Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Today we will be singing two hymns on the theme of baptism. This first one is set to the well known tune of ST. MAGNUS (cf. our present Hymn 23). In the first stanza we sing about the victory Christ won by His resurrection over the power of sin. The second stanza speaks about how our children are covenant children: the children of the church are grafted to the vine, are members of the church, and bear the cross. This reminds us of Lord's Day 27 which says that by baptism our children are grafted into the Christian congregation. We are also reminded of the prayer before baptism where we pray that the child to be baptized may joyfully bear his cross. The third stanza speaks about the love Christ has for our children. There is also a parallel to the prayer after baptism where we thank the Lord for forgiving also our children all their sins.

Judith O'Neill, the composer, was born in Australia in 1930 and died two years ago in England as the widow of a United Reformed Church of England pastor. She is best known for having written nine children's novels.

The tune, ST. MAGNUS, is attributed to Jeremiah Clarke (1674-1707) of London, England, well known for The Prince of Denmark's March, commonly known as the Trumpet Voluntary.

Sources: Psalter Hymnal Handbook; Internet.

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