Saturday, November 24, 2012

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Here is another hymn! Now, it is after Thanksgiving, so it is officially okay to start writing about (and listening to) Christmas Hymns! Please, enjoy, and share with friends!

Title: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Tune: Veni Emmanuel (Chant)


Composer: Unknown(adapted by Thomas Helmore 1811-1890)

Author/Translator: John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

          Dating all the way back to the 8th century, the seven verse poem was originally used for the Vespers, or evening worship. Each verse of the poem begins with another Old Testament name for the Messiah, creating a reverse acrostic (an acrostic appears when the first letter of each stanza can be used to spell a word), the text spells out "ero cras," which translates to "I shall be with you tomorrow," which makes this hymn a perfect fit for an Advent worship service. Though we see the hymn with a refrain in our modern day hymnals, the original poem did not contain the refrain (the refrain was added when the text was translated). The hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is a part of a musical sequence for an advent service, which starts with a responsive reading and eventually connects "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," "Come Though Long Expected Jesus," and "Joy to the World" by using musical segues. Though this poem has existed for around thirteen-hundred years, it wasn't until 1851 that one J.M. Neale would come along and translate the text from Latin in to English.
          Born in Conduit Street, London, in 1818, John Mason Neale would live to have an incredible life, full of love for the church, as well as notoriety for his works on translations, not only from Latin to English, but from Greek to English as well. Being that J.M. Neale was the son of Rev. Cornelius Neale, a well educated man who was a Fellow at St. John's College at Cambridge, and a mother born to John Mason, another very well educated man, J.M. Neale was a brilliant student in his day. Both of Neale's parents were "very pronounced Evangelicals" and thus he was raised to be this way as well. At the age of five, J.M.'s father had passed away, leaving the sole responsibility of Neale's education to his mother. This attachment can be seen in letters that have been written in the later years of Neale's life stating things such as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." Neale began his education career at the Sherborne Grammar School, and eventually he became a private student of Rev. William Russel (rector of Shepperton) and of Professor Challis. In 1836, Neale began studying at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he had earned himself a full scholarship, and was considered to be one of the best students in his class. Though he was very intelligent, Neale did not inherit his fathers mathematical abilities, and there for was not able to graduate with a Classical Honours because of a rule that the college had, stating that anyone who did not have a mention of Mathematics on their degree could no graduate with honours. 
          During his time at Cambridge, Neale associated himself with the church movement on campus, creating the group called Ecclesiological, or better known as The Cambridge Camden Society. in 1842, Neale married Sarah Norman Webster, who was the daughter of a Clergyman, and in 1843, he was offered an incumbency of Crawley in Sussex. Due to ill health, however, Neale was not able to accept the living, and had to find a different occupancy. It was found that Neale's lungs were too delicate for the cold air, and he was encouraged to move to Madeira, where he stayed until the Summer of 1844. In 1846 Neale was introduced by Lord Delaware to the Wardenship of Sackville College, East Grinstead. Though he had sought to work in the church, the only Ecclesiastical offer Neale ever received did not fair well for him. Neale was offered a Provostship at St. Ninian's, Perth, but the job was not very lucrative, earning him just shy of ₠100 a year. Because of the low pay and unfavorable climate for his delicate health, Neale was forced to decline the offer. Because of his health and the lack of availability of jobs, Neale remained in East Grinstead for the rest of his short life, splitting his time between his literary works, and caring for the small sisterhoods that he had founded in the town.
          On the topic of his literary works, Neale is known around the world for the accuracy and the spirit or his translations from Latin to English. A short note written about Neale and his translations, written by "G.M." illustrates Neale's appreciation for translation as well as his ability: Dr. Neale "was invited by Mr. Keble and the Bishop of Salisbury to assist them with their new hymnal, and for this purpose he paid a visit to Hursley Parsonage." On one occasion Mr. Keble "having to go to another room to find some papers was detained a short time. On his return Dr. Neale said, ‘Why, Keble, I thought you told me that the "Christian Year" was entirely original.' ‘Yes,' he answered, 'it certainly is.' ‘Then how comes this?' and Dr. Neale placed before him the Latin of one of Keble's hymns. Keble professed himself utterly confounded. He protested that he had never seen this 'original,' no, not in all his life. After a few minutes Neale relieved him by owning that he had just turned it into Latin in his absence." (Julian, John, Dictionary of Hymnology, 1907). Because Neale had an ear for melody as well, he was able to maintain the rhythm of pieces, while still maintaining the spirit of the text by only altering it slightly. Eventually, Neale was criticized by the Catholic Church for having left out many parts of the original hymns that referred to doctrines that were followed only by the Catholic Church and not by the Anglican Church. The Catholic Church called his translations "utter misrepresentations" of they hymns, but it is understandable why Neale would leave out certain doctrines for the church. It wasn't until 1852 that the hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" appeared in one of Neale's publications. The book was entitled Hymnal Noted, containing 105 different hymns, 94 of which were translated by Neale himself. In 1865, Neale published one last volume of hymns, which contained the translation of the hymn printed side-by-side with the original text, which allowed the readers to compare the text. 
          The tune Veni Emmanuel is an unknown plainchant hymn, that was written in the 15th century. Originally written for a Requiem Mass,  the tune was later adapted by Thomas Helmore in 1854. Published in Part II of Hymnal Noted, the tune was paired with J.M. Neale's translation of the text. Helmore graduated from Oxford College in England, and eventually became ordained as a Pastor of the Anglican Church, but most of his contributions to the church came from his music. Helmore was a Precentor at St. Mark's College in Chelsea (1842-1877) as well as master of the Choristers in the Chapel Royal for many years. Helmore played a big role in supporting unaccompanied masses, and played a big part in returning Plainchant to the Anglican church. The tune "Veni, Emmanuel," is written in Dorian mode, and is mostly sung in unison, although the refrain is often sung in parts, adding to the contrast of Minor tonality verses and Major tonality refrains. 

