1 Lord, you give the great commission:
"Heal the sick and preach the Word."
Lest the church neglect its mission
and the gospel go unheard,
help us witness to your purpose
with renewed integrity;
with the Spirit's gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.
2 Lord, you call us to your service:
"In my name baptize and teach."
That the world may trust your promise
life abundant meant for each
give us all new fervor, draw us
closer in community; Refrain
3 Lord, you make the common holy:
"This my body, this my blood."
Let us all, for earth's true glory,
daily lift life heavenward,
asking that the world around us
share your children's liberty; Refrain
4 Lord, you show us love's true measure:
"Father, what they do, forgive."
Yet we hoard as private treasure
all that you so freely give.
May your care and mercy lead us
to a just society; Refrain
5 Lord, you bless with words assuring:
"I am with you to the end."
Faith and hope and love restoring,
may we serve as you intend,
and, amid the cares that claim us,
hold in mind eternity; Refrain
|First Line:||Lord, you give the great commission|
|Title:||Lord, You Give the Great Commission|
|Author:||Jeffery W. Rowthorn (1978)|
|Meter:||87 87 D|
|Scripture:||Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 21:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 1 Corinthians 11:25|
|Refrain First Line:||with the Spirit's gifts empower us|
|Copyright:||Text © 1978, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission|
|Composer:||Cyril V. Taylor (1907-1991) (1941)|
|Meter:||87 87 D|
|Copyright:||Tune © 1942, 1970, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission|
st. 1 = Matt. 10:7-8
st. 2 = Matt. 28:19-20
st. 3 = Matt. 26:26-28
st. 4 = Luke 23:34
st. 5 = Matt. 28:20
ref. = 1 Cor. 12:4-11, Eph.4:12
Jeffery W. Rowthorn (b. Newport, Gwent, Wales, 1934) wrote this text in 1978 while he was Chapel Minister at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut. The text was first published in Laudamus (1980), a hymnal supplement edited by Rowthorn and used at the Yale Divinity School.
This powerful text about the various ministries of the Christian church has two striking features: each stanza includes a quotation of Christ's words (usually from Matthew), and a concluding refrain line turns each stanza into a prayer. Christ's words are applied to the tasks of God's people in the world with a fervent prayer that the Spirit equip the saints to carry out these ministries faithfully.
Rowthorn graduated from Cambridge and Oxford Universities, Union Theological Serninary in New York, and Cuddeson Theological College in Oxford. Ordained in 1963 in the Church of England, he served several congregations in England before immigrating to the United States, where he was chaplain at Union Theological Seminary and a faculty member in liturgics at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, which he helped to establish. He was then elected Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. The writer of several hymns, Rowthorn was also coeditor with Russell Schulz-Widmar of A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools (1991). Rowthorn has since moved to Paris, where he is Bishop in Charge of the American Churches in Europe.
Pentecost; profession of faith; Reformation Sunday; ordination and commissioning services (for specific offices or for all of God's people); festivals of the church (dedications, anniversaries); church conferences and mission meetings.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Cyril V. Taylor (PHH 286) composed ABBOT'S LEIGH in May of 1941 when he was working for the Religious Broadcasting Department of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The BBC had received complaints about the use of AUSTRIA (tune for the Austrian national hymn) during this time of war, a tune then set to "Glorious Things of You Are Spoken" (506). Thus Taylor originally composed his tune for that text. First printed in a leaflet, ABBOT'S LEIGH was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised (1950), Congregational Praise (1951), and the BBC Hymn Book (1951), of which Taylor was editor. No modern hymnal would want to omit this great twentieth-century tune! ABBOT'S LEIGH is named for a village near Bristol, England, where Taylor composed the tune (Bristol was wartime headquarters for the BBC).
This dramatic tune with bold melodic gestures and a bar form shape (AAB) is suitable for unison or harmony singing. Use strong accompaniment with a stately tempo.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
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