523. Lord, You Give the Great Commission

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Text Information
First Line: Lord, you give the great commission
Title: Lord, You Give the Great Commission
Author: Jeffery W. Rowthorn (1978)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 87 87 D
Scripture: ; ; ;
Topic: Society/Social Concerns; Church and Mission; Assurance (6 more...)
Language: English
Refrain First Line: with the Spirit's gifts empower us
Copyright: Text © 1978, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Composer: Cyril V. Taylor (1907-1991) (1941)
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: C Major
Copyright: Tune © 1942, 1970, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Matt. 10:7-8
st. 2 = Matt. 28:19-20
st. 3 = Matt. 26:26-28
st. 4 = Luke 23:34
st. 5 = Matt. 28:20
ref. = 1 Cor. 12:4-11, Eph.4:12

Jeffery W. Rowthorn (b. Newport, Gwent, Wales, 1934) wrote this text in 1978 while he was Chapel Minister at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut. The text was first published in Laudamus (1980), a hymnal supplement edited by Rowthorn and used at the Yale Divinity School.

This powerful text about the various ministries of the Christian church has two striking features: each stanza includes a quotation of Christ's words (usually from Matthew), and a concluding refrain line turns each stanza into a prayer. Christ's words are applied to the tasks of God's people in the world with a fervent prayer that the Spirit equip the saints to carry out these ministries faithfully.

Rowthorn graduated from Cambridge and Oxford Universities, Union Theological Serninary in New York, and Cuddeson Theological College in Oxford. Ordained in 1963 in the Church of England, he served several congregations in England before immigrating to the United States, where he was chaplain at Union Theological Seminary and a faculty member in liturgics at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, which he helped to establish. He was then elected Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. The writer of several hymns, Rowthorn was also coeditor with Russell Schulz-Widmar of A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools (1991). Rowthorn has since moved to Paris, where he is Bishop in Charge of the American Churches in Europe.

Liturgical Use:
Pentecost; profession of faith; Reformation Sunday; ordination and commissioning services (for specific offices or for all of God's people); festivals of the church (dedications, anniversaries); church conferences and mission meetings.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Cyril V. Taylor (PHH 286) composed ABBOT'S LEIGH in May of 1941 when he was working for the Religious Broadcasting Department of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The BBC had received complaints about the use of AUSTRIA (tune for the Austrian national hymn) during this time of war, a tune then set to "Glorious Things of You Are Spoken" (506). Thus Taylor originally composed his tune for that text. First printed in a leaflet, ABBOT'S LEIGH was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised (1950), Congregational Praise (1951), and the BBC Hymn Book (1951), of which Taylor was editor. No modern hymnal would want to omit this great twentieth-century tune! ABBOT'S LEIGH is named for a village near Bristol, England, where Taylor composed the tune (Bristol was wartime headquarters for the BBC).

This dramatic tune with bold melodic gestures and a bar form shape (AAB) is suitable for unison or harmony singing. Use strong accompaniment with a stately tempo.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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