If you come to Universalist National Memorial Church this Sunday, you’ll see the following in the order of service (or something like it)
The Universalist General Convention and First Universalist Church, Washington (Church of Our Father), this church’s predecessor, held Winchester Profession Centennial observances in October 1903. The first and third hymns this morning were the two hymns selected for that occasion.
The first hymn is still in our hymnal, Hymns of the Spirit, and is based on Tennyson’s poem. Read Strong Son of God at Cyberhymnal.org. (Here we sing it to Orlando Gibbon’s tune Song 5.)
The second is rare, and not in common usage today, and comes from the hand of Universalist Abel C. Thomas, Thou, whose wide extended sway. To see the text, click “continue reading.” The tune used in 1903 was Brannockburn; the meter is the odd 18.104.22.168.D., so I’ll need to see if we have any options.
Thou, whose wide extended sway
Suns and systems e’er obey!
Thou, our Guardian and our stay,
In prospective, Lord, we see
Jew and Gentile, bond and free,
Reconciled in Christ to thee,
Holy, Holy Lord.
Thou by all shall be confessed,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
When to thy eternal rest,
In the courts above,
Thou shalt bring the sore oppressed;
Fill each joy-desiring breast;
Make of each a welcome guest,
At the feast of love.
When destroying death shall die,
Hushed be every rising sigh,
Tears be wiped from every eye,
Never more to fall;
Then shall praises sill the sky,
And angelic hosts shall cry,
Holy, Holy Lord, Most High,
Thou art All in All!
Abel C. Thomas