All-creating heavenly giver

Today’s hymn from Sing Praise is “All-creating heavenly giver” by Michael Saward. It’s in the section of the book headed ‘The Church’s mission and ministry” but in fact it is a fairly standard hymn to the Trinity: one verse each addressed to the Creator/Father, one to the Lord and Saviour, one to the Holy Spirit and one to the threefold God.  The words ‘church’, ‘ministry’ and ‘mission’ don’t appear at all.

So what are we singing about? The second half of each verse begins “We…”, so this is a corporate hymn of the Church (even if not named as such). “We your children lift our voices singing gladly of your love”; “We your servants … in your kingdom are united by that mighty sacrifice”; “We whose talents widely differ now restore to you your own”; and “We your people … now and ever, in thanksgiving to your praise and glory live”. 

Overall, I’m not very inspired by this hymn. Saward has certainly written better: his “Christ Triumphant, ever reigning” is one of my favourites, although we don’t come to that one until Christ the King Sunday in November.

1 thought on “All-creating heavenly giver”

  1. I was also surprised to find this hymn in the “Church’s ministry and mission” section of the book rather than the “Trinity” section, for as Stephen says it is cast in the standard format of a verse each for each of the Persons, and then a final verse to the Trinity. But aside from that (which is a fault of the book rather than of the hymn) I appreciated this hymn, and I welcomed the fact that the second half of each verse starts the same way “we, your …” and stated a response we could make to the bounties given to use by our God.

    I couldn’t get my head around Cyril Taylor’s tune: when he wrote it Lux Eoi must have been already well-established in the repertoire – the similar start doesn’t help to fix it in the mind, and the descending scale in line 2 is particularly unadventurous. I think the minor variation of the tune in lines 3-4 from that in lines 1-2 is just annoying without giving any benefit (as it doesn’t assist any modulation), and likewise the further minor variation in the middle of lines 7-8 simply annoys me. And the rising scale in line 6 (as if to contrast with the descending scales in lines 2 & 4) again annoys me. So I sang this hymn to a different tune (Everton) – but I guess this too might be part of what failed to inspire Stephen?

Comments are closed.