Music For Advent

How Shall I Fitly Meet Thee  Living Water

How shall I fitly meet Thee
And give Thee welcome due?
The nations long to greet Thee
And I would greet Thee too
O Fount of light, shine brightly
Upon my darken’d heart;
That I may serve Thee rightly
And know Thee as Thou art.

It does seem appropriate that How Shall I Fitly Meet Thee shares a tune with O Sacred Head Now Wounded. It’s an appropriate tune; and Advent is, after all, sometimes called Little Lent. The sharing of tunes reminds me of my Grandmother’s hymnal. There is no music in her hymnal, but there are indications of the kind of tune that will fit the text: Common Meeter, or a series of numbers  indicating the syllable count of each phrase so that it may be matched with a melody matching the measure. 7 6 7 6 D is the tune that matches O Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee, as it’s called in The Lutheran Hymnal, and is paired with the tunes Valet will ich dir geben and Wie soll ich dich, neither of which are O Sacred Head Now Wounded. But, O Sacred Head is the melody used in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

Al of this makes me think of Saturday’s post. The melody that The Welcome Wagon uses for Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending is not the traditional melody. The traditional melody is Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland.

However, Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending also started out with a different text:Le Sang de Fils de Dieu

Lo! He cometh, countless Trumpets,
Blow before his bloody Sign!
’Midst ten Thousand Saints and Angels,
See the Crucified shine,
Allelujah! Welcome, welcome bleeding Lamb!

Now his Merits by the Harpers,
Thro’ the eternal Deeps resounds!
resplendent shine his Nail Prints,
Ev’ry Eye shall see his Wounds!
They who pierc’d Him, shall at his appearing wail.

Ev’ry Island, Sea, and Mountain,
Heav’n and Earth shall flee away!
All who hate him must ashamed,
Hear the Trump proclaim the Day:
Come to Judgment! Stand before the Son of Man!

All who love him view his Glory
Shining in his bruised Face:
His dear Person on the Rainbow,
Now his Peoples Heads shall raise:
Happy Mourners! Now on Clouds he comes! He comes!

Now Redemption long expected,
See, in solemn Pomp appear;
All his People, once despised,
Now shall meet him in the Air:
Allelujah! Now the promis’d Kingdom’s come!

View him smiling, now determin’d,
Ev’ry Evil to destroy!
All the nations now shall sing him,
Songs of everlasting Joy!
O come quickly! Allelujah! Come Lord, come!

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2 thoughts on “Music For Advent

  1. So… perhaps to explain my absence from commenting on any of these posts since you’ve asked me the first time if I’ve read your blog — I stepped into a beautiful church on Monday and felt so wrong being in there. I have no idea why. Anything and everything that has to do with religion especially judgement sort of throws me for a loop. I started having anxiety and had to walk out and leave! It was not surprising to me that this happened but very it was very jarring. I just thought you should know. Maybe visiting one together would ease my anxieties? I would like that very much.

    • My friend David had some really wonderful things to write about Judgment on the post The Last Four Things: Judgment; Advent II. That may clear up some of your anxiety.

      I’d also love to visit a church with you some time.

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