STLT#293, O Star of Truth

So… I’m not sure about this one.

On the one hand, it’s a wonderful piece about our first source – our personal experience of awe and wonder, singing praise to the “star of truth”  – which is a wonderful name for that which some call God.

On the other hand, there seems to be a bit of humanist snark in the second verse – ‘though ancient creed and custom may point another way’ – which seems to point away from anything which some call God.

I guess my uncertainty lies in not being entirely sure who or what it is that lyricist Minot Judson Savage (who also wrote Seek Not Afar for Beauty) thinks we are singing praises to and why.

O star of truth, downshining through clouds of doubt and fear,
I ask beneath thy guidance my pathway may appear:
however long the journey, however hard it be,
though I be lone and weary, lead on, I follow thee.

I know thy blessed radiance can never lead astray,
though ancient creed and custom may point another way;
or through the untrod desert, or over trackless sea,
though I be lone and weary, lead on, I follow thee.

I’m prepared for dozens – baker’s dozens! – of you to have a clearer view of this hymn (set to a sweet Finnish melody called Nyland). I admit I’m a bit sinus foggy and headachy this morning, which never helps with clarity. And I’d welcome a discussion about the hymn.

The good news is that even headachy, the tune is sweet and it was a lovely song to start my day with. I sometimes have to remember that the experience of this spiritual practice does matter as much as the words I put on the page. And that experience was sweet.

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Read my thoughts about congregational life at Hold My Chalice