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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) MP3 – Dallas Christian Adult Concert Choir

‘Tis midnight, and on Olive’s brow
The star is dimmed that lately shone;
‘Tis midnight; in the garden now,
The suffering Saviour prays alone.

‘Tis midnight, and from all removed,
Immanuel wrestles, lone, with fears;
E’en the disciple that he loved,
Heeds not his Master’s grief and tears.

‘Tis midnight, and for other’s guilt
The Man of Sorrows weeps in blood;
Yet he that hath in anguish knelt,
Is not forsaken by his God:

‘Tis midnight, from the heavenly plains,
Is borne the song that angels know;
Unheard by mortals are the strains
That sweetly soothe the Saviour’s 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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