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At the Name of Jesus (Philippians 2:5-11)

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The text is based on the confession of faith that Paul quotes in Philippians 2:6-11, which may well have been an early Christian hymn. Stanza 1 announces the triumph of the ascended Christ to whom "every knee should bow" (Phil. 2: 10). In stanza 2 Christ is the "mighty Word" (see John 1:1-4) through whom "creation sprang at once to sight." Stanzas 3 and 4 look back to Christ's humiliation, death, resurrection, and ascension (Phil. 2:6-9). Stanza 5 is an encouragement for submission to Christ, for us to have the "mind of Christ," and stanza 6 looks forward to Christ's return as "King of glory." The text is not only concerned with the name 'Jesus," whose saving work it confesses, but also with the glory and majesty that attends "the name of Jesus." 
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The confessions make it clear that the ascension of Christ opened the door to the rule of his kingdom. This fact is comforting to those who love him and is a fearful threat to those who despise him. The response therefore is praise and adoration from people of faith, and resistance from those who reject him.
 
Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 27 affirms “All authority, glory and sovereign power are given to him,” and reaffirms it in paragraph 43: “Jesus Christ rules over all.”
 
Consider the clear affirmation made in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 19, Question and Answer 50: “Christ ascended to heaven to show there that he is the head of his church, the one through whom the Father rules all things.”
 

It is no wonder that those who despise him join together to conspire against him, for Christ’s aim as Lord is to “destroy the devil’s work…every force which revolts against you and every conspiracy against your holy word” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 48, Question and Answer 123).

Call to Worship

Almighty God,
as we prepare to worship today,
we ask that you will stretch our imaginations
to sense the majesty and mystery of your ascension.
Help us perceive how Jesus’ presence in heaven
can give us confidence in our praying
and hope for the future.
Through Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the Lord , the Most High, is awesome,
a great king over all the earth.
The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved.
Since, then, we have a great high priest
who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness,
so that we may receive mercy
and find grace to help in time of need.
—Psalm 47:1-2; 93:1; Hebrews 4:14, 16, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

People of God,
the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, sends his greeting to you.
And his greeting is this:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
through the working of the Holy Spirit.
This is the greeting of Christ, who arose from the grave.
He died and rose that we might have eternal life.
All thanks be to him!
This same Christ has ascended to the Father.
He ascended that we might experience God’s presence and power.
All praise be to him!
[Reformed Worship 23:40]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus Christ has come into heaven and is at God’s right hand—
with angels, authorities, and powers in submission to him.
Since we have a great high priest who has gone into heaven—
Jesus, the Son of God—let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
Let us praise his holy name!
Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!
Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength
be to our God forevermore!
Alleluia, Amen!
Alleluia!
—based on Hebrews 4:14; Revelation 5:10, 12
[Reformed Worship 23:41]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Lord God,
the words “Jesus is King” come easily to our lips,
yet we often fail to grasp the significance of what they mean for us.
In this service, help us worship you in spirit and truth,
and give us a vision for how we may live in homage to you
every day of our lives, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
—Psalm 24:7-8, 10, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord , our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
—Psalm 95:1-7, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Confession

Call to Confession
While we claim to celebrate the ascension of our Lord,
the way we live proclaims our lack of faith
in his power to deal with the world.
Let us confess the incongruity between our faith and practice.
Let us pray.
Prayer of Confession
We come, O Lord, on this day of glory to confess our lack of trust.
While we sing of your lordship over all creation,
we have too often acted as though you are powerless
in the face of today’s events.
Help us to live with confidence in your presence today
and in hope for life with you forever. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 11:22]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

Hear the good news: “For Christ also suffered once for sins,
the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
After being made alive, he went and made proclamation
to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago
when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.
In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—
not the removal of dirt from the body
but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.
It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—
with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”
—1 Peter 3:18-22, NIV
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Our hope for a new creation
is not tied to what humans can do,
for we believe that one day
every challenge to God’s rule
will be crushed.
His kingdom will fully come,
and the Lord will rule.
We long for that day
when our bodies are raised,
the Lord wipes away our tears,
and we dwell forever
in the presence of God.
We will take our place
in the new creation,
where there will be
no more death
or mourning
or crying
or pain,
and the Lord will be our light.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
—from Our World Belongs to God, st. 55-56
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Our ascended Lord gives hope for two ages.
In the age to come, Christ is the judge,
rejecting unrighteousness,
isolating God’s enemies to hell,
blessing the new creation in Christ.
In this age, the Holy Spirit is with us,
calling nations to follow God’s path,
uniting people through Christ in love.
—from Our Song of Hope, st. 5
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

This saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance:
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
There is one God; there is one mediator
between God and humankind, Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all, to whom we testify.
Great indeed is the mystery of our religion:
He was revealed in flesh,
vindicated in spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.
—based on 1 Timothy 1:15; 2:5-6; 3:16, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

We declare with joy:
Christ suffered once for sins,
the righteous for the unrighteous,
to bring us to God.
He was put to death in the body
but made alive in the Spirit.
Now he has gone into heaven
and is at God’s right hand—
with angels, authorities, and powers in submission to him.
—based on 1 Peter 3:18, 22
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus Christ has been ordained by God the Father
and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit
to be our chief prophet and teacher
who fully reveals to us
the secret counsel and will of God concerning our deliverance;
our only high priest
who has delivered us by the one sacrifice of his body,
and who continually pleads our cause with the Father;
and our eternal king
who governs us by his Word and Spirit,
and who guards us and keeps us in the freedom he has won for us.
He ascended to heaven
to show there that he is head of his church,
the one through whom the Father rules all things.
In all distress and persecution,
with uplifted head,
we confidently await the very judge
who has already offered himself to the judgment of God
in our place and removed the whole curse from us.
Christ will cast all his enemies and ours
into everlasting condemnation,
but will take all his chosen ones to himself
into the joy and glory of heaven.
—from Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A’s 31, 50, 52
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

As followers of Jesus Christ,
living in this world—
which some seek to control,
and others view with despair—
we declare with joy and trust:
Our world belongs to God!
From the beginning,
through all the crises of our times,
until the kingdom fully comes,
God keeps covenant forever:
Our world belongs to God!
God is King! Let the earth be glad!
Christ is victor: his rule has begun!
The Spirit is at work: creation is renewed!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Jesus ascended in triumph,
raising our humanity to the heavenly throne.
All authority, glory, and sovereign power are given to him.
There he hears our prayers
and pleads our cause before the Father.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Our hope for a new creation is not tied
to what humans can do,
for we believe that one day
every challenge to God’s rule will be crushed.
His kingdom will fully come,
and our Lord will rule.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Our World Belongs to God, st. 1-2, 27, 55
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

Jesus says:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” Amen.
—from Matthew 28:18-20, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

O God of all power and majesty,
you created the heavens and stretched them out.
You formed the earth and all that comes from it.
You give the breath of life to all who walk on the face of the earth.
Jesus, you conquered sin and death and now reign victorious.
You are Lord; glory is due your name.
The former things have come to pass;
we now await the new things you will bring through the Holy Spirit.
We rejoice to be gathered in your name.
Alleluia! Accept our praises and petitions. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 39:28]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

You said, “Peace be with you.” And you breathed on your disciples,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit and be able to go in peace.
And so, victorious Lord, we pray to you:
Lord, hear us and give us your peace.
O Christ, after your resurrection you sent out your disciples to teach the nations,
to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
You said you would be with them always, to the end of the age.
And so, victorious Lord, we pray to you:
Lord, hear us, and send us out with your promise.
O Christ, exalted one, through your resurrection you have lifted us up,
you have given gifts to us, you have sent your Spirit to us,
that we might be equipped for service to a world that knows you not.
And so, victorious Lord, we pray to you:
Lord, hear us, and distribute your gifts among us.
O Christ, exalted one, you are glorified by angels in heaven,
you are honored and worshiped on earth,
and all of history stands on tip-toe, eagerly awaiting the final day
of your return, when you will make all things new.
And so, victorious Lord, we pray to you:
Lord, hear us, and come again soon.
Our Father, grant that we may evermore
live in the fullness of your power, filled with your peace,
directed by your Spirit, and sent as Christ was sent.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

People of God, go now in peace, knowing that
if we suffer with Christ, we shall also rejoice with him;
if we die with Christ, we shall also rise with him.
Go in peace, letting your old self die with Christ,
and your new self, glorious with purpose and strength,
prepare for the great day of our ascended Lord’s return.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Tune Information

Name
KING'S WESTON
Key
d minor or modal
Meter
6.5.6.5 D

Recordings

Hymn Story/Background

Caroline Marie Noel’s poems were collected in The Name of Jesus and Other Verses for the Sick and Lonely (1861, enlarged in 1870).
 
