Sunday, 26 October 2014

Finlandia in all its bagpipe sublimity

I came across this rendition of Finlandia several years ago whilst living in Cyprus, it was one of my go to pieces when I needed to get back to equilibrium and calm. It is played on the bagpipes - possibly electronically enhanced - by a group called Celtic Expressions, and with each successive verse of the hymn it embeds deeper into the soul.

Sibelius' Finlandia has been used as the tune for several great hymns, for example: Be Still My Soul, and We Rest on Thee Our Shield and Our Defender.

"Be Still, My Soul"

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Hymn #651
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46:10
Author: Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752, cento
Translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1855
Titled: "Stille, mein Wille"
Composer: Jean Sibelius, b. 1865, arr.
Tune: "Finlandia"

We rest on Thee

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender.
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.

Yes, in Thy name, O Captain of salvation,
In Thy dear name, all other names above;
Jesus our Righteousness, our sure Foundation,
Our Prince of glory and our King of love.

We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling.
And needing more each day Thy grace to know:
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
"We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go."

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender.
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendour,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

Edith G. Cherry, c.1895
Copyright: Public Domain

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 14:11

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