Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Here we are, in this season between celebration and solemnity, between the Nativity and the Passion. Through these weeks in traditional Christian worship, the Church looks in on the life and ministry of Jesus, specifically at those occasions in which he "manifested his glory" (see the Gospel of John especially). "Manifest/Manifestation" is the English translation of "Epiphany." I love what this hymn does to show us Jesus in Palestine, where as St. John said, "we have seen his glory, full of grace and truth." And then, like John, looking into our future as well.

I am not writing about more of this season, but do want to share this hymn. The wedding at Cana, John chapter 2, is said to be where Jesus first manifested his glory. It is but one of a significant string of biblical references and allusions to wedding feasts, in all of which the glory of Jesus is shown. I love to include the Cana wedding when I perform wedding ceremonies, and have had joyful occasion to be thinking about this again.

1 Songs of thankfulness and praise
Jesu, Lord, to Thee we raise.
Manifested by the star
To the sages from afar;
Branch of royal David's stem
In Thy birth at Bethlehem;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in Man made manifest.

2 Manifest at Jordan's stream,
Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;
And at Cana, wedding-guest,
In Thy God-head manifest;
Manifest in power divine,
Changing water in to wine;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in Man made manifest.

3 Manifest in making whole
Palsied limbs and fainting soul;
Manifest in valiant fight,
Quelling all the devil's might;
Manifest in gracious will,
Ever bringing good from ill;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in Man made manifest.

4 Sun and moon shall darkened be.
Stars shall fall, and heavens shall flee;
Christ will then like lightning shine,
All will see His glorious sign:
All will then the trumpet hear;
All will see the Judge appear;
Thou by all wilt be confessed,
God in Man made manifest.

5 Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,
Present in Thy holy Word;
May we imitate Thee now,
And be pure, as pure art Thou;
That we like to Thee may be
At Thy great Epiphany;
And may praise Thee, ever blest,
God in Man made manifest.

Author: Christopher Wordsworth
The Hymnal:  General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church 1892 
TUNE: St. Edmunds 

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