667

Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Titled "Morning Hymn" by Wesley, it is unusual in that it does not contain the customary reference to the previous night's rest or to the work and dangers of the day ahead. The text begins by placing the focus entirely on Christ, the "light of the world," the sun of Righteousness who rises with healing in his wings"; he is the "Dayspring" and "Daystar." Thus the "light of Christ" is to fill our lives and lead us forward "to the perfect day."
 
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Catechism says that those who know Christ’s forgiveness are “to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). As a result, “With our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, and that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86).
 

Assurance

For it is the God who said,
“Let light shine out of darkness,”
who has shone in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the
face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in clay jars,
so that it may be made clear
that this extraordinary
power belongs to God
and does not come from us.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.”
—from John 8:12, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Prayer in Eastertide
O Lord Jesus Christ, you who have triumphed over the shade of night, rise above our shadowed lives. Rise above our doubts. Rise above our sorrows. Rise above every bad memory and crumbling hope. Sun of righteousness, arise, and make your resurrection the magnet for ours. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

Name
LUX PRIMA
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
7.7.7.7.7.7

Recordings

Hymn Story/Background

Written by the great hymn writer Charles Wesley, this text was published in three stanzas in Hymns and Sacred Poems, compiled in 1740 by Charles Wesley and his brother John. James Montgomery called it "one of Charles Wesley's loveliest progeny. "
 
Titled "Morning Hymn" by Wesley, it is unusual in that it does not contain the customary reference to the previous night's rest or to the work and dangers of the day ahead. The text begins by placing the focus entirely on Christ, the "light of the world," the "Sun of Righteousness who rises with healing in his wings"; he is the "Dayspring" and "Daystar." Thus the "light of Christ" is to fill our lives and lead us forward "to the perfect day."
 
French romanticist composer Charles F. Gounod wrote LUX PRIMA, which means "first light" in Latin. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Gounod left his native Paris and settled in England for five years. This sturdy tune was published in the Scottish Hymnary in 1872.
 
It uses several melodic sequences and builds to a climax in its last line. Sing in parts throughout with moderate to strong accompaniment. 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Several members of the Wesley family are significant figures in the history of English hymnody, and none more so than Charles Wesley (b. Epworth, Lincolnshire, England, 1707; d. Marylebone, London, England, 1788). Charles was the eighteenth child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, who educated him when he was young. After attending Westminster School, he studied at Christ Church College, Oxford. It was there that he and George Whitefield formed the Oxford "Holy Club," which Wesley's brother John soon joined. Their purpose was to study the Bible in a disciplined manner, to improve Christian worship and the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and to help the needy. Because of their methods for observing the Christian life, they earned the name “Methodists.”
 
Charles Wesley was ordained a minister in the Church of England in 1735 but found spiritual conditions in the church deplorable. Charles and John served briefly as missionaries to the British colony in Georgia. Enroute they came upon a group of Moravian missionaries, whose spirituality impressed the Wesleys. They returned to England, and, strongly influenced by the ministry of the Moravians, both Charles and John had conversion experiences in 1738. The brothers began preaching at revival meetings, often outdoors. These meetings were pivotal in the mid-eighteenth-century "Great Awakening" in England.
 
Though neither Charles nor John Wesley ever left the Church of England them­selves, they are the founders of Methodism. Charles wrote some sixty-five hundred hymns, which were published in sixty-four volumes during his lifetime; these include Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1741), Hymns on the Lord's Supper ( 1 745), Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1753), and Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780). Charles's hymns are famous for their frequent quotations and allusions from the Bible, for their creedal orthodoxy and their subjective expression of Christian living, and for their use of some forty-five different meters, which inspired new hymn tunes in England. Numerous hymn texts by Wesley are standard entries in most modern hymnals; fourteen are included in the Psalter Hymnal, 1987.
 
Charles's elder brother John also studied at Christ Church College, Oxford, and was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1728. A tutor at Lincoln College in Oxford from 1729 to 1735, Wesley became the leader of the Oxford "Holy Club" mentioned above. After his contact with the Moravian missionaries, Wesley began translating Moravian hymns from German and published his first hymnal, Collection of Psalms and Hymns, in Charleston, South Carolina (1737); this hymnal was the first English hymnal ever published for use in worship. Upon his return to England in 1738 Wesley "felt his heart strangely warmed" at a meeting on Aldersgate Street, London, when Peter Bohler, a Moravian, read from Martin Luther's preface to his commentary on the epistle to the Romans. It was at that meeting that John received the assurance that Christ had truly taken away his sins. That conversion experience (followed a few days later by a similar experience by his brother Charles) led to his becoming the great itinerant evangelist and administrator of the Methodist "societies," which would eventually become the Methodist Church. An Anglican all his life, John Wesley wished to reform the Church of England and regretted the need to found a new denomina­tion. Most of the hymnals he prepared with his brother Charles were intended for Christians in all denominations; their Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) is one of the few specifically so designated. John was not only a great preacher and organizer, he was also a prolific author, editor, and translator. He translat­ed many classic texts, wrote grammars and dictionaries, and edited the works of John Bunyan and Richard Baxter. In hymnody he is best known for his translation of selec­tions from the German hymnals of Johann Cruger ('Jesus, thy boundless love to me"), Freylinghausen, and von Zinzendorf ('Jesus, thy blood and righteousness"), and for his famous "Directions for Singing," which are still printed in Methodist hymnals. Most significant, however, is his well-known strong hand in editing and often strengthening his brother Charles's hymn texts before they copublished them in their numerous hymnals.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Charles F. Gounod (b. Paris, France, 1818; d. St. Cloud, France, 1893) was taught initially by his pianist mother. Later he studied at the Paris Conservatory, won the "Grand Prix de Rome" in 1839, and continued his musical training in Vienna, Berlin, and Leipzig. Though probably most famous for his opera Faust (1859) and other instrumental music (including his Meditation sur le Prelude de Bach, to which someone added the Ave Maria text for soprano solo), Gounod also composed church music—four Masses, three Requiems, and a Magnificat. His smaller works for church use were published as Chants Sacres. When he lived in England (1870-­1875), Gounod became familiar with British cathedral music and served as conductor of what later became the Royal Choral Society.
— Bert Polman
General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Capo:
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

This is a preview of your FlexScore.