583. The Tender Love a Father Has

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1 The tender love a father has
for all his children dear
such love the Lord bestows on those
who worship him in fear.

2 The Lord remembers we are dust,
and all our frailty knows;
our life is like the tender grass,
and as the flower it grows.

3 The flower is withered by the wind
that smites with blighting breath;
so we are quickly swept away
before the blast of death.

4 Unchanging is the love of God,
from age to age the same,
displayed to all who do his will
and reverence his name.

5 Those who his gracious covenant keep
the Lord will ever bless;
their children's children shall rejoice
to see his righteousness.

Text Information
First Line: The tender love a father has
Title: The Tender Love a Father Has
Meter: CM
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Brevity & Frailty of Life; Family; Home
Source: Psalter, 1912, alt.
Tune Information
Composer: Thomas Tallis (c. 1567)
Meter: CM
Key: D Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 103:13
st. 2 = Ps. 103:14-15a
st. 3 = Ps. 103:15b-16
st. 4 = Ps. 103:17a
st. 5 = Ps. 103:17b-18

Psalm 103 is one of the most beloved in the entire psalter. This paraphrase from the 1912 Psalter includes verses 13-18, which emphasize God's love for his frail human creatures. Such love is an example for our relationships in family life and, by extension, in all of God's family, his church. Other settings of this psalm are found at 103, 297, and 475.

Liturgical Use:
Worship that emphasizes God's compassion for his people; family life services; see PHH 103 for other suggestions.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

TALLIS' ORDINAL is one of nine psalm tunes Thomas Tallis (PHH 62) composed for Matthew Parker's The Whole Psalter translated into English Metre (undated, but around 1567). This collection also included TALLIS CANON (441). TALLIS' ORDINAL received its name from its association with a revised translation of the Latin hymn "Veni, Creator spiritus" (425, 426) in the Ordinal (Ordination Liturgy) of the 1549 Prayer Book.

The earliest-known hymn tune in common meter, it was published with the melody in the upper voice, although at that time the primary melody was usually assigned to the tenor. The tune's structure is very simple: first and third phrases are identical, and the fourth phrase repeats the second one at the interval of a fifth below. Tallis provided the harmonization except for some added thirds in opening and cadence chords (try omitting those thirds for a more "authentic" sound). Sing in parts, perhaps reserving unison for the final stanza. A gentle accompaniment fits this text.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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