22 June 2010

O Blessed Saints

O blessed saints, in bright array
Now safely home in endless day,
Extol the Lord,
Who with His Word
Sustained you on the way.
The steep and narrow path you trod;
You toiled and sowed the Word abroad;
Rejoice and bring
Your fruits and sing
Before the throne of God.
The myriad angels raise their song;
O saints, sing with that happy throng!
Lift up one voice;
Let heav'n rejoice
In our Redeemer's song!
LSB 676:3


Dan at Necessary Roughness said...


I thought you said you hated that hymn! Too long, you said! :)

Welcome back to the fold. :)


William Weedon said...

I love the text; I dislike the tune - Norwegian drivel. My wife loves BOTH. She has no taste - as is evident in her marrying me! ;)

VincentL said...

I like this song. I have pondered this one often.

In this song we ask the departed saints above to extol the Lord, to sing, to sing with us and angels to the Lord.

What is the difference between asking them to sing with us and asking them to pray for us.

I sincerely ask this because when I read the Augsburg Confession and Apology I find comments on this idea that suggest a way of thinking that is different from what I pick up on now. The confession and apology didn't condemn asking saints for prayer but did object to making it dogma. The smallcald articles etc. however took a much stronger stance objecting strenuously.

Does it come down to simply the ideas of Melchathon vs the ideas of Luther or is there another way to understand.

Is there diversity of thought still on this point within Lutheranism that I just haven't run into ?


William Weedon said...


There might be difference in tone between the Symbols on this, but they are rather united in teaching that prayer is to be addressed to the Blessed Trinity alone. Saintly invocation has never in church history stayed within the bounds of "asking the saints to pray for us." It has in both Rome and Orthodoxy moved far beyond that, as one can see by studying the prayers that are actually addressed to the saints in either communion.

Lutherans have contented themselves with knowing that the saints intercede for us (Luther even put it quite starkly in his lectures on John: For who can harm or injure a man who has this confidence, who knows that heaven and earth, and all the angels and the saints will cry to God when the smallest suffering befalls him? -- Blessed Martin Luther (Sermon on John XVII)) and in our liturgy confessing that we are one with them by addressing them as companions in our joint praise of the Lamb of God. We find numerous Lutheran hymns that do so.

Rev. James Leistico said...

on the lighter side, the title made a lot more sense after I realized you did not type, "ZERO Blessed Saints"

jgernander said...

Norwegian drivel!? Oh come on, it's a melody that Grieg has given us. I recognize I'm extremely biased because in the ELS this is one children learn early on, so it's just in our bloodstream, it's part of us.

On All Saints' Day, in our congregation we open the service with the stately "For All the Saints," then use "Behold a Host" v. 1-2 before the sermon; this 3rd verse that you quoted we sing after the tolling of the bell and reading of the Christian obituaries from the past year. It puts this 3rd verse into even more of the Gladdening Light of the brighter shore. I think the Anglican hymn and this Norwegian hymn balance things out rather nicely!

If you like, here is an excerpt from another Brorson hymn you may not know; the melody has similarities to the one for "A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth" (but a lot shorter). You might consider it for a soloist sometime:

Around Thy throne a throng doth stream
In raiment white as snow,
Their eyes like suns with radiance beam
The Lamb of God to know.
The story, how He chose to be
A Servant for our sake,
The angels will eternally
Their anthems' burden make.

Twelve times twelve thousand Thee acclaim,
Each with his harp in hand,
Upon their brow Thy Father's name
Makes known that happy band.
As voice of many waters rise
Their rapt'rous symphony;
To Thee who won us Paradise
Eternal praises be.
(ELH #70 v. 3-4)

Pastor Jerry Gernander

VincentL said...

Thank you for your response I sincerely appreciate it.