Our kids are learning Algebra and Calculus, are expected to memorize the periodic table and to read Shakespeare. Their marching-band routines are ever more complicated, and they are supposed to know all the plays in the playbook. But when it comes to church, we say, "Don't bother me with the details."
‹Rev. Dr. Peter J. Scaer›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
7Jan
2004
Wed
16:51
author: Stingray
category: Hymns
read/add comments: 3
trackbacks: 0

Hymn of Light (Phos Hilaron)

various scripture references

I was putting together a liturgical Evening Prayer service—following the designs of what are in Hymnal Supplement 98 (ISBN 0-570-01212-0) and Lutheran Worship (ISBN 0-570-04221-6)—for use during mid-week Lenten services at both of my churches, and I needed a Hymn of Light. Now, my churches have The Lutheran Hymnal (ISBN 0-570-01001-2) in the pews, and there is hymn number 101 (which is a Phos Hilaron), but I knew I could do something different.

I started writing the first version thinking that 8.7.8.7. was Common Meter. I really like what I ended up writing, but as I started looking at Common Meter tunes, I quickly (like with the first tune) realized that I had one too many syllables in the second and fourth phrases. So, I looked for 8.7.8.7. tunes, and there weren't many that worked well with this text; most of them were Trochaic and this hymn is Iambic. Anyway, I found a couple then proceeded to write a Common Meter version of the hymn and found a large number of tunes that worked with it. I have supplied to two best tunes.

I guess these hymns could use a tune of their own. If you know the story of the Phos Hilaron and can write hymn tunes, please take a crack at writing a tune for these hymns. Let me know if you come up with anything, and let me post it!