26 October 2008


I'm not sure what is going on in my life, but for the past two weeks I've been lonesome for my childhood. Perhaps not lonesome for that childhood, but lonesome for all those people from my childhood who are no longer here to share my life. Particularly, I've been missing my "old Swedes" who helped to raise me by osmosis and helped to make me the person I am. Today, for Evensong, I've chosen a hymn that takes me straight back to my early years and those Swedes. I am going to post it in two versions, the first is in Swedish, as I learned it. The second is as an anthem by St. Olaf College.

Children of the Heavenly Father is a unique hymn in that unless on has some connection to the Swedish Lutheran Church, this song is virtually unknown. As a favour to me, please listen to it in Swedish first.

Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.