369. Christ, upon the Mountain Peak

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Text Information
First Line: Christ, upon the mountain peak
Title: Christ, upon the Mountain Peak
Author: Brian Wren (1962)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 78 78 with alleluias
Scripture: ; ;
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: Elijah; Biblical Names & Places: Moses; Epiphany & Ministry of Christ (3 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1977, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Composer: Norm Jonkman (1984)
Meter: 78 78 with alleluias
Key: F Major
Copyright: Tune © 1987, CRC Publications

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. = Luke 9:28-36

Brian Wren (PHH 311) wrote this text at Mansfield College, Oxford, England, in 1962. Published in the British supplement 100 Hymns for Today (1959), "Christ, upon the Mountain Peak" was the second hymn text that Wren wrote.

The text is based on the gospel story of Christ's transfiguration from Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36. Powerfully poetic, the text not only captures something of the awe in the event–we share in the awe as we sing "Alleluia"–but also presents a cosmic picture: the saints, angels, prophets, all nations, and the whole creation bring praise to the true Son of God! In the style of the transfiguration celebration in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the entire focus is on Christ, the Alpha and Omega (st. 4).

Liturgical Use:
In worship services that focus on the transfiguration (at the end of the Epiphany season or early in Lent); useful at other occasions that emphasize the cosmic awe proper before God's beloved Son.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

The Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee announced a tune search for this text, and TRANSFIGURATION, composed by Norm Jonkman (PHH 200) in 1984, was chosen among several submitted. TRANSFIGURATION, moving between triple and duple meter has a rather rugged (mountainous) melodic contour and concludes with two rhythmically exciting "Alleluia" figures. Sing in unison, possibly with harmony on the "Alleluias," at which point the brighter organ stops should help to proclaim those "Alleluias." Reserve the most powerful reed or mixture for stanza 4 and build in a solid ritardando for the final "Alleluias." Congregations may need some encouragement with the tune at first, but they will find the extra effort worthwhile.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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