I Am the Holy Vine

Versifier: James J. Quinn

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Text Information

First Line: I am the holy vine
Title: I Am the Holy Vine
Versifier: James J. Quinn (1969)
Language: English
Copyright: © 1969 James Quinn, admin. OCP Publications


Scripture References:
st. 1 = John 15:1-2
st. 2 = John 15:4
st. 3 = John 15:5

Based on John 15: 1-5, "I Am the Holy Vine" versifies Jesus' teaching about leading fruitful lives. Using the common Old Testament symbol of a vineyard (Ps. 80; Isa. 5; Jer. 2:21), Jesus points out that love can be produced only by being rooted in the source of true love, Christ, in the Father's vineyard. Whereas the
Old Testament vineyard is sometimes pictured as unfruitful, Jesus casts himself as "the true vine" that produces good fruit.

James Quinn (b. Glasgow, Scotland, 1919) wrote this unrhymed versification and published it in his New Hymns for All Seasons (1969). Quinn is one of the most respected and increasingly published Scottish hymn authors; he frequently paraphrases or quotes Scripture in his hymns. Educated at St. Aloysius College, the University of Glasgow, and Beythrop College, Oxfordshire, Quinn became a member of the Jesuit Order in 1939 and was ordained in 1950. He served in various academic positions, two of which were classics master at Wimbledon College and spiritual advisor at Beda College, Rome (1976-1980).

In the Roman Catholic Church, Quinn has been involved in ecumenical relationships–he was an observer at the 1964 assembly of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in Frankfurt and a consultant to the World Council of Churches' Faith and Order conference at Louvain in 1972. A member of the Scottish Religious Advisory Committee of the BBC (1973-1976) and participant in various ecumenical dialogues for the British Council of Churches, he was also an advisor for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (1972-1976). Quinn has written a wide variety of theological issues.

His writings include The Theology of the Eucharist (1973) and numerous articles for encyclopedias. He is also one of the leading writers of contemporary hymn texts, many of which are collected in his New Hymns far All Season (1969) and Praise far All Seasons (1994).

Liturgical Use
Baptism; services emphasizing the communion of saints–for example, the reception of new members, observance of the Lord's Supper, celebrations of the church of all nations.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



John Ireland (b. Bowdon, Cheshire, England, 1879; d. Rock Mill, Washington, Sussex, England, 1962) composed LOVE UNKNOWN in 1918 for the text "My song is love unknown"; the tune was first published in The Public School Hymn Book of 1919. A letter in the London Daily Telegraph of April 5, 1950, claim…

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