Thursday, April 19, 2007

One of my assignments from the Joint Songbook Committee (URC and CANREF) was to alter the hymn Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ. The instructions were to update the pronouns and verb endings; to cast it into the plural ("my" to "ours"); to change the refrain from a question to a declaration; and to do something about the word "avails." The tune, DARWALL, is used in the Book of Praise for Hymn 35, but since the song is in 66.66.88 metre, there are many possibilities to put it to a different tune. (Check out www.cyberhymnal.org.) This hymn is interesting in that it works well with the active/passive obedience of Christ distinction. I'd appreciate any feedback on or off line.

Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ (original version by Horatius Bonar, 1857)

66.66.88

1. Thy works, not mine, O Christ,
speak gladness to my heart;
they tell me all is done;
they bid my fear depart.

REFRAIN
To whom, save thee,
who canst alone
for sin atone,
Lord, shall I flee?

2. Thy pains, not mine, O Christ,
upon the shameful tree,
have paid the law's full price
and purchased peace for me
REFRAIN

3. Thy cross, not mine, O Christ,
has borne the awful load
of sins that none in heav'n
or earth could bear but God.
REFRAIN

4. Thy righteousness, O Christ,
alone can cover me;
no righteousness avails
save that which is of thee
REFRAIN


Your works, not ours, O Christ! (altered version)

1. Your works, not ours, O Christ,
speak gladness to our heart;
they tell us all is done;
they bid our fears depart.

REFRAIN
You are the one
who can alone
for sin atone --
to you we run.

2. Your pains, not ours, O Christ,
upon the shameful cross,
have paid the law's full price
and purchased peace for us
REFRAIN

3. Your cross, not ours, O Christ,
has borne the awful load
of sins that none in heav'n
or earth could bear but God.
REFRAIN

4. Your righteousness, O Christ,
alone can make us live;
no righteousness will do
except that which you give
REFRAIN

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