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My Country ‘Tis of Thee

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills.
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!

Text: Samuel F. Smith, 1808-1895
Music: From Thesaurus Musicus, London, 1744
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Bob McCoy

Without Seeing You

Without Seeing You

Without seeing You, we love You.
Without touching You, we embrace.
Without knowing You, we follow.
Without seeing You, we believe.

We return to You deep within,
leave the past to the dust.
Turn to You with tears and fasting,
You are ready to forgive.

Refrain:
Without seeing You, we love You.
Without touching You, we embrace.
Without knowing You, we follow.
Without seeing You, we believe.

The sparrow will find a home
near to You, O God.
How happy we who dwell with You,
forever in Your house.
Refrain

Forever we sing to You
of your goodness, O God;
proclaiming to all the world
of your faithfulness and love.
Refrain

For You are our shepherd;
there is nothing we need.
In green pastures we will find our rest,
in waters of peace.
Refrain

Inspired by 1 Peter 1:8
Text: David Haas
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Marge McCoy

More Love to Thee

More Love to Thee

More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best.
This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Words: Elizabeth P. Prentiss, 1856
Music: W. Howard Doane, 1870
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Marge McCoy

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the Beauty of the Earth

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

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

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.

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

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.

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

Hymn Lyrics: Folliot Pierpoint (1864)
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Bob McCoy

O Jesus, I Have Promised

O Jesus, I Have Promised

O Jesus, I have promised to serve You to the end;
Oh be forever near me, my Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle if You are by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if You will be my Guide.

Oh, let me hear You speaking in accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion, The murmurs of self-will;
Oh, speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
Oh, speak, and make me listen, The Guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, You have promised to all who follow You
That where You are in glory they shall be with You too;
And Jesus, I have promised to serve You to the end—
Oh, give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.

Lyrics: John Ernest Bode
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Marge McCoy

peace, perfect peace

Peace, Perfect Peace

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Lyrics by Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr. 1875
Audio by Stephen Sollars
Photo by Marge McCoy

the beautiful

America the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Song: Katharine Lee Bates – 1913
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Bob McCoy