Sometimes all you really have to say is YES!
I love this Hymn. I love that we sing this joyful alleluia to the earth and all its inhabitants, and that we use an Easter Hymn to sing this joy.
(Edit 4/24/17: In my sleep-deprived state, I called this an Easter hymn, but research by my colleague Aaron Stockwell reveals this is actually a shorter version of a Christian classic, All Creatures of our God and King, adapted from words of Francis of Assisi. Why I think of this as an Easter song, I’m not sure, but I do, but maybe I should stop that. Or maybe this is next year’s Easter sermon…)
Now I realize I have complained before about hymns that don’t really do anything except say yay to a litany of things. It happens frequently in songs connected to nature, because there is so dang much of it that’s so varied.
So what makes this different?
I am not sure, but I think it’s the alleluia. This is a praise song, pure and simple, and there’s an exuberance that comes in moments of praise.
I also think it’s different because the final verse serves as a reminder that we are part of this creation too, and by golly, we have a responsibility.
All creatures of the earth and sky,
come, kindred, lift your voices high,
Bright burning sun with golden beam,
soft shining moon with silver gleam:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Swift rushing wind so wild and strong,
white clouds that sail in heav’n along,
Fair rising morn in praise rejoice,
high stars of evening find a voice:
Cool flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for all life to hear,
Dance, flame of fire, so strong and bright,
and bless us with your warmth and light:
Embracing earth, you, day by day,
bring forth your blessings on our way,
All herbs and fruits that richly grow,
let them the glory also show:
All you of understanding heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
Let all things now the Holy bless,
and worship God in humbleness:
I will end with two notes:
First, I had a last minute request to be present at a youth con, and I’m exhausted. I have not done much research, by which I mean no research…
Second, what a perfect song to sing on Earth Day Weekend, a day after tens of thousands marched for science.