538. Come, You Disconsolate

1 Come, you disconsolate, where'er you languish;
come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal.

2 Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, in mercy saying,
"Earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot cure."

3 Here see the bread of life; see waters flowing
forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
Come to the feast prepared; come, ever knowing
earth has no sorrows but heaven can remove.

Text Information
First Line: Come, you disconsolate, where'er you languish
Title: Come, You Disconsolate
Author (st. 1-2): Thomas Moore (1824)
Reviser and Author (st. 3): Thomas Hastings (1831)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 11 10 11 10
Scripture: Isaiah 54:7; John 14:18; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 4:16
Topic: Bread of Life; Comfort & Encouragement; Invitation2 more...
Language: English
Tune Information
Name: CONSOLATION (Webbe)
Composer: Samuel Webbe (1792)
Meter: 11 10 11 10
Key: C Major


Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Heb. 4:14-16
st. 2 = Isa. 54:7, John 14:18

Like the previous four hymns, "Come, You Disconsolate" is an invitation, a call for sinners to come to Christ with their sorrows and find healing (st. 1), experience hope and comfort (st. 2), and participate in the feast of the Lamb (st. 3). The text empha¬sizes the consolation that Christ offers to those who turn to him in faith.

Entitled "Relief in Prayer," this text by Thomas Moore (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1779; d. Devizes, Wiltshire, England, 1852) was first published in three stanzas in Moore's Sacred Songs, Duets and Trios (1816), one of his thirty-two hymn texts in that collection. Minor changes were made for the 1824 edition.

Although born and educated in Ireland, Moore spent much of his adult life in England. In 1804 he began a civil service appointment in Bermuda but delegated it to a deputy, who embezzled money that Moore had to pay back! He traveled throughout the eastern United States and Canada in 1840 but then returned to London. Moore became known for two achievements–playing and singing Irish folk songs in aristocratic homes and writing poetry. His publications include a biography of Lord Byron and A Selection of Irish Melodies (1807-1834).

The American composer Thomas Hastings (b. Washington, Litchfield County, CT, 1784; d. New York, NY, 1872) revised Moore's stanzas 1 and 2 and substituted his own third stanza when he published the hymn in Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (1831), compiled by Hastings and Lowell Mason (PHH 96). Like Lowell Mason, Hastings was a rire1ess writer, composer, and promoter of church music in the European style (he thought the shape-note tradition "unscientific"). He wrote some six hundred hymn texts and composed about a thousand tunes, most of which have been forgotten. From 1823 to 1832 he lived in Utica, New York, where he directed the Oneida County Choir and was editor of a religious magazine, The Western Recorder. In 1832 Hastings was invited by twelve churches to come to New York City to improve their psalm singing. He stayed there the rest of his life, composing, writing, teaching, and directing. He published some fifty volumes, including his Utica Collection (1816, later expanded as Musica Sacra), Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (with Mason, 1833), and Church Melodies (1858).

Liturgical Use:
As an invitation hymn in evangelistic services, possibly with altar calls or with the Lord's Supper (note st. 3); useful in the service of confession/forgiveness and comfort/encouragement.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

CONSOLATION was originally set for solo voice to "Alma redemptoris mater" by Samuel Webbe, Sr. (PHH 112), in his Collection of Motetts and Antiphons (1792). Thomas Hastings adapted the tune for use with Moore's text in Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (1831). CONSOLATION is also known as ALMA and CONSOLATOR.

With lyric sweetness and urgent rhythms, this tune has the character to support the solace offered in this text. Sing in parts or in unison (reminiscent of its vocal solo origins). Accompany with enough rhythmic firmness to offset any inherent sentimentality.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Media
MIDI file: MIDI
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