The Text:

(1) O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

(2) O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

(3) O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

(4) O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

(5) O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

(6) O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

(7) O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.

My Take on the Hymn:

          This hymn reminds me of advent so very much, not only because of its familiarity with the season, but  also because of the hopeful longing that comes with the text. Each stanza begins with another way of asking for Christ to come, while the response (found in the refrain) is telling us all to rejoice in the fact the one day soon, Christ will come to us and everything we have been promised will come true. The text uses many different examples of the promises that Christ has given us, the power over death, the key to the gates of Heaven, the wisdom to show us the path of Knowledge, and all things that have been given to us that are saved by the power of Christ. The hymn is beautifully paired with the text, because both portray a message of longing. the minor tonality of the verses allows us to ponder the awaiting coming of Christ, much as a child would long to see what is to come on Christmas day, but the pain of having to wait all night can still be felt. The major tonality of the refrain is the excitement of knowing that no matter what happens, no matter how long we will have to wait, the promise will be fulfilled, and we will one day find our home at peace in Christ and, in our Heavenly homes, his voice will ring for ever and ever, shouts of Praise and Amen to God our King!

The Hymn:

If you cannot read music, just start the Youtube video and follow along!


Julian, John. "J. M. Neale." - Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <>.

Handbook, Psalter Hymnal. "VENI EMMANUEL (Chant)." Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <>.

Scheer, Greg. "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <>.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me

Here is another hymn! I am sorry for the delay, but life gets in the way sometimes. I will keep posting no matter what happens or how busy I get, I promise!

Title: Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me

Tune: So Nimm Denn Meine Hande

Meter: D

Author: Julie von Hausmann (1825-1901)

Composer: Fridrich Silcher (1789-1860)

