The fourth in a series of seven posts on Ascensiontide music.
Yesterday morning at Mass we sang a well known hymn, Alleluia, Sing to Jesus. Most often sung to the tune Hyfrydol, it was written not by William Chatterton Dix, a surgeon from Bristol, England, in 1866. It is quite appropriate for Ascentiontide, as Hymnary notes:
When a friend moves away or leaves us for a long time, our first response is to feel sad and lonely. In this hymn, however, Dix reminds us that though Christ physically left earth in the ascension, he does not leave us “as orphans”, but rather remains with us always, all the while interceding for us to the Father. And so we raise our voices to cry “Alleluia!” to the ascended, yet ever-present Christ.
1 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!
His the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! His the triumph,
his the victory alone.
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion
thunder like a mighty flood.
Jesus, out of every nation,
has redeemed us by his blood.
2 Alleluia! Not as orphans
are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us;
faith believes nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received him
when the forty days were o’er,
shall our hearts forget his promise,
“I am with you evermore”?
3 Alleluia! Heavenly High Priest,
here on earth our help, our stay;
Alleluia! Hear the sinful
cry to you from day to day.
Intercessor, friend of sinners,
earth’s Redeemer, hear our plea,
where the songs of all the sinless
sweep across the crystal sea.
4 Alleluia! King eternal,
you the Lord of lords we own:
Alleluia! born of Mary,
earth your footstool, heaven your throne:
you within the veil, have entered,
robed in flesh, our great High Priest:
by your Spirit, left us heavenward,
in the Eucharistic feast!