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Three in One

Three in One, and One in Three

Author: Gilbert Rorison (1849)
Published in 80 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Three in One, and One in Three,
Ruler of the earth and sea,
Hear us while we lift to Thee
Holy chant and psalm.

2 Light of lights! with morning-shine,
Lift on us Thy light divine;
And let charity benign
Breathe on us her balm.

3 Light of lights! when falls the even,
Let it close on sin forgiven;
Fold us in the peace of heaven;
Shed a holy calm.

4 Three in One, and One in Three,
Dimly here we worship Thee;
With the saints hereafter we
Hope to bear the palm.


The Hymnal: revised and enlarged as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892

Author: Gilbert Rorison

Rorison, Gilbert, LL.D., son of John Rorison, a merchant of Glasgow, was born in Renfield Street, Glasgow, Feb. 7, 1821. He was educated at Glasgow University, and at that time he was a member of the United Presbyterian Church. Subsequently he joined the Scottish Episcopal Church, and, after studying for the ministry at Edinburgh under Bishops Terrot and Russell, was ordained by the latter in 1843. He was for some time curate of St. James's, Leith, and of the Episcopal Church, Helensburgh, and then Incumbent of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Peterhead. He died at Bridge of Allan, Oct. 11, 1869. In 1851 he edited Hymns and Anthems adjusted to the Church Services throughout the Christian Year, London, Hope & Co. (Revised, 1860; Appx. 1869.) Th… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Three in One, and One in Three
Title: Three in One
Author: Gilbert Rorison (1849)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Three in One, and One in three. G. Rorison. [Holy Trinity.] The manuscript of this hymn was sent in 1849, with seven others, to E. Campbell for insertion in his St. Andrews Hymnal, but they were not included therein, although the manuscripts were retained and now form part of the C. MSS. The heading of this special manuscript is "Trinity Sunday, An imitation and combination from the Roman Breviary 'Tu Trinitatis Unitas,' and ‘Jam sol recedit igneus.'" The hymn was first published in Dr. Rorison's Hymns and Anthems, 1851 (Preface dated "All Saints Day, 1850"), p. 97, as follows:—

"Three in One and One in Three!
Ruler of the earth and sea!
Hear us while we lift to Thee
Holy chant and psalm.

"Light of lights! with morning-shine
Lift on us Thy light divine;
And let charity benign
Breathe on us her balm.

"Light of lights! when falls the even
Let it sink on sin forgiven:
Fold us in the peace of heaven;
Shed a vesper calm.

"Three in One, and One in Three!
Darkling here we worship Thee:
With the Saints hereafter we
Hope to bear the palm."

In Murray's Hymnal, 1852, it was repeated with "Dimly here," &c, for “Darkling here," &c, in stanza iv., 1. 2. This text was given in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861, with the additional change of "Shed a vesper calm," "to shed a holy calm." Other, but slight, alterations have been introduced in modern hymnbooks, including:—
1. Ever blessed Trinity. In the 1880 Appendix to the Baptist Psalms & Hymns.
2. Holy Godhead, One in Three. In the Roman Catholic Hymns for the Year, 1867.
3. Lord of love I as deep and free. In J. Hunter's Hymns of Faith and Life, Glasgow, 1889.
It must be noted that most editors of hymnals have misquoted stanza ii. by printing the compound substantive "morning-shine" as two words, followed by a semicolon, an oversight which destroys the whole point and meaning of the stanza, and goes far towards spoiling the entire hymn. The text, usually as in Hymns Ancient & Modern, is in extensive use in Great Britain and America. The Hymns Ancient & Modern text is also translated into Latin by G. S. Hodges, and is given in his County Palatine, 1876, as, "Una Trina Deitas."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Three in One, and One in Three, p. 1171, ii. Additional altered forms of this hymn are:—
1. Dayspring of eternity! Shedding morn o'er earth and sea. In T. W. Chignell's Exeter Collection, 1863. (p. 1195, ii.)
2. Light of life! eternally. In the 1884 ed. of the same collection.
3. Love of love I as deep and free . In Hunter's Hymns of Faith and Life , 1889 (on p. 1171, ii. 3, Lord in error); and A. W. Oxford's Berwick Hymnal, 1886. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



CAPETOWN was originally composed by Friedrich Filitz (b. Arnstadt, Thuringia, Germany, 1804; d. Munich, Germany, 1876) as a setting for the text "Morgenglanz der Ewigkeit"; that text and tune were included in Vierstimmiges Choralbuch (1847), a hymnal compiled by Baron Christian von Bunsen and publis…

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Include 75 pre-1979 instances
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