral. For an amateur recording, the quality is quite good. While you’re in the mood, check out this organ improvisation on the tune. Oh, here’s the same guy with a completely different improvisation.

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