229. Christ, You Are the Fullness

Text Information
First Line: Christ, you are the fullness of God
Title: Christ, You Are the Fullness
Versifier: Bert Polman (1986)
Meter: irregular
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ; ; ;
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1986)
Meter: irregular
Key: G Major
Source: Korean
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 =Col. l: 15-18
st. 2 = Col. 3:1-4
st. 3 = Col. 3:15-17

"Christ, You Are the Fullness" is an unrhymed paraphrase of three essential passages in Paul's letter to the Colossians: 1: 15-18, about the supremacy of Christ (st. 1); 3:1-4, about our position in Christ (st. 2); and 3: 15-17, about thankful (doxological) living (st. 3). Bert Polman (PHH 37) versified these Scriptures in 1986 to be sung with the Korean tune ARIRANG so that the hymnal would include at least one Korean tune. A Korean musician recommended this tune as one that all Koreans would know.

Liturgical Use:
Suitable in any parts or occasions of Christian worship focusing on Christ's kingship or kingdom, God's glory, the church, peace and purity, or doxological praise.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

The tune ARIRANG is named after a Korean folk song that has long been a favorite in Korea and became known by many American soldiers during the Korean War (1950¬1953). The song was probably composed around 1865, when laborers were conscripted from allover Korea to rebuild the Kyonbok Palace in Seoul. These workers brought their regional folk songs with them; this one presumably came from the legendary Arirang mountains, which in Korean culture symbolize the sometimes bitter separation of loved ones. Arirang is a lament with romantic connotations; the original text can be translated:

As the stars, my tears are countless
as they ceaselessly flow!
You, so faithless, are leaving me alone and pale.
May your feet pain you at the end of the trail!

ARIRANG is a fascinating tune featuring repeats of complete phrases and small motifs. Polman changed one of the original cadence patterns to make four clear phrases for this song, which is intended for unison singing. The 1986 keyboard harmonization by Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) features a drone (held note) in the bass, a device common in much Asian music. Because of the irregular number of syllables in each stanza, have a soloist or choir introduce it to the congregation.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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