Someone asked for "Let all mortal flesh keep silence." We sang it and I fell in love.
The haunting melody, the word pairings, the ideas, the alleluias at the end, the age of the hymn. I love everything about the hymn; it is my very favorite.
For word pairings, I love "mortal flesh" "keep silence" "ponder nothing earthly minded" "full homage to demand" ... and that's in the first verse!
We never sang it at that church again.
Jason and I married in December (next Wednesday, we'll celebrate 15 years!) and I asked for it to be played during the prelude to our wedding. The organist said, as an Advent hymn, that's perfect. She worked it in.
When we came to our current church, and our pastor came, we started to sing it somewhat regularly for Communion Hymn. The second verse talks about how he gives himself for heavenly food.
N-boy has long picked out the tune on the piano and riffed on it, knowing that I love the music so much. Now, he is learning it on organ. He played it several times during his practice session on Tuesday, and I have to say, this is a tune meant to be played on an organ with the depth and vitality of the tune; the melancholic, yet restrained joy in the words.
Fernando Ortega, on one of my favorite Christmas albums, sings an achingly beautiful version. You can hear it on YouTube (not a huge fan of the Second Commandment breaking in the video).
Do you sing this in your congregation?