March 7, 2013

Rise Up, O Men of God

Sent Forth to Serve the Needs of Men

Rise Up, O Men of God was written by American Presbyterian clergyman, William Pierson Merrill (1867-1954). It was first published in 1911 in the Pres­by­ter­i­an news­pa­per, The Con­ti­nent. The editor of the paper had expressed to Merrill the need for a hymn of brotherhood in the Church. He turned the idea over in his mind till one day, traveling onboard a streamer on Lake Michigan headed to Chicago the words suddenly came to mind. It is sung to the tune, Festal Song written in 1894 by American composer and organist, William Henry Walter (1825-1893). In the Liturgy of the Hours, Rise Up, O Men of God is used in the Common of Doctors of the Church.

Tune: Festal Song

RISE UP, O MEN OF GOD by William Merrill, 1911 (Public Domain)

1. Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

2. Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

3. Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

4. Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

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