Update: Judith has requested the music and I am happy to oblige. Here is the PDF leadsheet. If you need the piano accompaniment, just email me.
William Walsham How is best known as the author of “For All the Saints,” but he wrote almost a hundred other hymns, including the focus of today’s post: “O One with God the Father.” It is a powerful Epiphany text that begins with the theme of Colossians 1:15, “The Son is the image of the invisible God.” It continues by focusing on the light of Christ, praying that Christ’s light would dispel the darkness or our lives. Beautiful.
He wrote the hymn in 1871 and I wrote new music for it on June 18, 2018. I needed a song to go with the theme “We believe in Jesus Christ his only Son” from the Apostles’ Creed series we’re doing here at Fuller Ave CRC. There are surprisingly few hymns that address the oneness of the Father and Son. This wonderful text has been paired with unmemorable tunes for years, so I decided to give it a fresh coat of (musical) paint.
1. O One with God the Father
in majesty and might,
the brightness of his glory,
Eternal Light of Light;
O’er this our home of darkness
your rays are streaming bright;
the shadows flee before you,
the waiting world’s true Light.
2. Yet, Lord, we see but darkly:
O heavenly Light, arise!
Dispel these mists that shroud us,
that hide you from our eyes!
We long to track the footprints
that you yourself have trod:
we long to see the pathway
that leads to you our God.
3. O Jesus, shine around us
the radiance of your grace;
O Jesus, turn upon us
the brightness of your face.
We need no star to guide us,
as on our way we press,
if you, your light would grant us,
O Sun of Righteousness.