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293. What Does the Lord Require

Text Information
First Line: What does the Lord require for praise and offering
Title: What Does the Lord Require
Author: Albert F. Bayly (1949, alt.)
Meter: 12 12 12
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Commitment & Dedication; Law of God; Society/Social Concerns (5 more...)
Copyright: By permission of Oxford University Press
Tune Information
Composer: Erik R. Routley (1968)
Meter: 12 12 12
Key: d minor
Copyright: © 1969, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Text Information:

Scripture References:
all st. = Micah 6:6-8

Early in 1949 Albert F. Bayly (b. Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England, 1901; d. Chichester, England, 1984) wrote a hymn text based on Micah 6:6-8 as one of a series of seventeen hymns he was writing on the Old Testament prophets. His objective was to present the prophets "in the light of the climax and fulfillment of the Old Testament revelation in the coming of Christ." "What Does the Lord Require" asks questions and states commands as if Micah were a modern-day prophet. The refrain line "Do justly. . ." subtly shifts from the imperative voice in stanzas 1 through 4 to a corporate confession in stanza 5. The text was first published in Bayly's Rejoice, 0 People (1951) and is included in the Psalter Hymnal with minor alterations.

Bayly studied briefly at the Royal Dockyard School at Portsmouth to prepare himself for the shipbuilding industry. However, in 1925 he began studying for the ministry at Mansfield College, Oxford. He became a Congregationalist minister and served seven churches. Bayly wrote missionary pageants and numerous hymns, many of which used more contemporary language and concepts than had been customary in previous hymn writing. Because of the publication of his collection Again I Say Rejoice (1967), Bayly is often acknowledged as the pioneer of the revival of British hymn writing in the 1960s and 70s. His hymns were published in four collections: Rejoice, 0 People (1951), Again I Say Rejoice (1967), Rejoice Always (1971), and Rejoice in God (1978).

Liturgical Use:
As part of the service of confession in conjunction with sermons from Micah, Amos, Isaiah 1, or similar passages; as a hymn for social justice, especially for civic festivals or national-holiday celebrations; times of penitence and renewal such as Advent and Lent.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Erik Routley (PHH 31) composed SHARPTHORNE in 1968 to be published as a setting for Bayly's text in the British supplementary hymnal 100 Hymns for Today (1969). SHARPTHORNE is actually a revision of another Routley tune, TIES CROSS, which was the setting for Bayly's text in the 1951 Rejoice, O People. Routley said SHARPTHORNE is "a sort of paraphrase in the minor key" of TIES CROSS. Sharpthorne and Tyes Cross are both villages in Routley's native county of Sussex, England.

SHARPTHORNE is a rugged tune (one of Routley's best!) with several repeated motives and sequences; it fits well with the stern prophetic message as interpreted by Bayly. The tune is best sung in unison. One way to sing it is to have a choir or soloist sing the first two lines of each stanza and have everyone sing the refrain line, at which time the organ should thunder its support! An even more dramatic performance can be arranged as follows: a soloist can walk among the aisles of the church singing the prophet's lines in stanzas 1 through 3, a choir can sing stanza 4, and everyone can join in on stanza 5.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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