Hymn for Lent (Day 33): Singing songs of expectation

This hymn connects well with the assigned reading from Isaiah for the Fifth Sunday in Lent. If you come to Christ Church tomorrow, you can enjoy this as our closing hymn.

Singing songs of expectation,
onward goes the pilgrim band,
through the night of doubt and sorrow,
marching to the promised land.
Clear before us through the darkness
gleams and burns the guiding light:
brother clasps the hand of brother,
stepping fearless through the night.

One the light of God’s own presence,
o’er his ransomed people shed,
chasing far the gloom and terror,
brightening all the path we tread:
one the object of our journey,
one the faith which never tires,
one the earnest looking forward,
one the hope our God inspires.

One the strain the lips of thousands
lift as from the heart of one;
one the conflict, one the peril,
one the march in God begun:
one the gladness of rejoicing
on the far eternal shore,
where the one almighty Father
reigns in love for evermore.

Words: Bernard Severin Ingemann, 1826; translated by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1867

Here’s a congregation singing this text. You’ll note the presence of a “director” who competes for leadership with the organist. This is why congregations should never have (or need) musical leadership beyond that provided by the organist (or the band or whatever). I can’t say I agree with the tempo or that I admire the descant, but the congregation does a fine job.

I also managed to find a couple of different organ improvisations on the tune.

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