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20

You're reading way too much into this :) In order to appreciate this song, I think you need to allow for variation of meaning in the English language. Understanding some songs even require that we grant them some poetic license, although I think we should treat those with caution because consciously or otherwise those do tend to cloud our theology. However ...


19

This has always been a favorite line of mine. As you may know, the word Ebenezer comes from 1 Samuel 7:12. Israel had just screwed up with the ark (the Philistines had captured it) and gotten it back (only because God has freaked the Philistines out by knocking their precious Dagon over), and Samuel was talking to Israel. Then Samuel took a stone and set ...


15

Nope, it's not, actually. Luther used a form of music "bar form", but he was actually opposed to use of common tunes (like Calvin) for his hymns. The following is from an essay called "Major Forms of BS" by T. David Gordon: I cannot count the number of times I have heard the common myth about Martin Luther employing the tunes of familiar “bar songs” in ...


13

In history, a name has far more significance than in modern western culture, where it has been relegated to simple a "handle" by which you identify someone. It used to be significant of the person, and their character. The idea of lifting someone's name is to exalt that person. So when we lift the name of Jesus, we are exalting him. Consider also, the ...


11

I think here the meaning of "indebted" is simply in the sense that you are thankful, not in the sense that you'll have a bill come later.


11

Probably the oldest text you'll find is the Phos Hilaron, sometimes known as "Hail gladdening light". The earliest music for it was a Byzantine Chant, and it's still largely sung in churches worldwide, though not so much in the West. David Crowder released a version on his album "Church Music". ...


9

The bee represents Mary, the mother of Jesus. (In fact, it's a fairly safe bet that just about anything represents Jesus or Mary or both.) Other versions of the Exultet text make this explicit; the "Franco-Roman version" has a long we-love-bees section, as recorded by Thomas Forrest Kelley in his The Exultet in Southern Italy (OUP, 1996), p38, concluding ...


8

The mercy seat is an incredibly dense and intertextual image, with a long history in Christian culture. Below is an illustration by Michiel van der Borch from a 1332 copy of the "Rhyme Bible" (which despite the name, does not rhyme and is not a Bible), showing many facets of the concept. 1 Here, God the Father sits on a throne that might look a bit like ...


8

I think Philippians chapter 2 shares some good light on this: 5 ...Christ Jesus, 6 Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God a treasure to be grasped, 7 But emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming in the likeness of men; 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto ...


7

Not Heresy That's a great line from a great song. It's a play on words, using "deliver" in such completely different ways. It is saying that Mary would deliver--give birth to--Jesus, the eternal Son of God who became a Man, and then that Jesus would one day deliver Mary, that is redeem her and all mankind from the power, penalty and presence of sin. ...


7

"O to grace, how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be." Is essentially the poetic way of saying: Every day I'm made to realize how much I owe everything to grace. It doesn't need to mean a literal being in debt - it just happens that the language of debt is used to express such ideas. We might also put it: Every day I'm made to realize ...


7

Luther did not, but William Booth did. He said, "Why should the devil have all the good music." 1 Additionally, one of the most famous songs set to a drinking song is "The Star Spangled Banner." Finally, back to Luther. While he did not set sacred music to drinking songs, he is credited with saying, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be ...


6

From studying, I found that Ebenezer means "Stone of help"; I've discovered many verses that remind us that God is our help and strength (Psalm 46) and we can be channels of his help to others--from Eve, the helpmeet for Adam, to Dorcas, helping the poor (Acts:9.36)--and all of us can have the gift of "helping others" (1 Cor:12.28). The writer of the hymn ...


6

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson for a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. In the early 1900's, singing this song became a way for African Americans to demonstrate their patriotism and hope for the future. In calling for earth and heaven to "ring with the harmonies of Liberty," they could speak out ...


6

"New" in this sense, is as in, "New covenant (or new testament, if you're going by a literal translation of the word covenant)." It is "new" as in it only 1200 (Aquinas wrote it), as opposed to the 4000(?) year old covenant of Abraham and the 2500 year old covenant of Moses. It means that the believer is able to relate directly to the Godhead through the ...


6

One clear example of this is the song "Lord, I lift your name on high", a 7-11 earwig sung in many, many churches. chorus: Lord, I lift your name on high; Lord, I love to sing your praises; I'm so glad You're in my life; I'm so glad You came to save us verse: You came from heaven to earth to show the way; From the earth to the cross my ...


5

Quoth Wikipedia: Likewise, Isaac Watts held religious opinions that were more non-denominational or ecumenical than was at that time common for a Nonconformist; he had a greater interest in promoting education and scholarship than preaching for any particular ministry. The general consensus is that Watts' father was a dissenter and that Watts followed ...


5

DISCLAIMER: I am from the USA, but I happen to live in a part of the country that has over 20 Eastern Orthodox churches in a close radius, representing numerous nationalities and distinct ethnic expressions of the faith (for instance, we have multiple Romanian, Serbian and Greek Orthodox churches, and we also have Macedonian, Serbian, Ethiopian, Coptic ...


5

I have often associated this phrase with Jesus' comment that "if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto Me" in association with His crucifixion. This is somewhat evidenced by the usage in the song "Lift Jesus Higher" which I have always had trouble singing because it would appear we are calling on ourselves to crucify Him. Maybe I'm just off in my hearing ...


5

I was going to say Adeste Fideles "Oh Come all Ye Faithful" as it was anachronistically placed in my kids' cartoon about St. Nicholas of Myra. It's old, but, Te Deum (4th century) was attributed to St. Ambrose and is sung by lots of Catholic religious to this day while praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I'd say, David's answer is probably the right one for ...


5

The estimated date of Luther composing this hymn is between 1527-1528. In the summer of 1528 the city Luther lived in fell to the bubonic plague. Instead of evacuating Luther chose to risk disease and stay ministering. Some scholars have argued that during these weeks of the plague, in which also the tenth “anniversary” of the posting of The ...


4

As the Wikipedia article on Zion says, Zion is a synonym for Jerusalem. Revelation 21 depicts the New Jerusalem, the dwelling-place of God with men: 21:2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; 3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God ...


4

Paul's Greek was ψαλμοις, υμνοις and ωδαις πνευματικαις. Thayer's Greek Lexicon (via Blue Letter Bible) has ύμνος, -ου, ο, in Greek writing from Homer down, a song in praise of gods, heroes, conquerors, [cf. Trench as below, p297], but in the Scriptures of God; a sacred song, hymn. Thayer quotes Richard Chevinix Trench's Synonyms of the New ...


3

The Catholic Catechism refers to the mercy seat explicitly in one paragraph: The name of the Savior God was invoked only once in the year by the high priest in atonement for the sins of Israel, after he had sprinkled the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies with the sacrificial blood. The mercy seat was the place of God’s presence. When St. Paul ...


3

Luther was not intending the song to be about his Catholic opponents. As Mike pointed out, Luther did not have that sort of hostile view of the Church. The song makes reference to scripture throughout. It is based primarily on Psalm 46 (below), and the particularly "militant" parts ("the body they may kill") are simply references to Job. I can't imagine ...


3

Just noticed this during Mass today (Feast of the Epiphany). After the gospel is read, the proclamation of dates for the movable feasts can be read http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/christmas/announcement-of-easter-and-the-moveable-feasts.cfm So, We Three Kings, although often thought of as a Christmas hymn is really the only ...


3

Itis saying the same as Paul "2Co_5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:" Doesn't His love set us free? YES! But being so great and good it constrains us!


3

No, he was not an Anglican. "Dissenting" or "Independent" congregations and ministers were those whose faith and practice put them outside the bounds of the Church of England. They often suffered for this -- Watts' father was imprisoned, and although Watts himself lived in a more tolerant time, he could not attend either Oxford of Cambridge Universities. ...


3

Question: is "the New Rite" necessarily a proper noun, or could this be a general reference to all old forms of repetitive forms of worship being replaced by "true worship of the heart," which in turn grow stale and must be replaced by new energetic forms of worship? This the translation I found at the Catholic Encyclopedia: Down in adoration falling, ...


2

I'm reminded of a lecture I heard once by a couple who were missionaries to New Guinea. They said that when the nationals converted to Christianity, they started to question just what they should change about their lives. That is, what did these American Christians do that was "Christian" and that they should now adopt, and what was simply "American". So, ...



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