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Hymn of the week: “O God Beyond All Praising”

J-P Mauro - published on 03/18/18

A 20th-century text set to the music of Gustav Holst.

“O God Beyond All Praising” is a 20th-century hymn set to a melody by Gustav Holst. Traditionally sung on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, this hymn speaks of the fleetingness of earthly splendor and the glory of the Eternal Kingdom.

The text was written by Michael Perry, who served as Vicar of Tonbridge and a canon of Rochester Cathedral, in 1982. The lyrics were written specifically for the tune THAXTED by Gustav Holst, a melody often associated with the British patriotic hymn, “I Vow to Thee, My Country.” Of the work, Perry said he wrote the new lyrics, “in response to a call for alternative words that would be more appropriate for Christian worship.”

Holst wrote THAXTED, named for a small town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, as part of the movement “Jupiter,” from his orchestral suite, Planets. It was Holst himself who adapted the theme to fit “I Vow to Thee, My Country,” written by Cecil Spring-Rice.

This grander version is also very well done by the BJU Singers and Orchestra.

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Hymn
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