January 13, 2013

Come Thou Almighty King

Come and Reign Over Us, Ancient of Days

Come Thou Almighty King is an anonymous work set to music by Italian composer and violinist, Felice de Giardini (1716-1796). While living in England, he was commissioned by Lady Selina, the Countess of Huntingdon to turn the poem into a hymn. The tune he composed is known both as the Italian Hymn and Moscow, the city where the once famous Giardini spent his final days living in poverty and obscurity. His hymn was published in Martin Madan's Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes of 1769. Selina Hastings (1707–1791) was prominent in the religious revival of the 18th century in England and Wales. She used her wealth and influence to support various evangelical efforts and even founded a a Christian denomination, the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Come, Thou Almighty King is used on Trinity Sunday and for Mid-Afternoon Prayer during Ordinary Time.

COME, THOU ALMIGHTY KING, Anonymous (Public Domain)

 1. Come, Thou almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing,
Help us to praise!
Father all glorious,
O'er all victorious,
Come and reign over us,
Ancient of days!

 2. Come, Thou incarnate Word,
Gird on Thy mighty sword,
Our prayer attend!
Come, and Thy people bless,
And give Thy word success:
Spirit of holiness,
On us descend!

 3. Come, Holy Comforter,
Thy sacred witness bear,
In this glad hour!
Thou, who almighty art,
Now rule in ev'ry heart,
And ne'er from us depart,
Spirit of pow'r!

 4. To the great One in Three,
Eternal praises be hence evermore;
Thy sovereign majesty
May we in glory see,
And to eternity
Love and adore.

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