Music Notes for June 26, 2022

Hymn of the Day: "The Son of God, Our Christ" ELW 584
Text: Edward M. Blumenfeld, 1927
Music: SURSUM CORDA, Alfred M. Smith, 1879-1971, arr. Richard W. Hillert

Between 1955 and 1957 the Hymn Society of America published ten “New Hymns for Youth by Youth” of which this was the first choice. Its language was gently made more inclusive in the LBW. Edward M. Blumenfeld wrote poetry in high school so he was comfortable writing the text for this hymn. He just barely made the Hymn Society’s thirty-year-old cut for authors.

The tune, Sursum Corda, submitted anonymously for consideration to the committee that prepared The Hymnal 1940, was originally composed for the eucharistic hymn, “Lift up your hearts.” Alfred Morton Smith eventually surfaced as the composer of this tune named for the Latin of the original text, “Sursum Corda.” He is known to have contributed 2 other tunes to the hymn tune literature. “Sursum Corda” is the most popular and is now paired with a wide variety of texts.