Happy Ascension Day! Not widely observed in the Methodist Church, perhaps, but we have a lunchtime communion service at Archway (12.30pm, all welcome).
As it’s just a short service we won’t be singing hymns, but if we did we would probably sing this one. It’s a translation of the Latin hymn Aeterne Rex altissime, Redemptor, the oldest version of which is found in a 13th century manuscript, but which has been traced back to the 5th Century. The translation was by James Russell Woodford (1820-1885) who later became Bishop of Ely. I think it’s rather good sung to SICILIAN MARINERS, one of the two set tunes in Hymns and Psalms.
Christ, above all glory seated!
King triumphant, strong to save!
Dying, Thou hast death defeated;
Buried, Thou hast spoiled the grave.
Thou art gone where now is given
What no mortal might could gain,
On the eternal throne of Heaven,
In Thy Father’s power to reign.
There Thy kingdoms all adore Thee,
Heaven above and earth below;
While the depths of hell before Thee
Trembling and defeated bow.
We, O Lord, with hearts adoring
Follow Thee above the sky!
Hear our prayers Thy grace imploring,
Lift our souls to Thee on high.
So when Thou again in glory
On the clouds of Heaven shalt shine,
We Thy flock may stand before Thee,
Owned for evermore as Thine.
Hail! all hail! in Thee confiding,
Jesus, Thee shall all adore,
In Thy Father’s might abiding
With one Spirit evermore!