                Originally written in German, this hymn has had many different translations, but two stand out prominently. The two translations were written by Rudolph John (1859-1938) and Herman Brueckner. Though, for the most part, the two agreed on the text, both translations came up with a different beginning, Brueckner’s came as “O take my hand, dear Father,” and was published in the American Lutheran Hymnal (1930). Rudolph John’s translation began “Take thou my hand and lead me,” and was published in The Evangelical Hymnal (St. Louis, 1917). Though both translations were successful on their own, the text that is found today comes from a compilation of the two translations, Brueckner’s first verse (altered substantially), and John’s second and third verse. Published in the 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, the hymn remained the same until it was published in the new Lutheran hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, where even then, only one word in the entire hymn was altered (“then” instead of “and” in stanza three, line three).
                The author, Julie von Hausmann, was a brilliant young woman from Latvia, but despite her brilliance, she always had to fight to stay ahead with her studies because of massive migraines. Born as Julie Katarina Hausmann in Riga, Latvia, Julie’s father taught in a Gymnasium there for several years. After some time, Hausmann’s father began to work as a counselor in the town, which made him a member of the Russian Aristocracy, and changed the family name to von Hausmann. As Hausmann grew up, she made plans to marry a young Theology graduate who had been sent to east Africa as a missionary. Upon arriving in Africa, the young Hausmann found that missionary had died prior to her arrival from Tropical Fever. Heartbroken, she returned to Latvia where she became a governess for nearly 14 years. It was during this time that Hausmann penned the text for this hymn. During her time back in Latvia, Hausmann’s life was anything but stable. During her time back, she took care of her father who eventually passed away in 1864, after which she moved in with her younger sister (who was an organist in an English church in Southwestern France), and eventually Hausmann and her younger sister met with their two other sisters, and they all moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, where the oldest sister was the director of a school at St. Anne’s Church. Spending most of her life working with the poor, Hausmann would stay up at night writing poetry while suffering from insomnia, no doubt caused by her migraines. While caring for her father, Hausmann’s poetry was noticed by Pastor Gustav Knak, who upon seeing her work asked if he could publish the collection. Though Hausmann had published a devotional book entitled Hausbrat, she was hesitant to publish her poems. Finally, Hausmann agreed to let Knak publish her works on a few conditions, the works had to remain anonymous, and all of the proceeds from the works were to go to a school and orphanage in Hong Kong. This agreement led to the publication of Maiblumen in three volumes by Knak himself, and a fourth volume by Knak’s son.
                The translator, Rudolph John, was born in Washington, Missouri, where his father. R.A. John was a pastor at St. Peter’s Evangelical Church and eventually became a respected faculty member at the Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. As Rudolph grew up, he began to take an interest in the church, and eventually he studied at Washington University and at the Eden Seminary where he became ordained in 1878. After he was ordained, he served calls in Illinois, Missouri, and Virginia before he settled at St. Paul’s church in Chicago, Illinois. He remained at this post for over 40 years. During his time at St. Paul’s church, Rudolph held many different positions in the Evangelical Synod of North America, and he became a prominent member of the church.
                The tune “So Nimm Denn Meine Hande” was written by Fridrich Slicher (June 27th 1789-August 26th, 1860 and was published as a part of his 1842 collection Kinderlieder Fur Schule und Haus. Paired with the text “Wie konnt ich ruhig shlaffen,” the tune did not get its name until it was published with the text “So nimm den meine Hande” in the Grosse Missionsharfe (1883). Born near Schorndorf, which is near Berlin, Germany, Slicher studied music with his Father, who was an organist and schoolmaster, Slicher also studied music with N. F. Auberlin. Between 1806 and 1817, Slicher served many different teaching positions around Suttgart, but eventually he would land a position as the director of music an dorganist at the University of Tubingen, where he started an orchestra and a choir, earning him a PhD in 1852. Slicher is known for having published five books: Melodien aus dem Wurttemberg Choralbuch (1819), Sechs vierstimmige Hymnen (1827), Kinderlieder fur Schule und Haus (1842), the Geschichte der evangelischer kirchengesange (1844), and a twele-volume collection of folk songs, the Sammlung Deutscher Volkslider.
The Text:
(1)    Lord, take my hand and lead me
Upon life's way;
Direct, protect and feed me
From day to day.
Without your grace and favour
I go astray;
So take my hand, O Savior,
And lead the way.

(2)    Lord, when the tempest rages,
I need not fear;
For you, the Rock of Ages,
Are always near.
Close by your side abiding,
I fear no foe,
For when your hand is guiding,
In peace I go.

(3)   Lord, when the shadows lengthen
And night has come,
I know that you will strengthen
My steps toward home,
And nothing can impede me,
O blessed Friend!
So take my hand and lead me
Unto the end.

