First of the week and finest day
Source: Singing the Faith: 149
Words: David Mowbray
Music: “Galilee” by Philip Armes
Metre: 88.88. Long Metre
Ideas for use
This text is one of just five hymns that make up the Singing the Faith section headed The Lord’s Day. It’s a tiny section and yet one of the most important and flexible in the hymn book. This is because each hymn, in its own way, encapsulates three core elements of Christian belief:
- in a loving creator God
- in the resurrected, life-giving Christ
- in the presence of a dynamic Holy Spirit in our present hopes and actions
For this reason, you may wish to consider using this and the other four hymns in the section (see below) in a great many number of contexts. For example: services of communion; as a gathering hymn; at Easter or on the first Sunday of the New Year; or to express the heart of Christian mission and evangelism.
“First of the week” works particularly well as a gathering hymn. (See also the Gathering in God’s Presence section.)
You may wish to use the hymns in The Lord’s Day section as the basis for a small group discussion. Read one or more hymns out loud together, and ask yourselves these questions:
- What opportunities and challenges do present-day Christian’s face when they plan to mark The Lord’s Day?
- Is the Lord’s Day a day of rest? If so, how? If not, why not?
- In the Western Isles of Scotland, there has been a long-held tradition of “shutting down” on a Sunday. That tradition is now eroding – see this news article). When we look at the range of activities available in our communities every Sunday (sport; shopping…), can we still call it “the Lord’s Day” with any integrity?
See This is the day: a longer exploration of The Lord’s Day hymns.
This section of Singing the Faith also includes:
Come, let us with our Lord arise (StF 148, Charles Wesley)
This is the day of rest (StF 150, John Bell)
This is the day the Lord has made (StF 151, Isaac Watts)
This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made (StF 152, Anon)