There are seven Canticles from Revelation in Common Worship Daily Prayer (CWDP). This collection already has five of them,
Worthy are you, (CWDP 69) – in download version of Book 6.
Great and Wonderful (CWDP 71) – see Two new Canticles blogged 14th Nov 2016.
Salvation Belongs to the Lamb (CWDP 72) – see This Completes the Canticles in the Black Book blogged 30th May 2017.
New Jerusalem (CWDP 73) – in download version of Book 6.
Behold I’m coming soon (CWDP 75) – in download version of Book 6.
That leaves two outstanding.
All of these are not just suitable for the occasions to which CWDP allocates them. They make good general hymns of praise for use any day of the year.
I make no apologies for using the same illustration as for The Marriage Feast of the Lamb on 30th May last. As a painting, it is one of the all time greats. It also links this post nicely to one of the other canticles from Revelation in this collection.
I saw a mighty Multitude
This is Canticle 70 in CWDP, Revelation 7: 9,10,14b-17 where it is called A song of the Redeemed, which is a good description of what the Canticle is about. St John is shown a mighty multitude that no one could number, praising God and the Lamb upon the throne. The version here is not a selection but includes the whole of Rev 7: 9–17.
For my first attempt to set this exhilarating vision into singable form I had chosen a tune that was in an unusual metre which turned out to be too difficult to write to. So this is in Double Common Metre, which as it happens, I think suits the subject matter rather well.
As with the other canticles in CWDP from Revelation, this ends with the characteristic doxology from Revelation rather than the familiar one used by psalms and most of the other canticles. In this canticle, it is rolled into the last verse.
1. I saw a mighty multitude ~ an uncountable throng
2. From every nation of the earth, ~ each people, tribe and tongue
3. They stood before the throne and Lamb ~ in robes clad shining white,
Waving the palms they held aloft ~ and this did they recite.
4. “To our God seated on the throne ~ and to the Lamb belong
Salvation!” and the heav’nly host ~ responded with this song.
“Praise, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, ~ honour and power and might
Be given to our God always ~ for ever as is right”.
5. Who are these clad in white, who they? ~ The great ordeal they’ve passed.
Their robes they’ve washed in the Lamb’s blood ~ with whiteness unsurpassed.
6. And now they stand before God’s throne, ~ the shrine in which they serve,
Their privilege by night and day, ~ the bounty they deserve
7. The one who sits upon the throne ~ with them, his home has made.
His presence there will shelter them, ~ be from the sun their shade.
8. No more shall they know hunger, thirst, ~ nor any scorching heat.
9. The Lamb will be their Shepherd, ~ from his throne, guide their feet.
10. To living water he’ll lead them ~ from springs, their needs supplies.
They are where God will wipe away ~ all tears that wet their eyes.
To him who sits upon the throne, ~ the Lamb whom we adore,
Be blessing, honour, glory, might ~ both now and evermore.
There are already a number of good DCM tunes in the tunebook which would suit this canticle well. However, I feel the tune that I have found for it is a bit special. It is a forgotten tune because it was written for a hymn, The roseate hues of early dawn that from the evidence in old hymn books of the number of tunes written for it must have been very popular in the late nineteenth century. However, the hymn seems to have fallen completely out of use, taking with it all memory of the various tunes to which it was sung. This is Sir John Stainer’s (1840-1901) tune for it. It is very much in the style of its period. It takes its title, Roseate Hues from the first line of the hymn for which it was written. I feel it deserves a better name but that might be confusing to anyone who for some reason might need to collate it with its earlier appearances. It is in D Major and there is a sudden change in both timing and tempo half way through each verse. This is it.
It is possible there are other psalms and canticles that could be sung to it.
I saw no temple in the city
This is Canticle 74 in CWDP, where it is called A Song of the Heavenly City. There, it is a selection of verses from the end of Rev 21 and the beginning of Rev 22, Rev 21.22-26; 22.1,2b,d,3b,could be sung to it.4, with some omissions. Again, the version for this collection includes the whole of Rev 21:2 – Rev 22:4.
The metre is 87 87 D, and these are the words. As with I saw a Mighty Multitude, the last verse includes the Revelation doxology.
1. There I saw the heav’nly city ~ but no temple, great or small.
For its temple and its beauty ~ is God’s Lamb the Lord of all.
2. It has no need of sun nor moon ~ for its light is the I Am.
Its glory outshines any noon ~ and its lantern is the Lamb.
3. Gifts of glory princes shall pay, ~ the nations walk in its light,
4. And its gates stay open all day; ~ nor shall it know any night.
But no unclean thing shall go there, ~ nor what’s with foul rankness rife,
But only those whose names appear ~ in the Lamb’s blest book of life.
5. Crystal bright and down its main street ~ I saw life’s river flowing free
6.From God and the Lamb’s royal seat; ~ on each bank, there grew a tree,
Bearing fruit each month of the year ~ while its leaves the nations heal.
No accurséd thing shall walk there. ~ Tree and stream, God’s life reveal.
7. Before that glitt’ring throne of grace ~ shall his servants him acclaim.
Worshipping shall they see his face; ~ on their foreheads bear his name.
Bless the One who sits on that throne. ~ Worship the Lamb seated there.
Glory and might to them be shown ~ always, now, and everywhere.
This is written to be sung to the classic and beautiful Welsh tune Calon Lân, for the hymn Nid wy’n gofyn bywyd moethus, much sung at Rugby matches. The phrase Calon Lân comes at the beginning of the chorus section. It was written by John Hughes (1872-1914), who is a different John Hughes from the composer of Cwm Rhondda. He rose from office boy to marketing manager of the Dyffryn Street Works in Morriston, Swansea, and sadly died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage aged only 42.
The words of Calon Lân were written by Daniel James (Gwyrosydd) (1848-1920). Although an English translation exists, it has never really become part of the repertoire of Anglophone tunes. Here it is pitched in A Major, which gives a top note of E. However it appears in a number of other keys, G Major, B♭Major, or even F Major or A♭.
I believe the tune has been used for I will sing the wondrous story, which is usually sung to Hyfrydol.
Mysteriously, the tune for Here is love vast as the Ocean sounds oddly similar even though its notes are quite different.