My Take on the Hymn

                This hymn could not have come at a better time for me, making this all the more important to hear. The message of this hymn is that we need to put all of our trust and all of our faith in Christ, because he will not lead us away from where we need to be. If we put our focus on God, and on the things in heaven, there is nothing on earth that we need to fear, because we know that Christ is with us. The third stanza is my favorite, because it mentions the end of life, in the metaphor of the sun shining in a day. “Lord, when the shadows lengthen and night has come” describes what is happening in towards the end of our lives. Much like the end of a summer day, we know when our lives are drawing near to a close, but those days should not be filled with fear of the unknown, but rather should be filled with joy and happiness, especially knowing that Christ is walking right beside you on your walk to go home. Being home with Christ is a wonderful feeling, because we can finally meet our maker face-to-face, and say thank you for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us throughout our lives, so that we may be better for Christ our Lord!

The Hymn:

If you cannot read music, just play the Youtube video and follow along!


Westermeyer, Paul. "Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me." Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Vol. 1. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2010. 629-31. Print.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jesus My Lord, My God, My All

Here is another hymn! This one is dedicated to a good friend of mind, Allison! May God Bless you in all of your adventures on this Campus and where ever the F.O.C.U.S. Organizations feel you will do Gods will the best!

Title: Jesus My Lord, My God, My All

Tune: St. Chrysostom (1871)


Author: Henry Collins (1827-1919)

Composer: Sir Joseph Barnby (1838-1896)

                Henry Collins was born in Barningham, Yorkshire, England, to Thomas Collins, who was a Minister in the Church of England. Following in his father’s path, Henry Collins became a Minister in the Anglican Church as well in 1853. Just a short year after, Collins finished his studies at Oxford University, where he graduated with his Masters Degree in 1854. In the same year, Collins published his collection Hymns for School and Missions which included this work and one other of Collins’ hymns (the other hymn being “Jesu, Meek and Lowly”). Though there were only two hymns actually written by Collins in the collection, there were 37 other hymns selected to be published as well. Three short years later, he entered into communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and eventually, in 1860, he joined the Cistercian Order and in 1861, he entered into the Mount St. Bernard Abbey, Coalville, North Leicester. Collins remained at the Abbey until 1882, when he was appointed Chaplain to the Cistercian Nuns at Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, Dorsetshire. He remained at this post for over 30 years, when he finally removed himself from the position of Chaplain and returned to Mount St. Bernard Abbey; Collins remained at the Abbey until his death in 1919. Some of Collins’ other works include Life of the Rev. Father Gentili (published in 1861) and The Spirit and Mission of the Cistercian Order.
                Publishing nearly 250 different hymn tunes, the life of Sir Joseph Barnby was nothing but ordinary. Born in 1838 in York, England to Thomas Barnby, and accomplished organist, it was clear the Joseph was going to have a very musical life ahead of him. At the age of seven, J. Barnby became the Chorister at York Minster and eventually began his studies of music at the Royal Academy of Music, which eventually led to his appointment as the Organist of St. Andrew’s Church, Wells Street, London in 1862. In 1864, Barnby created a new choir which was entitled “Barnby’s Choir.” He was eventually appointed to be a successor to Charles Gounod as the Choir Master of the Royal Albert Hall Choral Society in 1871, a post which he would hold until his death in 1896. During his time with the Royal Albert Hall Choral Society, he had many other positions of great stature. In 1875 Barnby was appointed the Precentor and Director of music at Eton College, and later in 1892, he became the Principal of the Guildhall School of Music, and eventually received Knighthood in July of that same year. Barnby was known for many different compositions, both Orchestral and Vocal, as well as a few short pieces for the Pipe Organ. Many of Barnby’s tunes are still used throughout the world today, and they remain very popular.

The Text:
(1) Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all!
How can I love Thee as I ought?
And how revere this wondrous gift,
So far surpassing hope or thought?

Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore!
Oh, make us love Thee more and more.
Oh, make us love Thee more and more.

(2) Had I but Mary's sinless heart
With which to love Thee, dearest King,
Oh, with what ever fervent praise,
Thy goodness, Jesus, would I sing!

