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592. O God, Your Constant Care and Love

Text Information
First Line: O God, your constant care and love
Title: O God, Your Constant Care and Love
Author: H. Glen Lanier (1976, alt.)
Meter: LM
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Anniversaries; Brevity & Frailty of Life; Family (2 more...)
Copyright: © 1976, The Hymn Society of America. Used by permission
Tune Information
Composer: François H. Barthélémon (1785)
Meter: LM
Key: G Major

Text Information:

This text by H. Glen Lanier (b. Welcome, NC, 1925; d. Statesville, NC, 1978), was the result of a search conducted by the Hymn Society of America for new hymns that "celebrate the later years of life and the meaning of aging." The search was conducted in cooperation with the Church Relations Department of the National Retired Teachers Association and the American Association of Retired Persons. "O God, Your Constant Care" was one of ten entries from among some twelve hundred submissions that were published in the Hymn Society of America's pamphlet Ten New Hymns on Aging and the Later Years (1976).

The text rejoices in God's care in our lives "from infancy to later age" (st. 1); thanks God for the various experiences of life (st. 2); and prays for continued faithfulness, freshness, and contentment in our walk with God when we are older (st. 3-4). The meaning and application found in this strong text are suitable for God's people of all times and ages.

A minister in the United Methodist Church, Lanier served churches throughout North Carolina. Educated at High Point College, North Carolina, and Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina, Lanier wrote over one thousand poems and two books of published poetry: The Seasons of Life (1960) and Three Dozen Poems for Christmas (1967).

Liturgical Use:
The "graying" of our entire population makes this hymn eminently useful for various occasions of worship and fellowship; family life services; profession of faith; end-of-year services; church anniversaries; commencement or graduation ceremonies.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

During the early 1780s François H. Barthélémon (b. Bordeaux, France, 1741; d. Southwark, Surrey, England, 1808) wrote MORNING HYMN at the request of Jacob Duche, chaplain at the Female Orphan Asylum in London, England. Duche had requested that Barthelemon compose a tune for the well-known morning hymn by Thomas Ken (PHH 441), "Awake, My Soul." The tune was published in A Supplement to the Hymns and Psalms Used at the Asylum or House of Refuge for Female Orphans (undated, but printed between 1785-1789).

Born of a French father and Irish mother, Barthélémon had a brief military career in the Irish Brigade after which he studied music on the continent. He moved to London in 1765. There he began a musical career as a composer, especially for opera and ballet, and as an outstanding violinist. A close friend of Joseph Haydn,
Barthelemon composed theater music, some concertos, choral and chamber works, and a small amount of church music (some of it for use in the chapel of the Asylum for Female Orphans). Later in life he became interested in the philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg and joined the Swedenborgian Church.

Erik Routley (PHH 31) refers to MORNING HYMN as a children's tune, but its mainly stepwise motion and marching rhythms make it accessible to people of all age groups. Sing in parts at a moderate pace. Consider using the better-known WINCHESTER NEW (593) as an alternate tune.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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

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