476

The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Infused with the imagery of morning light typical of early Greek hymnody, this Advent text stirs hope in the hearts of all who look forward to the return of Christ. “The King Shall Come” is a confession of faith in the sure return of our Lord; his coming again will occur in a blaze of glory, which will far surpass his earthly death and resurrection. The text concludes with a paraphrase of the ancient prayer of the church-"Maranatha," or "Lord, come quickly" (Rev. 22:20).
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12, Question and Answer 31 is a reminder that Christ promised to return and will do so as King. He has ascended to heaven “to show there that he is the head of his church, the one through whom the Father rules all things.” He was anointed as “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.”
476

The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns

Tune Information

Name
MORNING SONG
Key
f minor
Meter
8.6.8.6
476

The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns

Hymn Story/Background

Infused with the imagery of morning light typical of early Greek hymnody, this Advent text stirs hope in the hearts of all who look forward to the return of Christ. “The King Shall Come” is a confession of faith in the sure return of our Lord; his coming again will occur in a blaze of glory, which will far surpass his earthly death and resurrection. The text concludes with a paraphrase of the ancient prayer of the church—"Maranatha," or "Lord, come quickly" (Revelation 22:20).
 
The text was included in Hymns from the East (1907), a collection by John Brownlie of translations and what he called "suggestions" of devotional material from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Because no Greek original has ever been found, scholars now assume that the text is not a translation but a suggestion of what the early orthodox texts might have been. This is probably an original text by Brownlie that reflects his wide knowledge of Greek hymnody.
 
MORNING SONG is a folk tune that has some resemblance to the traditional English tune for "Old King Cole." The tune appeared anonymously in Part II of John Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music (1813). In 1816 it was credited to "Mr. Dean," which some scholars believe was a misprinted reference to Elkanah K. Dare, a composer who contributed more than a dozen tunes to Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music. In the original harmoniza­tion the melody was in the tenor. The tune is also known as CONSOLATION (and KENTUCKY HARMONY), its title in Ananias Davisson's Kentucky Harmony (1816), where it was set to Isaac Watts' morning song, "Once More, My Soul, the Rising Day."
 
Jack Grotenhuis composed the harmonization in Tempe, Arizona, in late November 1983 (a few weeks before his death in a traffic accident). The tune requires a sense of two long phrases rather than four short ones.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

A Presbyterian pastor in the Free Church of Scotland, John Brownlie (b. Glasgow, Scotland, 1859; d. Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland, 1925) was educated at Glasgow University and at the Free Church College. He served for many years as pastor of the Free Church of Portpatrick, Wigtownshire. Brownlie's contribution to church music was significant: he published three volumes of original hymn texts, including Pilgrim Songs (1892); he wrote a handbook (1899) to the 1898 edition of the Scottish Presbyterian hymnal, The Church Hymnary; and he published several volumes of English translations of Greek and Latin hymns, including Hymns from East and West (1898) and Hymns from the East (1907).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

A printer by trade, J. Wyeth (b. Cambridge, MA, 1770; d. Philadelphia, PA, 1858) is important in the history of hymnody as a compiler and publisher of early shape-note tunebooks. He worked briefly in Santa Domingo but had to flee when a revolt oc­curred. In 1792 he settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he lived for much of the rest of his life. A Unitarian, he was coeditor for some thirty-five years of the Federalist newspaper Oracle of Dauphin, a prominent source of news and opinion. Not a musician himself, Wyeth published Repository of Sacred Music (1810) and, with the help of Methodist preacher and musician Elkanah Kelsay Dare, Repository of Music, Part Second (1813). Intended for Methodist and Baptist camp meetings, these tune books contained a number of anonymous folk tunes as well as music by a number of composers, includ­ing William Billings. The two volumes influenced the next generation of tunebooks, such as Southern Harmony, and a number of the folk tunes have survived as hymn tunes in various modern hymnals.
— Bert Polman

Jack M. Grotenhuis (b. 1956; d. 1983) studied music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, and the University of lowa, and taught music at Lynden Christian High School, Lynden, Washington, from 1979 to 1981. Like his father, Dale Grotenhuis, his main interest was in choral music, but he also loved jazz. He had almost completed his doctoral program in choral music at the University of Arizona when he died.
— Bert Polman
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