467. At the Name of Jesus

1 At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him King of glory now;
'tis the Father's pleasure we should call him Lord,
who from the beginning was the mighty Word.

2 At his voice creation sprang at once to sight:
all the angel faces, all the hosts of light,
thrones and dominations, stars upon their way,
all the heavenly orders in their great array.

3 Humbled for a season, to receive a name
from the lips of sinners, unto whom he came;
faithfully he bore it spotless to the last,
brought it back victorious when from death he passed;

4 bore it up triumphant with its human light,
through all ranks of creatures, to the central height,
to the throne of Godhead, to the Father's breast;
filled it with the glory of that perfect rest.

5 In your hearts enthrone him; there let him subdue
all that is not holy, all that is not true.
Look to him, your Savior, in temptation's hour;
let his will enfold you in its light and power.

6 Christians, this Lord Jesus shall return again,
with his Father's glory, o'er the earth to reign;
for all wreaths of empire meet upon his brow,
and our hearts confess him King of glory now.

Text Information
First Line: At the name of Jesus
Title: At the Name of Jesus
Author: Caroline M. Noel (1870, alt.)
Meter: 65 65 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ; ; ; ;
Topic: Ascension & Reign of Christ; Epiphany & Ministry of Christ; Return of Christ (4 more...)
Tune Information
Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1925)
Meter: 65 65 D
Key: d minor
Copyright: By permission of Oxford University Press.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Phil. 2:6-11
John 1:1
st. 2 = Ps. 33:6-9
st. 3 = Col. 2:15
st. 6 = Acts 1:11

Caroline Marie Noel (b. Teston, Kent, England, 1817; d. St. Marylebone, London, England, 1877) wrote this spiritually powerful text. The daughter of an Anglican clergyman and hymn writer, she began to write poetry in her late teens but then abandoned it until she was in her forties. During those years she suffered frequent bouts of illness and eventually became an invalid. To encourage both herself and others who were ill or incapacitated, Noel began to write devotional verse again. Her poems were collected in The Name of Jesus and Other Verses for the Sick and Lonely (1861, enlarged in 1870).

One of the hymns in the 1870 collection was this text (originally beginning "In the Name of Jesus"), designed for use as a processional hymn on Ascension Day. The Psalter Hymnal includes stanzas 1, 3-5, and 7-8 of Noel's original eight stanzas.

The text is based on the confession of faith that Paul quotes in Philippians 2:6-11, which may well have been an early Christian hymn. Stanza 1 announces the triumph of the ascended Christ to whom "every knee should bow" (Phil. 2: 10). In stanza 2 Christ is the "mighty Word" (see John 1:1-4) through whom "creation sprang at once to sight." Stanzas 3 and 4 look back to Christ's humiliation, death, resurrection, and ascension (Phil. 2:6-9). Stanza 5 is an encouragement for submission to Christ, for us to have the "mind of Christ," and stanza 6 looks forward to Christ's return as "King of glory." The text is not only concerned with the name 'Jesus," whose saving work it confesses, but also with the glory and majesty that attends "the name of Jesus."

Liturgical Use:
Advent; Easter; Ascension; Epiphany; as a sung confession of faith; many other occasions of worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) composed KING'S WESTON for this text. It was published in Songs of Praise (1925). The combination of text and tune in a festive hymn¬-anthem by Vaughan Williams has become a favorite of many church choirs. The tune's title refers to a manor house on the Avon River near Bristol, England.

KING'S WESTON is a great tune marked by distinctive rhythmic structures and a soaring climax in the final two lines. Like many of Vaughan Williams's tunes, it is best sung in unison with moderate accompaniment to support this vigorous melody. For festive services use the descant in Vaughan Williams's anthem for stanza 4, or combine select choral stanzas from this anthem with congregational stanzas in the manner hymn concertato, using E minor throughout.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us