|First Line:||Heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship|
|Title:||Heavenly Hosts in Ceaseless Worship|
|Versifier:||Timothy Dudley-Smith (1972)|
|Copyright:||© 1975, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission|
st. 1 = Rev. 4:8-11
st. 2 = Rev. 5:9-13
This versification of Revelation 4:8-11 and 5:9-13 incorporates phrases from the five doxologies recorded in Revelation 4-5: the four living creatures sing, "Holy, holy, holy. . ." (4:8); the twenty four elders sing, "You are worthy. . ." (4: 11; see also 232); the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders together sing a new song: "You are worthy . . ." (5:9-10); a multitude of angels sing, "Worthy is the Lamb. . ." (5:12); and all creatures in heaven and on earth sing, “To him who sits on the throne...” (5:13). This is an awesome vision in which ever-greater numbers of creatures gather to sing praise to God and to the Lamb. Our singing could follow the same plan by gradually adding voices and instruments every two lines, until reaching a glorious conclusion to this powerful doxology. A three-stanza version could begin with a few singers on stanza 2, then more singers on stanza 1, this time in harmony.
Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. Manchester, England, 1926) versified this passage in 1972; it was first published in the British collection Psalm Praise (1973). Educated at Pembroke College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge, Dudley-Smith has served the Church of England since his ordination in 1950. He has occupied a number of church positions, including parish priest in the diocese of Southwark (1953-1962), archdeacon of Norwich (1973-1981), and bishop of Thetford, Norfolk, from 1981 until his retirement in 1992. He also edited a Christian magazine, Crusade, which was founded after Billy Graham's 1955 London crusade. Dudley-Smith began writing comic verse while a student at Cambridge; he did not begin to write hymns until the 1960s. Many of his several hundred hymn texts have been collected in Lift Every Heart: Collected Hymns 1961-1983 (1984), Songs of Deliverance: Thirty-six New Hymns (1988), and A Voice of Singing (1993). The writer of Christian Literature and the Church (1963), Someone Who Beckons (1978), and Praying with the English Hymn Writers (1989), Dudley-Smith has also served on various editorial committees, including the committee that published Psalm Praise (1973).
As a song of praise and worship at the beginning of the service, or (more likely) as a doxology at the end–great for worship services focusing on Christ's second coming.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988