Here is yet another fine hymn-tune that is all but forgotten. This is of course for today, the Feast of All Saints.
The music was composed by Arthur Henry Brown (1830-1926). Almost completely self taught, he began playing the organ at the age 10. He was organist of the Brentwood Parish Church, Essex (1842-1853); St. Edward’s, Romford (1853-1858); Brentwood Parish Church (1858-1888); St. Peter’s Church, South Weald (from 1889); and Sir Anthony Browne’s School (-1926). A member of the London Gregorian Association, he supported the Oxford Movement (High Church), and pioneered the restoration of plainchant and Gregorian music in Anglican worship.
The name of the tune is "St. John Damascene," and it is one that really "rolls" majestically, sweeping along with excitement.
The text is attributed to St. John of Damascus, and this translation of is by John Mason Neale (1818-1866), as well as the "compilers" of "Hymns Ancient and Modern."
The score and photos of A. H. Brown and J. M. Neale, and of Brentwood Parish Church are attached below.
(One Full Verse of Introduction)
Let our choirs new anthems raise,
Bright the morn with gladness,
When God turned to joy and praise
All his servants sadness:
This the day that won their crown,
Opened heavens wide portal;
They, mortality laid down,
Entered life immortal.
Now they stand before the throne
Clothed in robes of splendour,
Death and torment overthrown,
Praise to God they render;
Praise alike to Christ their King
From their lips is sounding,
As they adoration bring
For his grace abounding.
Let us then due honour pay,
As we raise our voices,
For the saints in whom today
All the Church rejoices;
Let God's people here below
Still recount their story,
How they fought against the foe
For the Saviour's glory.