To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord

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Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

While Christ was mocked by some, this text speaks of our understanding now that Christ’s reign is real (stanza 1), his crown is glorious (stanza 1), and his kingdom “will not cease to grow” (stanza 3). This firm hope is expressed in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12, Question and Answer 31: Christ has been anointed to be the “eternal king who governs by his word and Spirit, and who guards us and keeps us in the freedom he has won for us.”


To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord

Additional Prayers

The following is a script for a dramatic reading of a portion of the passion narrative. Ideally
Good Friday worship can include the entire passion narrative from John 18-19, which can
easily be used as a dramatic reading, following this model. The reading itself may be simple
and stark.
Narrator: They took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out
to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called
Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one
on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription
written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the
King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because
the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was
written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of
the Jews said to Pilate,
Chief Priests: Do not write, “The King of the Jews,” but, “This man said, I am King
of the Jews.”
Narrator: Pilate answered,
Pilate: What I have written I have written.
Narrator: When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and
divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his
tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top.
So they said to one another,
Soldiers: Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.
Narrator: This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes
among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And that is
what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus
were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple
whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother,
Jesus: Woman, here is your son.
Narrator: Then he said to the disciple,
Jesus: Here is your mother.
Narrator: And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After
this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to
fulfill the scripture),
Jesus: I am thirsty.
Narrator: A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full
of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When
Jesus had received the wine, he said,
Jesus: It is finished.
Narrator: Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
—from John 19:16-30, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord

Tune Information

e minor
Meter D



To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord

Hymn Story/Background

Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland. The tune was published in English Country Songs (1893), an anthology compiled by Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland. After having heard the tune in Kingsfold, Sussex, England (thus its name), Ralph Vaughan Williams introduced it as a hymn tune in The English Hymnal (1906) as a setting for Horatius Bonar's "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say."
Shaped in classic rounded bar form (AABA), KINGSFOLD has modal character and is both dignified and strong. It is well suited to either unison or harmony singing. Use bright organ tone. Try playing on two manuals and pedal on the middle stanza.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Already in the 1970s, Erik Routley considered Fred Pratt Green (b. Roby, Lancashire, England, September 2, 1903; d. October 22, 2000) to be the most important British hymn writer since Charles Wesley, and most commentators regard Green as the leader of the British "hymn explosion." Green was educated at Didsbury Theological College, Manchester, England, and in 1928 began forty years of ministry in the Methodist Church, serving churches mainly in the Yorkshire and London areas. A playwright and poet, he published his works in numerous periodicals, his poetry was also published collectively in three volumes, including The Skating Parson (1963) and The Old Couple (1976). Though he had written a few hymns earlier, Green started writing prolifically after 1966, when he joined a committee to prepare the Methodist hymnal supplement Hymns and Songs (1969) and was asked to submit hymn texts for subjects that were not well represented. His hymn texts, numbering over three hundred, have appeared in most recent hymnals and supplements and have been collected in 26 Hymns (1971), The Hymns and Ballads of Fred Pratt Green (1982), and Later Hymns and Ballads (1989). In 1982, Green was honored as a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Through his composing, conducting, collecting, editing, and teaching, Ralph Vaughan Williams (b. Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England, October 12, 1872; d. Westminster, London, England, August 26, 1958) became the chief figure in the realm of English music and church music in the first half of the twentieth century. His education included instruction at the Royal College of Music in London and Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as additional studies in Berlin and Paris. During World War I he served in the army medical corps in France. Vaughan Williams taught music at the Royal College of Music (1920-1940), conducted the Bach Choir in London (1920-1927), and directed the Leith Hill Music Festival in Dorking (1905-1953). A major influence in his life was the English folk song. A knowledgeable collector of folk songs, he was also a member of the Folksong Society and a supporter of the English Folk Dance Society. Vaughan Williams wrote various articles and books, including National Music (1935), and composed numerous arrange­ments of folk songs; many of his compositions show the impact of folk rhythms and melodic modes. His original compositions cover nearly all musical genres, from orchestral symphonies and concertos to choral works, from songs to operas, and from chamber music to music for films. Vaughan Williams's church music includes anthems; choral-orchestral works, such as Magnificat (1932), Dona Nobis Pacem (1936), and Hodie (1953); and hymn tune settings for organ. But most important to the history of hymnody, he was music editor of the most influential British hymnal at the beginning of the twentieth century, The English Hymnal (1906), and coeditor (with Martin Shaw) of Songs of Praise (1925, 1931) and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928).
— Bert Polman
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