Season after Pentecost, 2023
Maurice Bevan wrote the hymn tune CORVEDALE (published by Cathedral Music) expressly for the hymn "There's a wideness in God's mercy".
A close reading of the hymn, by Frederick William Faber, reveals the following stanza that is not included in The Hymnal 1982.
There is grace enough for thousands Of new worlds as great as this; There is room for fresh creations In that upper home of bliss.
This image of new, ongoing creation is a vital one and is complementary to the very "wideness" of the mercy under discussion. If God's mercy truly is wide, it is not limited to this world of even this universe.
This kind of new creation imagery also takes root in Robert Bridges's famous hymn "All my hope on God is founded" at stanza three.
God's great goodness aye endureth, deep his wisdom, passing thought: splendor, light and life attend him, beauty springeth out of naught. Evermore from his store newborn worlds rise and adore.
And another hymn has an opening line that acknowledges the creative drive of God: "The great Creator of the worlds". It is a significant but oft overlooked plural. These words come from the Epistle to Diogentus, c. 150, and are translated F. Bland Tucker for the 1982 Hymnal.
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