In this time of pandemic and flood, division and hate, and outright war, I think it is worthwhile for us to take time to think deeply on peace, and joy, and love. What is it to be a peace maker? A joy bringer? People who love as Christ loves us?
This is another hymn by American hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, who writes her hymns and sermons with one hand on the Bible, the other on the newspaper. You can find Carolyn’s website at http://www.carolynshymns.com.
Carolyn didn’t originally set this text to the HOLLINGSIDE, but I like the implicit connections to other hymns commonly sung to this tune – Jesus, Lover of my Soul, and Take my Life and Let it Be, to name two. The tune was written by English clergyman John Bacchus Dykes in 1861, when he was Choirmaster at Durham Cathedral. Dykes wrote some 300 hymn tunes, many of which, like HOLLINGSIDE, are widely known.
I developed the arrangement and recorded Carolyn’s text back in September last year, to fit with a theme of the Sermon on the Mount, but then it sat, not quite finished, waiting until needed. Now, as we watch the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, I think it’s needed, so I took a few days to complete it.
I like that Carolyn took this fragment from the sermon on the mount and built a whole hymn around it. I wonder if we should have a service somewhat like the 9 Lessons and Carols, that has a hymn for each beatitude? Like all of Carolyn’s hymns, it is free for use during this time of pandemic. At some point, she will rescind that permission, and then things will change. Meanwhile, enjoy.
As with all of Carolyn’s hymns that I’ve published, I’ve chosen an image of church art. This beautiful 18th century fresco of the Sermon on the Mount was painted by Franz Xaver Kirchebner in the dome of the Parish Church of Urtijëi (Ortesei) in South Tyrol, Italy. The image is copyrighted by the photographer, Wolfgang Moroder, and used with his permission. Moroder has shared many valuable quality images with the world through wikimedia, and I am grateful for his work. The file was downloaded from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sermon-on-the-mount.jpg.
Listen to the backing track, or preview the Lyric Video on our YouTube Channel. Of course, your purchased version won't have the voice-over advert that's in the preview video.
Carolyn's hymns are only available for free use during this time of COVID, so these tracks will only be available for a limited time. All three versions are available for free download until Carolyn withdraws her offer.
Available as audio only, or as a Lyric Video in two sizes, Blest are God's Peacemaking Ones has three verses and is a comfortable sing for all congregations.
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SD Video: Standard Definition, suitable for older Data Projectors and screens
HD Video: High Definition, suitable for TVs, mobile devices, and HDMI data projectors
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