Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blowin’ in the Wind: “All Creatures of Our God and King”

(Blowin’ in the Wind is a regular feature on my blog consisting of an assortment of nature writings – hymns, songs, prayers, scriptures, poems or other things – pieces I may not have written but that inspire me. I trust they will do the same for you!)

All Creatures of Our God and King is a classic and well-loved hymn, the lyrics of which are based on a canticle written in the year 1225 by St. Francis of Assisi, Italy. Francis is considered within Catholicism the patron saint of animals and the environment, and is also the founder of the Franciscan Order (the Order of Friars Minor). Included in the legends concerning the man is his ability to preach to animals, which might come in handy to me for getting rid of the ravenous rabbits in my back yard, or at least convert them from destroying our perennials. But I digress... back to All Creatures

The original song is titled Canticle of the Suna lovely prayer of praise that celebrates God’s creation and that I will write on another time. Among the oldest hymns in many hymnals, if not the oldest, the original lyrics may also be the oldest-known work of literature written in the Italian language.

St. Frank chillin' yesterday
in our garden, yet having
no impact on the rabbits...
Not yoked with a hymn-tune until 1623, Peter von Brachel of Germany fitted it to a melody called Lasst Uns Erfreuen, or LET US BE GLAD. It was finally translated into English in the late 1800’s by British clergyman William H. Draper, and then harmonized by none other than composer Ralph Vaughan Williams for The English Hymnal, Oxford University Press, in 1906.

David Crowder has popularized St. Francis' song in recent years, adjusting its tune and timing slightly and limiting the number of verses. Hit the following link to listen: David Crowder Band's "All Creatures of our God and King."

Here is the hymn in its entirety. May it be a prayer for you as it is for me:

All Creatures of Our God and King

Tassel-eared Squirrel
All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing, Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
(Refrain:) O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along, O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!


Blue-spotted Salamander
Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear, O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.


Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way, O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

Mule Deer
(photos by R&G Mylander)

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part, O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!


And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath, O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord your way hath trod.


Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness, O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!
(Refrain:) O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Next up? Photo of the month...
~~RGM, January 24, 2013

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