15. LORD, Who Are They That May Dwell

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Text Information
First Line: LORD, who are they that may dwell
Title: LORD, Who Are They That May Dwell
Versifier: James E. Seddon (1971)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 77 77
Scripture: Psalm 15
Topic: Industry & Labor; Lord's Supper; Opening of Worship (1 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: Text and music © 1973, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Composer: Norman L. Warren (1971)
Meter: 77 77
Key: A♭ Major
Copyright: Text and music © 1973, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Text Information:

A call to self-examination on the part of all who wish access to the presence of God.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = v. 1
st. 2 = vv. 2-3
st. 3 = vv. 3-4a
st. 4 = vv. 4b-5
st. 5 = vv. 1, 5

Though the details of temple worship are largely unknown, Psalm 15 may have served as part of an entrance liturgy. The song reminds all who would worship at the temple that entrance into God's presence requires self-examination (st. 1) and cannot be purchased with sacrifices; only those whose lives conform to God's moral law will be received by God (st. 2-4) and will be blessed with God's unfailing care (st. 5).

The unrhymed versification by James E. Seddon (b. Ormskirk, Lancashire, England, 1915; d. London, England, 1983) was first published in Psalm Praise (1973); in the Psalter Hymnal the singular "he" has been altered to "they." Psalm Praise, first published in England and subsequently in the United States, broke new ground in psalm singing by providing contemporary settings of the psalms and other portions of Scripture.

Seddon received his musical training at the London College of Music and Trinity College in London and his theological training at the Bible Churchmen's Theological College (now Trinity College) in Bristol. He served various Anglican parishes in England from 1939 to 1945 as well as from 1967 to 1980. Seddon was a missionary in Morocco from 1945 to 1955 and the home secretary for the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society from 1955 to 1967. Many of his thirty hymns are based on missionary themes; he wrote some in Arabic while he lived in Morocco. Seddon joined other Jubilate Group participants to produce Psalm Praise (1973) and Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Liturgical Use:
Beginning of worship; during service of confession and forgiveness; exposition on the lifestyle acceptable to God.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Norman L. Warren (b. London, England, 1934) composed STELLA CARMEL in 1971 for Seddon's text; it was also first published in Psalm Praise. The tune consists of four phrases connected by cadential harmonies that help keep alive the song's rhythmic energy. To make clear the question-and-response structure of the text, a soloist or choir could sing stanza 1, and everyone could respond by singing stanzas 2 through 5.

Warren was educated at Dulwich College, Corpus Christi College, and Ridley Hall Theological College in Cambridge, and was ordained in the Church of England in 1961. He served as vicar of St. Paul's Church, Leamington Spa (1963-1977), rector of Morden (1977-1989), and since 1989 has been archdeacon of Rochester. His publications include Journey into Life (1964) and What's the Point? (1986). Warren was a member of the Jubilate Group committees that published Psalm Praise (1973) and Hymns for Today's Church (1982). He has composed over one hundred hymn tunes.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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