Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart

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1 Rejoice, O pure in heart,
rejoice, give thanks, and sing;
your festal banner wave on high,
the cross of Christ your King.

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks, and sing!

2 Bright youth and snow-crowned age,
both men and women, raise
on high your free, exulting song,
declare God's wondrous praise. [Refrain]

3 Still lift your standard high,
still chanting as you go,
from youth to age, by night and day,
in gladness and in woe. [Refrain]

4 At last the march shall end;
the wearied ones shall rest,
the pilgrims reach their home at last,
Jerusalem the blest. [Refrain]

5 Praise God, who reigns on high,
the Lord whom we adore:
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
one God forevermore. [Refrain]

Psalter Hymnal, 1987

Author: E. H. Plumptre

Plumptre, Edward Hayes, D.D., son of Mr. E. H. Plumptre, was born in London, Aug. 6, 1821, and educated at King's College, London, and University College, Oxford, graduating as a double first in 1844. He was for some time Fellow of Brasenose. On taking Holy Orders in 1846 he rapidly attained to a foremost position as a Theologian and Preacher. His appointments have been important and influential, and include that of Assistant Preacher at Lincoln's Inn; Select Preacher at Oxford; Professor of Pastoral Theology at King's College, London; Dean of Queen's, Oxford; Prebendary in St. Paul's Cathedral, London; Professor of Exegesis of the New Testament in King's College, London; Boyle Lecturer; Grinfield Lecturer on the Septuagint, Oxford; Examine… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 2 = Ps. 40:3
ref. = Phil. 4:4

Anglican clergyman Edward H. Plumptre (PHH 363) wrote this text for use as a processional hymn for the annual choral festival at Peterborough Cathedral, England (May 1865). "Rejoice, a Pure in Heart" was originally in eleven stanzas-long enough for all the choirs to process into the cathedral. It was published in the third edition of Plumptre's Lazarus and Other Poems (1868) and in the Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern (1868). Of the original eleven stanzas, 1,2,8,9, and 11 are included.

In this text the imagery of a liturgical procession becomes a marching metaphor for the journey of life. The call to "rejoice, give thanks and sing" (st. 1) is extended to all people, "bright youth and snow-crowned age, both men and women" (st. 2), and on all occasions, "by night and day, in gladness and in woe" (st. 3). Life's pilgrimage has a specific goal, to be at rest in the new Jerusalem (st. 4) where all God's creatures will join in a great doxology (st. 5). The "rejoice" theme in the refrain is borrowed from Philippians 4:4.

Liturgical Use:
As a processional or recessional hymn for festive occasions; the "pilgrimage" theme may be suitable for Old/New Year services and for funerals.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


MARION (Messiter)

Arthur H. Messiter (b. Frome, Somersetshire, England, 1834; d. New York, NY, 1916) composed MARION for this text in 1883 and named it after his wife. The tune was published in the Hymnal with Music as Used in Trinity Church (1893), a hymnal compiled by Messiter during his long term of service as org…

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