(3) Thy Body, Soul and Godhead, all!
O mystery of love divine!
I cannot compass all I have,
For all Thou hast and art is mine!

(4) Sound, then, His praises higher still,
And come, ye angels, to our aid;
For this is God, the very God
Who hath both men and angels made!

My Take on the Hymn:
                This hymn is one to show how humble we should be as children of God. As Christians, we all know God’s love and want to return all the love that have back to Christ, but how can we possibly do that? This hymn seems to be asking God to give us the ways to show him our unending love for Him. Christ deserves our greatest love, but we are sinners, so how can we love him as much as he deserves? This is a question that has a very simple answer, we must ask God to forgive us our sins, and with the asking of forgiveness, we must turn and give our whole self to Christ! The last stanza is my favorite, because it says that we will honor and praise Christ with all that we have, but not only will we do this with our voices, but we will ask the help of all of God’s creations. We as a congregation can be heard in a physical sense of the word, but if we ask the multitude of Heavenly Hosts to join us in the singing of God’s praises, there will be no end to the resounding echo that comes from the Holy collection of voices singing his praise for all of eternity!

The Hymn:

If you cannot read music, just start the Youtube video and follow along!

"Hymn Studies." - "Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All" Hymn Studies, 11 Nov. 2009. Web. 04 Nov. 2012.

Julian, John. "Henry Collins." - Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2012. <>.

Wikipedia. "Joseph Barnby." - Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2012. <>.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Song is Love Unknown

Here is another hymn for a wonderful Saturday!

Title: My Song Is Love Unknown
Tune: Love Unknown


Author: Samuel Crossman (c. 1624-1683)

Composer: John Ireland (1879-1962)

            This text, written by Samuel Crossman, contains several parallels between Crossman’s poem, and another poem entitled “Love Unknown,” written by George Herbert (1593-1633). In essence Herbert’s poem says this:

            “But all my scores were by another paid.”
            “Who took the debt upon him. Truly, Friend,
            For ought I heare, your Master shows to you
            More favour than you wot of.” (Westermeyer, 2010, P. 140)

One of the most influential texts for Crossman was Herbert’s poem The Sacrifice, which plays off the Good Friday reproaches. In this work, Herbert writes in such a manner that Jesus speaks for eight pages in 63 stanzas, in regards to his passion and his death. The refrain “Was ever grief like mine?” or the similar “Never was grief like mine,” is found after each and every three line stanza. Towards the end of Crossman’s hymn, “My Song is Love Unknown,” we can find something similar to Herbert’s words, but in our words, rather than Jesus’. The text reads, “Never was grief like thine.” This hymn can be found in Samuel Crossman’s poem, The Young Man’s Meditation, (1664), which echoes much of Herbert’s text:
            Herbert: “Then they condemne me all with that same breath”
                        “Heark how they cry aloud still, Crucifie.”
            Crossman: “Then ‘Crucify!’ is all our breath”
            Herbert: “Mine own deare people cry, Away, away
            Crossman: “We cry out, we will have our dear Lord made away”
            Herbert: “They choose a murderer” instead of “the Prince of Peace”
            Crossman: “A murderer to save, the prince of life to slay” (Westermeyer, p. 141).

For much of Crossman’s text, we can see specific influences from Herbert, not so by the topic, but by specific words and phrases used in the poem. Crossman attempts to cover many of the same topics that Herbert does in his poem. As is explained by Gracia Grindal, a “befuddled” balladeer, she says, tells a story with this “Contradiction and paradox: ‘Love to the loveless shown / that they might lovely be’…Few hymns tell the story so well and so powerfully. And few tell us so much about ourselves” (Westermeyer, p. 141).  This hymn is fitting as a closing hymn for the season of lent, leading into Holy Week and the Three Days.
            In the Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), only six of the original seven verses written by Crossman are published. The fourth verse is omitted because of the potential for the text to be inferred as suggesting that those in particular who had been healed are the ones who will rise against Christ. The hymn stays true to the original text with only a few minor changes, including the spelling of “strew,” instead of “strow.” There are, however, two major modifications that have been made. First, in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the text is changed from “They,” to “We,” altogether who strew his way and have our dear Lord made away. Second, Crossman wrote
            But men made strange, and none
            The longed-for Christ would know.
But was changed to
            The world that was his own
            Would not its savior know.
Though it is clear that the paradox mentioned earlier is maintained with the change in text, it is a different way of saying estranged. By omitting “strange,” we lose the sense of Christ being estranged, or alienated, from the world.

