Hymns:Hope of the world Thou Christ of great compassion
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|Hope of the world Thou Christ of great compassion|
|Title||Hope of the world, Thou Christ of great compassion|
|Author||Georgia Harkness, 1891-1974|
|Composer||Frances R. Havergal, 1836-79|
|Orig. Key||F Major or modal|
|Meter||11 10 11 10|
|1st Line||Hope of the world, Thou Christ of great compassion|
|Scriptures||1 Timothy 1:1|
Hope of the world, Thou Christ of great compassion
all * stanza(s) : Rom. 15:13
Of the hundreds of hymns submitted in a search for new hymns for the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches (held in Evanston, IL, in August 1954), "Hope of the World" was chosen as the winner by the Hymn Society of America. Theologian Georgia E. Harkness (b. Harkness, NY, 1891; d. Claremont, CA, 1974) wrote the text to coincide with the Assembly's theme, âJesus Christ, Hope of the World.â First published in a Hymn Society of America pamphlet, Eleven Ecumenical Hymns (1954) and in The Hymn (July 1954), the text has since appeared in many North American hymnals. Translated into several languages, it has also been published in hymnals in various other countries.
This prayer text entreats Christ, "the hope of the world," to reconcile those now involved in conflict and strife (st. 1-2) and to direct the ministry of the church to be faithful to his gospel (st. 3-5). Recognizing the brokenness of the church and the temptations of the world, this sung prayer also presents the hope and challenge of ministering in Christ's name.
Harkness studied at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received a doctoral degree from Boston University (1923), and did further studies at Harvard, Yale, and Union Theological Seminary. She taught at Elmira (NY) College (1922-1937); Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts (1937-1939); Garret School of Theology, Evanston, Illinois (1939-50); and the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California (1950-61). The first woman in the United States to be appointed a full professor in a theological seminary, Harkness was ordained in the Methodist Church in 1926. Partly because of her work in the World Council of Churches, her influence was wide-ranging. The recipient of many honors and awards, she wrote thirty-seven books, including John Calvin: The Man and His Ethics (1931), Prayer and the Common Life (1947), TheProvidence of God (1960), and Women in Church and Society (1972). Her hymn texts and other poetry were published in Holy Flame (1935), The Glory of God (1943), and Be Still and Know (1953).
A Sung prayer appropriate for many occasions of worship; Reformation services; church festivals; mission conferences.
- Hope of the world, Thou Christ of great compassion;
Speak to our fearful hearts by conflict rent.
Save us, Thy people, from consuming passion,
Who by our own false hopes and aims are spent.
- Hope of the world, God's gift from highest heaven,
Bringing to hungry souls the bread of life,
Still let Thy Spirit unto us be given
To heal earth's wounds and end our bitter strife.
- Hope of the world, afoot on dusty highways,
Showing to wand'ring souls the path of light,
Walk Thou beside us lest the tempting byways
Lure us away from Thee to endless night.
- Hope of the world, who by Thy cross didst save us
From death and dark despair, from sin and guilt,
We render back the love Thy mercy gave us;
Take Thou our lives and use them as Thou wilt.
- Hope of the world, O Christ, o'er death victorious,
Who by this sign did conquer grief and pain,
We would be faithful to Thy gospel glorious.
Thou art our Lord! Thou dost forever reign!
- Hymnals:Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #472
- Hymnals:Lutheran Service Book #690
- Hymnals:Presbyterian Hymnal #360
- Hymnals:Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #524
- Hymnals:Rejoice in the Lord #414
- Hymnals:Trinity Hymnal #594
- Hymnals:The Worshiping Church #434
- Hymnals:The United Methodist Hymnal #178
- Hymnals:Worship & Rejoice #404