For The Beauty Of The Earth

July 25, 2022 - 3:49pm
Hymn Stories
Hymn Stories

Our Closing hymn at Mass on July 31, "For the Beauty of the Earth", was written by Folliot Pierpoint in 1864.

In it’s present form, the hymn praises God for many things that we come across in everyday living, but often fail to appreciate––the beauty of the earth and skies, of each hour, the joy of ear and eye, and the joy of human love.  It also expresses thanksgiving for the church––and for Christ (“Yourself, O Gift Divine”)

We might categorize “For the Beauty of the Earth” as a hymn of thanksgiving or praise, but it was initially written as a Eucharistic hymn. The original text of the refrain ends with these words, which speaks of the Mass as a sacrifice:

 

Christ our God, to thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

However, those words were later edited to read:

Lord of all, to you we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

This text, rather than the original words, is found in most Catholic hymnals today.

While the hymn praises God for a host of beauties, it also expresses thanksgiving for the Church––and for Christ.

As we sing this joyful hymn today, let us resolve to be more intentional this week about seeing and appreciating the many beauties and joys that God has given us and not take for granted the beauty that surrounds us!

 

1. For the beauty of the earth,

For the glory of the skies,

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies:

Lord of all, to you we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

2. For the beauty of each hour

Of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale, and tree and flow'r,

Sun and moon, and stars of light:

Lord of all, to you we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

3. For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child,

Friends on earth and friends above;

For all gentle thoughts and mild:

Lord of all, to you we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

4. For your Church, that evermore

Lifts its holy hands above,

Off'ring up on ev'ry shore

A pure sacrifice of love:

Lord of all, to you we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

5. For Yourself, O Gift Divine

To our world so freely giv'n,

For that love from which will shine,

Peace on earth and joy in heav'n:

Lord of all, to you we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

Text: 77 77 77; Lyra Eucharistica, 1864; Folliot S. Pierpoint, 1835–1917, alt.

Music: Conrad Kocher

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