Suggested Hymns

Third Sunday During Lent

March 15, 1998

Unifying Theme:
Drink the spiritual water given freely by God,
and being strengthened,
grow and bear fruit.

Palm Branch
Scripture Theme Hymns
Isaiah 55:1-9 Good things from God are free 147: All Things Bright and Beautiful
377: It Is Well with My Soul
Psalm 63:1-8 We crave spiritual water from God 88: Maker in Whom We Live
101: From All That Dwell Below the Skies
Luke 13:1-9 The fruitless tree will be cut down, but the gardener wants it to bear fruit 399: Take My Life, and Let It Be
436: The Voice of God Is Calling
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 God provides a way; we must make a choice 384: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
473: Lead Me, Lord
529: How Firm a Foundation

Featured Hymn
All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Hymn Number 280
Words by Theodulph of Orleans,
translated by John Mason Neale
Music by Mechior Teschner

One week before His resurrection, Christ entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. His arrival was celebrated by many who carried palm branches and called out, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." What a tremendous sight that must have been! A mighty savior and leader was coming into the city, riding perhaps on the very same streets that King David himself had used when he returned from battle. How exciting! Just think of the thrill and emotion of being there when the Messiah Himself came into town for the Passover--a festival that celebrated God's mercy to His people and His triumph over His people's oppressors.

In Jesus' day, the Jews were oppressed again. Instead of being in Egypt, they were a nation held captive in their own land. Instead of suffering at the hands of the Egyptians, they were ruled by Rome. The Jews wanted another Passover, or maybe another David, or maybe another . . . . Maybe what they needed was God, and there He was, right before their very eyes!

It is just as easy to get caught up in praising Christ today. Think about the worship service you will attend on Easter morning. If that isn't exciting enough for you, think about the faces of the children who will march triumphantly into the sanctuary waving their branches on Palm Sunday. Now that is excitement! On Palm Sunday this year, may you worship as the children do.

This week's featured hymn is attributed to Theodulph of Orleans, a bishop of the ninth century. Among other things, he sought to have an accurate and reliable copy of the canonized Bible prepared, and his manuscript remains one of the more authoritative works from his time.

Bishop Theodulph was a staunch traditionalist. By the ninth century, many aspects of Lent had become established traditions. Fasting was one of the important acts that set the season apart. As today, though, there was some debate on what it meant to fast. Tradition held that one meal could be taken each day, but not until after sundown. However, there were some in Theodulph's day who thought it was also appropriate to take their meal at the "None" hour, or 3:00 in the afternoon. Being the traditionalist that he was, Theodulph complained of the None hour meals.

Late in life, Theodulph was accused of conspiring to overthrow the King of France and was put in prison. While there, he wrote Gloria, laus, et honor, a hymn that proclaims the traditional story of Christ's triumphal entry. It is translated in the English version of The United Methodist Hymnal by John Mason Neale, another traditionalist. Living about 1,000 years after Theodulph, Neale was a 19th century priest who recognized the need to bring to life the traditional hymns of the faith. He wrote,

Among the most pressing of the inconveniences consequent on the adoption of the vernacular language in the office-books of the Reformation, must be reckoned the immediate disuse of all the hymns of the Western Church. That treasury, into which the saints of every age and country had poured their contributions, delighting, each in his generation, to express their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows, in language which would be the heritage of their Holy Mother until the end of time--those noble hymns, which had solaced anghorets on their mountains, monks in their cells, priests in bearing up against the burden and heat of the day, missionaries in girding themselves for martyrdom--henceforth became as a sealed book and as a dead letter.

Here is Theodulph's hymn as it was restored to the tradition of the English-speaking church by Neale:

All glory, laud, and honor,
to thee, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.
1. Thou art the King of Israel,
thou David's royal Son,
who in the Lord's name comest,
the King and Blessed One.
2. The company of angels
are praising thee on high,
and we with all creation
in chorus make reply.
3. The people of the Hebrews
with psalms before thee went;
our prayer and praise and anthems
before thee we present.
4. To thee, before thy passion,
they sang their hymns of praise;
to thee, now high exalted,
our melody we raise.
5. Thou didst accept their praises;
accept the prayers we bring,
who in all good delightest,
thou good and gracious King.

Thank God that this hymn is a dead letter no more! May you sing it with delight, with hope, and with joy.

God bless you--
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Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.