269. Baptized in Water

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Text Information
First Line: Baptized in water
Title: Baptized in Water
Author: Michael Saward (1981)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 558 D
Scripture: John 3:5; Romans 6:14; John 2
Topic: King, God/Christ as; Praise & Adoration; Baptism
Language: English
Copyright: © 1982, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Name: BUNESSAN
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1985)
Meter: 558 D
Key: C Major
Source: Gaelic traditional melody
Copyright: Harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications


Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Titus 3:5-7, Heb. 10:14
st. 2 = Rom. 6:3-4, Col. 2:12
st. 3 = Rom. 8:15-16, Eph. 4:5-6

Michael Saward (PHH 16) wrote "Baptized in Water" in London on May 29,1981, a few days after the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination to the ministry. The text was first published in Hymns for Today s Church (1982), a hymnal on which Saward worked as text editor.

This song explains the New Testament theology on baptism in a rather compact way. The first line in each stanza alludes to John 3:5, Ephesians 1:13, and 1 Peter 3:21. The rest of each stanza explains the process symbolized by baptism: being cleansed by Christ's blood for salvation and godly living (st. 1); dying and being buried with Christ and rising again, free and forgiven (st. 2); and gaining the privilege of becoming God's children through Christ (st. 3). Each stanza also finishes with a note of praise to God. The text is powerful precisely because it is biblical.

Liturgical Use:
Infant or adult baptism. An excellent example of a "triumphant hymn" called for in the second form for Baptism of Children and the second form for Baptism of Adults in the Psalter Hymnal.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

BUNESSAN is a Gaelic tune that was first published (melody only) in Lachlan Macbean's Songs and Hymns of the Gael (1888) as a setting for Mary Macdonald's carol "Child in the Manger." The tune is named after Macdonald's birthplace on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. BUNESSAN is also well known as the setting for Eleanor Farjeon's "Morning Has Broken" (1931), published in many hymnals and widely popularized by Cat Stevens, who recorded an arrangement of the tune in 1971.

BUNESSAN is intended for unison singing; use a light accompaniment on the organ (or organ trio style) or folk instruments. Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) harmonized the tune for the Psalter Hymnal in 1985.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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