Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Song is Love Unknown

By Larry Beane

The suggested Hymn of the Day for last Sunday, the fifth Sunday in Lent (Judica) is Lenten hymn My Song Is Love Unknown (LSB 430).  The text was written by an English cleric named Samuel Crossman (1624-83). 

Crossman began his churchly life as a Puritan - the faction of the post-Reformation Church of England that corresponds roughly to the more radical elements of the German Reformation.  The Puritans sought to "purify" the English Church of its more Catholic elements - which in matters of liturgy, included things like candles, vestments, and the sign of the cross - which they considered to be "popery."  One could argue that the Puritans were seventeenth century English OOGs (Opponents Of Gottesdienst).

After being expelled from the English Church in 1662, Crossman renounced his Puritanism, and in 1665 and was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church, serving as a royal chaplain, and shortly before his death, being named the Dean of the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in Bristol.

Coldplay's A Message (video above) borrows its "hook" from the hymn and builds a rock ballad on it.

Of course, fans of Issues, Etc. are familiar with a particular Coldplay tune.


  1. An interesting line in the hymn is that the tomb is given by a stranger. It's especially interesting, not just because the Gospel calls him a disciple, but because English tradition claims St. Joseph was Jesus' great-uncle, and even brought Him to England in His youth.


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