            Though the contribution to the Hymn world from Samuel Crossman is unmistakable, there is not much known about him. Crossman studied at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, where he earned his B.A. in Divinity. After his graduation, he received orders to serve at a number of different churches, both in the Anglican Church and in the Puritan Church at the same time. Because of this, Crossman sympathized with the Puritan cause and became a part of a group that planned with Savoy Conference in 1661, the purpose of which was to revise the Common Book of Prayer so that both the Anglican Church and the Puritans could use the book. After the conference failed, Crossman and nearly 2,000 other puritan-leaning priests were expelled from the Church of England in the Act of Uniformity. Several years later, in 1665, Crossman renounced his Puritan affiliation and finally was ordained in a post as Royal Chaplain in Bristol in 1667. In 1683, just a short time before his death, Crossman was named Dean of Bristol Cathedral. He died on February 4th 1683, and is buried in the church of Bristol in the South Aisle.
            Born 1879 in Bowden, Cheshire, England, John Ireland was trained as a musician at the nearby Royal Academy of Music as a talented organist. In 1904 Ireland accepted a position as the Organist at St. Luke’s Chelsea, where he remained until 1926. During his time at St. Luke’s, Ireland began teaching at the Royal Academy of Music from 1923-1939. Though Ireland is known as one of the best composers of his time, he is known to have a very troubled personal life. His Orchestral, Piano, and Chamber works are fairly well known, but Ireland is best known for his Song Cycles set to Shakespeare, Blake, Hardy, and many other English Poets. The tune for the hymn “My Song Is Love Unknown” was written in 1918 and was finally published in the Public School Hymnbook published in 1919. Though the date of the composition is known, the actual details about the piece did not come out until 1950, when a letter was written to the London Daily Telegraph. The letter contained information about the composition, saying that it was written over lunch on a small piece of paper in less than 15 minutes. Ireland was out to lunch with a friend, Geoffrey Shaw (who was an editor for the 1919 Public School Hymnal), when Shaw asked Ireland to compose a piece for the text “My Song Is Love Unknown.” Though the hymn was very popular then, it continues to appear in several different hymnals even to this day.

The Text:

(1)   My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

(2)   He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

(3)   Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

(4)   Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

(5)   They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.

(6)   In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.

(7)   Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

My Take on the Hymn:

            This hymn struck me as very reassuring. It is incredible to think that, while Christ was in front of the masses and was about to be condemned to death, he was thinking of us and his love for us. Upon the masses crying for him to be crucified, Christ cried out “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The first verse talks about the capacity that Christ has to love everyone, even those who have no love for Christ or his Disciples. The second stanza reminds us that Christ was sent down from his heavenly place with God to be our savior. Christ loved everyone so much, that he would die for people that he hadn't ever met, nor would he ever know in his lifetime. Stanza three, Crossman mentions that Christ has won some hearts over, but even when Christ has won few, many still cried out for him to be crucified for now reason.  In the fourth verse, Crossman questions “Why, what hath my lord done? What makes this rage and spite?” In this passage he is asking what Christ has done to deserve this. Even Pontius Pilate is confused as to why Christ should be condemned to death over the other two criminals. The love that Christ showed the world is amazing, a true gift to everyone and a model that should remain. If we all take time to pray for those who we do not get along, we can be one step closer to living exactly as Christ did, and we can have fewer worries in our life, because we need not worry about our enemies, but we can love them as our own Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
The Hymn:

If you cannot read music, but start the Youtube video and follow along!

Julian, John. "LOVE UNKNOWN." Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2012. <>.

"661 My Song Is Love Unkown." With One Voice. Vol. 1. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress, 1995. 661. Print.

Westermeyer, Paul. "Lent." Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship. 1st ed. Vol. 1. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2010. 140-42. Print.