All for Jesus

During this time whilst we can’t sing together in worship we are aiming to post a different hymn each week. For some Sundays it will be the obvious hymn in Common Praise for a particular Sunday and a brief commentary – partly with reference to The Penguin Book of Hymns edited by Ian Bradley, The Nation’s Favourite Hymns by Andrew Barr or research on the internet – will be published with our hymn choice for the week. The words of the hymn will be provided alongside a recording of the hymn, courtesy of Lucy Colbourne at home whilst Lancaster University is in lockdown. This will have been recorded by Billy Colbourne (Assistant Organist) and includes use of his Hauptwerk organ also at home, with the sounds of Salisbury Cathedral’s organ.

Charles Pavey – Organist & Choirmaster

All for Jesus

All for Jesus, all for Jesus,
this our song shall ever be;
for we have no hope, nor Saviour,
if we have not hope in thee.

All for Jesus, thou wilt give us
strength to serve thee, hour by hour;
none can move us from thy presence
while we trust thy love and power.

All for Jesus, at thine altar
thou wilt give us sweet content;
there, dear Lord, we shall receive thee
in the solemn sacrament.

All for Jesus, thou hast loved us;
all for Jesus, thou hast died;
all for Jesus, thou art with us;
all for Jesus crucified.

All for Jesus, all for Jesus,
this the church's song must be,
till, at last, we all are gathered
one in love and one in thee.

W J Sparrow-Simpson

Tune: All for Jesus
Music: John Stainer

CCLI - 1073121

 

 

 

 

Hymn Commentary 

Musically, the fame for this week’s Hymn for the Week comes from it being included in Stainer’s The Crucifixion. Following the events from the Garden of Gethsemane to Christ’s final breath on the cross, The Crucifixion (1887) is an oratorio for choir, two soloists and organ interspersed with congregational hymns.  All for Jesus is the final hymn in the work.  The composer, John Stainer, was born in Southwark, London in 1840.  In later years he and his wife annually travelled to Italy and, whilst in Verona, he died from a heart attack on Palm Sunday in 1901.  He was buried in Oxford a week later on 6 April.  Apart from The Crucifixion, Stainer’s compositions for the Anglican tradition are not regularly heard; however, he was very influential on church music during and after his lifetime.

The words of All for Jesus and indeed The Crucifixion were written by William John Sparrow Simpson (1859-1952)   He was an Anglican priest and wrote the words for another Stainer work, St Mary Magdalene, four years previously in 1883.  Born in London, he was ordained in 1882.  In 1904 he became chaplain of Ilford Hospital Chapel in Essex.  He lived in Ilford for the rest of his life where he also trained ordinands.  The post wasn’t onerous so he had plenty of time for research which resulted in the writing of more than fifty books and he became an authority on the influential Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD).

Stainer’s The Crucifixion is also influential in another way in that it has also divided opinion.  History is kinder to it now despite the music’s Victorian excesses (which some of us are quite happy to admit to enjoying) but there is no doubting how, for some, Passiontide isn’t Passiontide without this music.  It encourages a personal response (as I also suggested in the week’s Anthem for the Week O Taste and See) although All for Jesus itself is something more of a congregational showstopper if we are allowed such things after the re-telling of Christianity’s most basic truth. 

Charles Pavey - Organist & Choirmaster

Anthem for the Week