455. For the Fruits of His Creation

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Text Information
First Line: For the fruits of his creation
Title: For the Fruits of His Creation
Author: Fred Pratt Green (1970)
Meter: 84 84 88 84
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Creation and Providence; Harvest; Heritage (5 more...)
Copyright: Text © 1970, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Composer: Francis Jackson (1957)
Meter: 84 84 88 84
Key: D Major
Copyright: © Francis Jackson

Text Information:

Scripture References;
st. 2 = Matt. 20:1-16
Matt. 25:37-45
st. 3 = Gal. 5:22

Fred Pratt Green (b. Roby, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, 1903) wrote the text specifically for the tune EAST ACKLAM with its somewhat unusual meter. Pratt Green carefully matched the "Thanks be to God" phrases to fit the short but powerful cadential motifs in Francis Jackson's tune. The text was first published in the British Methodist Recorder in August 1970. "For the Fruits" has become a popular harvest thanksgiving hymn.

The text's theme is thanksgiving: in stanza 1 for the natural harvest and in stanza 3 for the spiritual harvest. That thanksgiving tone, however, functions as a frame around stanza 2, which reminds us that thanksgiving must also be shown in our deeds of sharing God's bounty with those in need. Although the text is a modern one, it expresses the same message as did the Old Testament prophets: offerings of thanksgiving are acceptable to God only if "the orphans and the widows" have received loving care (see Isa. 1:10-17; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8). That message is so necessary at North American harvest feasts!

Already in the 1970s Erik Routley (PHH 31) considered Fred Pratt Green 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.

Liturgical Use:
For harvest thanksgiving but also for Labor Day services and other occasions that focus on social justice.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Francis Jackson (b. Malton, Yorkshire, England, 1917) wrote EAST ACKLAM in 1957 at York Minster Abbey, where he had a long and distinguished career as organist and music master (1946-1982). The tune's name refers to the hamlet northeast of York, England, where Jackson has lived since 1982. Jackson received his early musical training at the York Minster School, later studied with Edward Bairstow, and received his doctorate from Durham University (1940). From 1947 to 1980 he conducted both the York Musical Society and the York Symphony Orchestra. He has published a wide array of organ and church music and was very popular as an organ recitalist.

Jackson originally wrote the tune as a setting for Reginald Heber's (PHH 249) "God that madest earth and heaven," which was usually sung to the popular Welsh tune AR HYD YNOS. Now matched to Pratt Green's text in several modern hymnals, EAST ACKLAM was first published in the British supplement Hymns and Songs (1969).

The tune has several striking features: the hammer-blow chords at the end of lines 1, 2, and 4; the melodic sequences; and the stunning melodic rise to the climax in lines and 4. Although good choirs may enjoy the challenge of the harmony, the tune is best sung in unison by congregations. Use solid accompaniment and observe a ritardando, at the very end of stanza 3.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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