Blessed Absalom (February 13)

Full Text

1 Born in bondage, born in shackles,
Born stripped of all dignity,
Abs’lom Jones was bound, determined,
That he would one day be free.
Blessed Abs’lom, leads us, guides us,
In the bonds of unity.

2 Seeking to expand horizons,
Bible, primer he did find;
To each word he was attentive,
Learning, lest he fall behind.
Blessed Abs’lom, liberates us
From the prison of our mind.

3 When in Philadelphia settled,
He sought persons in great need,
Dedicated to empow’rment,
His own people did he lead.
Blessed Abs’lom, pray that we from
All indiff’rence may be freed.

4 One fine morning, while at worship,
Wrested from his knees in prayer;
He, his friends, were thus evicted:
“You no more may praise God here.”
Blessed Abs’lom, pray that we may
Stand steadfast and persevere.

5 Founded he Saint Thomas’ church for
Afric’s sons and daughters blest;
Full-fledged members of Christ’s Body,
They no longer were oppressed.
Blessed Abs’lom, pray that we may
Be the church at Christ’s behest.

6 Blessed Abs’lom Jones, first priest of
Afric’s stock within our fold;
May we, inspired by your witness
Raise up priests with hearts of gold!
Blessed Abs’lom, pioneer, prophet
May your story long be told!

7 Praise to Christ the Liberator;
Praise Creator ever blest;
Praise the Spirit, Source of comfort,
North to south, and east to west:
Blessed Abs’lom, priest, exemplar,
In God’s bosom now at rest.

Author: Harold T. Lewis (b. 1947)

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Text Information

First Line: Born in bondage, born in shackles
Title: Blessed Absalom (February 13)
Author: Harold T. Lewis (b. 1947)
Language: English
Copyright: © 1992 Harold T. Lewis



John Goss (PHH 164) composed LAUDA ANIMA (Latin for the opening words of Psalm 103) for this text in 1868. Along with his original harmonizations, intended to interpret the different stanzas, the tune was also included in the appendix to Robert Brown¬ Borthwick's Supplemental Hymn and Tune Book (18…

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