O One With God the Father

Representative Text

1 O One with God the Father
In majesty and might,
The brightness of His glory,
Eternal Light of Light;
O'er this our home of darkness
Thy rays are streaming now;
The shadows flee before Thee,
The world's true Light art Thou.

2 Yet, Lord, we see but darkly:
O heavenly Light, arise!
Dispel these mists that shroud us,
And hide Thee from our eyes!
We long to track the footprints
That Thou Thyself hast trod:
We long to see the pathway
That leads to Thee our God.

3 o Jesu, shine around us
With radiance of Thy grace;
O Jesu, turn upon us
The brightness of Thy face.
We need no star to guide us,
As on our way we press,
If Thou Thy light vouchsafest,
O Sun of Righteousness.


The Hymnal: revised and enlarged as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892

Author: William Walsham How

William W. How (b. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, 1823; d. Leenane, County Mayo, Ireland, 1897) studied at Wadham College, Oxford, and Durham University and was ordained in the Church of England in 1847. He served various congregations and became Suffragan Bishop in east London in 1879 and Bishop of Wakefield in 1888. Called both the "poor man's bishop" and "the children's bishop," How was known for his work among the destitute in the London slums and among the factory workers in west Yorkshire. He wrote a number of theological works about controversies surrounding the Oxford Movement and attempted to reconcile biblical creation with the theory of evolution. He was joint editor of Psalms and Hymns (1854) and Church Hymns (1871). While rec… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O One with God the Father
Title: O One With God the Father
Author: William Walsham How (1871)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References:
st. 1-3 = 1 John 1:5-7
st. 3 = Mal. 4:2

Written by William W. How (PHH 279), this text was originally called "O One with God the Father." It was published in the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge's Church Hymns (1871), of which How was editor. Because the "One" in the original tide seemed very impersonal, the first line was altered to strengthen the reference to Christ.

The controlling metaphor in this text comes from Jesus' own words, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12; light is an important metaphor for Christ throughout John's gospel). The three stanzas of this text constitute a prayer in which we confess that Jesus is the light (st. 1), that we see "but dimly" (st. 2), and that we need the light of Christ to illumine our way (st. 3).

Liturgical Use:
Epiphany; any service that focuses on the "light of the world" theme.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



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