One of the hymns in the 1870 collection was this text (originally beginning "In the Name of Jesus"), designed for use as a processional hymn on Ascension Day.  Lift Up Your Hearts includes stanzas 1, 3-5, and 7-8 of Noel's original eight stanzas.
 
The text is based on the confession of faith that Paul quotes in Philippians 2:6-11, which may well have been an early Christian hymn. Stanza 1 announces the triumph of the ascended Christ to whom "every knee should bow" (Phil. 2: 10). In stanza 2 Christ is the "mighty Word" (see John 1:1-4) through whom "creation sprang at once to sight." Stanzas 3 and 4 look back to Christ's humiliation, death, resurrection, and ascension (Phil. 2:6-9). Stanza 5 is an encouragement for submission to Christ, for us to have the "mind of Christ," and stanza 6 looks forward to Christ's return as "King of glory." The text is not only concerned with the name “Jesus,” whose saving work it confesses, but also with the glory and majesty that attends "the name of Jesus."
 
Ralph Vaughan Williams composed KING'S WESTON for this text. It was published in Songs of Praise (1925). The combination of text and tune in a festive hymn­-anthem by Vaughan Williams has become a favorite of many church choirs. The tune's title refers to a manor house on the Avon River near Bristol, England.
 
KING'S WESTON is a great tune marked by distinctive rhythmic structures and a soaring climax in the final two lines. Like many of Vaughan Williams's tunes, it is best sung in unison with moderate accompaniment to support this vigorous melody. For festive services use the descant in Vaughan Williams's anthem for stanza 4, or combine select choral stanzas from this anthem with congregational stanzas in the manner hymn of a concertato, using E minor throughout.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Caroline Marie Noel (b. Teston, Kent, England, 1817; d. St. Marylebone, London, England, 1877) wrote this spiritually powerful text. The daughter of an Anglican clergyman and hymn writer, she began to write poetry in her late teens but then abandoned it until she was in her forties. During those years she suffered frequent bouts of illness and eventually became an invalid. To encourage both herself and others who were ill or incapacitated, Noel began to write devotional verse again. Her poems were collected in The Name of Jesus and Other Verses for the Sick and Lonely (1861, enlarged in 1870).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Through his composing, conducting, collecting, editing, and teaching, Ralph Vaughan Williams (b. Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England, October 12, 1872; d. August 26, 1958) became the chief figure in the realm of English music and church music in the first half of the twentieth century. His education included instruction at the Royal College of Music in London and Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as additional studies in Berlin and Paris. During World War I he served in the army medical corps in France. Vaughan Williams taught music at the Royal College of Music (1920-1940), conducted the Bach Choir in London (1920-1927), and directed the Leith Hill Music Festival in Dorking (1905-1953).
 
A major influence in his life was the English folk song. A knowledgeable collector of folk songs, he was also a member of the Folksong Society and a supporter of the English Folk Dance Society. Vaughan Williams wrote various articles and books, including National Music (1935), and composed numerous arrange­ments of folk songs; many of his compositions show the impact of folk rhythms and melodic modes. His original compositions cover nearly all musical genres, from orchestral symphonies and concertos to choral works, from songs to operas, and from chamber music to music for films. Vaughan Williams's church music includes anthems; choral-orchestral works, such as Magnificat (1932), Dona Nobis Pacem (1936), and Hodie (1953); and hymn tune settings for organ. But most important to the history of hymnody, he was music editor of the most influential British hymnal at the beginning of the twentieth century, The English Hymnal (1906), and coeditor (with Martin Shaw) of Songs of Praise (1925, 1931) and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928).
— Bert Polman
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.