Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Commemoration of George Herbert

Have you ever read the fine print on the back page of your bulletin insert?  I don't think many people notice the suggested readings and commemorations listed each week under the title "Preparing for Next Week."  If you had read this week's list, you'd have noticed that today is the commemoration of George Herbert (1593 - 1633), listed in the bulletin this week with the title of "hymnwriter."

I think that he might be better described as a poet, however.  The only hymn with his text to appear in the ELW is "Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life" - hardly a well-known hymn to us and set to a tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams hundreds of years after Herbert's death.  But the choir also sang another of his famous texts "Let All the World in Every Corner Sing" recently.  It fits so beautifully with my ongoing encouragement to Make Joyful Noise that I wanted to share the full text today:

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
The heavens are not too high, His praise may thither fly,
The earth is not too low, His praises there may grow.

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
The church with psalms must shout, no door can keep them out;
But, above all, the heart must bear the longest part.

It's great that the church officially recognizes the great artists, poets, and musicians who have helped shape our faith and worship.  Read the fine print from time to time, and you might find new sources of inspiration to guide your own prayers.

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