Sunday, October 4, 2015

For the Beauty of the Earth

Folliott Pierpoint was a scholar who lived in Bath, England in the 1800s. He was just 29 when the beautiful countryside inspired him to write what is now a favorite harvest hymn: For the Beauty of the Earth. But he didn't write it as a harvest hymn.

Pierpoint originally intended the poem to be eucharistic, that is, a hymn sung for mass or the Lord's Supper. The chorus he wrote reflected that intention. It said, 

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

He even titled it "The Sacrifice of Praise," which was how it appeared in an 1864 hymn book. But later the words were slightly altered to says instead:

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Since then, it has become associate with the season of harvest and thanksgiving. At a time when we reap and gather the Lord's material blessings in our lives, it's good to step back and not only thank Him but appreciate the non-material blessings He has given us as well.

For the beauty of the earth
For the Glory of the skies, 
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies: 

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night, 
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r 
Sun and Moon and stars of light 

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child.
Friends on earth and friends above
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

For each perfect gift of Thine
To our race so freely given.
Graces human and divine
Flow'rs of earth and buds of heav'n.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

This hymn is found on our "Joyful Harps Hymns" CD or you can purchase the song as an MP3 download.