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Hymn of the Week – 'Tis Midnight, and on Olive's Brow

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

Words by William Tappan (1822)
Music by William Bradbury (1853)
Amazon.com MP3 – Dallas Christian Adult Concert Choir

鈥楾is midnight, and on Olive鈥檚 brow
The star is dimmed that lately shone;
鈥楾is midnight; in the garden now,
The suffering Saviour prays alone.

鈥楾is midnight, and from all removed,
Immanuel wrestles, lone, with fears;
E鈥檈n the disciple that he loved,
Heeds not his Master鈥檚 grief and tears.

鈥楾is midnight, and for other鈥檚 guilt
The Man of Sorrows weeps in blood;
Yet he that hath in anguish knelt,
Is not forsaken by his God:

鈥楾is midnight, from the heavenly plains,
Is borne the song that angels know;
Unheard by mortals are the strains
That sweetly soothe the Saviour鈥檚 woe.

This is one of my favorite hymns describing the night before Christ’s crucifixion, partly because of its Mixolydian melody. I like modal hymns such as this one that set the mood well.

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