In our Ash Wednesday service and again in yesterday’s worship for the First Sunday in Lent, we sang Hymn 149 “Eternal Lord of love, behold your church walking once more the pilgrim way of Lent.” The author, Dr. Thomas Cain (1931-2003), builds on the connections between the Exodus and our Lenten journey (“led by your cloud by day, by night your fire”). His text reminds us that we share in the baptism of Christ and that we anticipate Easter. (“so in you we arise…glorious in the springtime”)
Dr. Cain served on the Worship Committee of the Diocese of Niagara. When the Standing Commission on Church Music issued a call for a new Lenten hymn, he submitted this text. It was included in Hymnbook 1982 and has become a well-used hymn for this season.
The tune is one of the most famous of the Genevan Psalm tunes from the 16th Century (Old 124th). This tune underlies also our hymn “God of the prophets, bless the prophet’s heirs” and was used by Gustav Holst for his anthem “Turn Back O Man.”
Here is a link to a wonderful devotional on this rather new hymn and a chance for you to pray it again.
Links to the appointed readings and prayer for today: