Tag Archives: Trinity

Thou, whose almighty word

Thou, whose almighty word
chaos and darkness heard,
and took their flight;
hear us, we humbly pray,
and, where the Gospel day
sheds not its glorious ray,
let there be light!

Thou who didst come to bring
on thy redeeming wing
healing and sight,
heal to the sick in mind,
sight to the inly blind,
now to all humankind,
let there be light!

Spirit of truth and love,
life-giving holy Dove,
speed forth thy flight!
Move on the waters’ face
bearing the gifts of grace,
and, in earth’s darkest place,
let there be light!

Holy and blessèd Three,
glorious Trinity,
Wisdom, Love, Might;
boundless as ocean’s tide,
rolling in fullest pride,
through the world far and wide,
let there be light!

–Words: John Marriott (1780-1825)
–Music: MOSCOW, Felice de Giardini (1716-1796)

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As truly as God is our Father

As truly as God is our Father, so just as truly is he our Mother.
In our Father, God Almighty, we have our being;
In our merciful Mother we are remade and restored.
Our fragmented lives are knit together.
And by giving and yielding ourselves, through grace,
To the Holy Spirit we are made whole.
It is I, the strength and goodness of Fatherhood.
It is I, the wisdom of Motherhood.
It is I, the light and grace of holy love.
It is I, the Trinity.
I am the sovereign goodness in all things.
It is I who teach you to love.
It is I who teach you to desire.
It is I who am the reward of all true desiring.
All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. Amen.

–Julian of Norwich (b. 1342)

Retablo of the Trinity, by Alcario Otero

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Thy strong word did cleave the darkness

Thy strong word did cleave the darkness;
at thy speaking it was done;
for created light we thank thee,
while thine ordered seasons run:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness,
dark as night and deep as death,
broke the light of thy salvation,
breathed thine own life-giving breath:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

Thy strong word bespeaks us righteous;
bright with thine own holiness,
glorious now, we press toward glory,
and our lives our hopes confess:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

God the Father, Light-Creator,
to thee laud and honor be;
to thee, Light of Light begotten,
praise be sung eternally;
Holy Spirit, Light Revealer,
glory, glory be to thee;
mortals, angels, now and ever
praise the Holy Trinity.

–Words: Martin H. Franzman (1907-1976)
–Normally sung to the tune Ton-y-Botel, by Thomas John Williams (1869-1944)

This version of the above hymn is from The Hymnal 1982, according to the use of The Episcopal Church.

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Gloria in Excelsis Deo (William Mathias)

The Gloria in Excelsis is one of the oldest hymns in Christian tradition. Also known as the “Greater Doxology,” its beginnings go back to the 2nd century. Many Christians around the world still recite these words as part of weekly worship, prayer, and devotionals, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Lutherans, and many others. Its text has been translated from the original Greek of the New Testament (the opening words are the words spoken by the Angels in Luke 2:14), and many different variants exist. Among all versions, the joyful message is clear: God is to be glorified, Christ died for our sins, and God alone is holy and in unity with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The version I share here (composed by William Mathias) was recorded at Washington National Cathedral on May 5, 2013 during the 11:15 Holy Eucharist.

Click here to listen to the Gloria.

Glory to God in the highest,
And peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
Almighty God and Father:
We worship you,
We give you thanks,
We praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God:
You take away the sin of the world,
Have mercy on us.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father,
Receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
You alone are the Lord,
You alone are the most High:
Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
In the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

A medieval icon depicting the Trinity, painted by Andre Rublev c. 1400.

A medieval icon depicting the Trinity, painted by Andre Rublev c. 1400.

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Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty

This hymn is one of my absolute favorites. It is sung to the hymn tune Nicaea, and is one of the most classic hymns ever written. It never gets old, and still sends shivers down my spine when it brings to mind the absolute awesomeness that is God: Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

The first version here is a traditional version, sung by the choir of St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland (from the album Famous Hymns of Praise).

The second version is a modern interpretation of this classic hymn by Sufjan Stevens, one of my favorite artists (from the album Songs for Christmas).

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Words: Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
Tune: Nicaea by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876)

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I Bind Unto Myself Today

This is one of the most interesting and beautiful hymns I’ve ever sung. We sang this today at church, the one day of the church year that celebrates the mystery of the Holy Trinity. The words of this hymn are attributed to St. Patrick, who lived at the turn of the fifth century. The words to the hymn are below, though the italicized stanzas are not sung in this version.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
his baptism in the Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spicèd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

–St. Patrick’s Breastplate (aka “I Bind Unto Myself Today”), sung by The Choirs of Belfast Cathedral, from the album Celtic Inspirations.

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