How some hymns are written

Orgelbuchlein concert I
Orgelbuchlein concert II

Now, I take my handy-dandy Moleskine journal with me on my journeys, but in days gone by I often had to write on whatever came to hand.

 
I was at a recital of Bach’s entire Little Organ Book, put on by the local centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and the idea for a new hymn celebrating organs and their use in worship came to mind.  I thought I’d only sketch out the ideas in rough, but the poetry came quite easily that afternoon in Port Nelson United Church, Burlington, where a good friend, Rev. Michael Brooks, is now the senior minister.
 
This hymn has been used at many organ dedications and celebrations, but to me it always brings to mind this purple concert programme and that afternoon when I just kept writing.  If you look closely on the scans, you might even decipher the words:
 
 

Organ Pipes Sing Holy Praises

1. Organ pipes sing holy praises;

Wood and metal songs abound.

Skills of players, tuners, builders

Join to make the joyful sound.

Flutes and strings and booming trumpets

Lift us up to holy ground.

2. Singing blessed by prayerful organ

Brings the soul a new reward;

Lifting people’s worship gently

To a place where God’s adored:

Beautiful emotions raising

Now with every flowing chord.

3. Gifted writers of the music

That makes worship rise and sing

Have throughout the ages brought their

New creations echoing,

Giving sound to Alleluia

With a new, inspired ring.

4. People’s senses are embraced by

Every organ’s mighty roar.

People of all ages join the

Organ praising evermore.

Voices mingled with the organ

Laud and worship, sing, adore.

5.God inspires the organ’s singing:

Praise to the Creator’s might!

Jesus gives our souls redeeming:

Praise the saving, holy light!

God the Spirit fills our breath and

Gives our praising voices flight!

878787 – could use Westminster Abbey, or Neander

written Sunday, 16 November 2003

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