FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH                                                  written in 1864

The Story

Since Roman times, the town of Bath, on the banks of the Avon River in England, has been considered one of the most beautiful spots in the British Isles. Enclosed by an amphitheater of hills and blessed with warm springs, it has been both a pleasure resort and a health spa for the ailing.

Folliot Pierpoint, the author of this hymn, was born in Bath… but left to attend Cambridge University, where he became a classical scholar. When he was 29-years-old, he returned to his hometown. The beauty of the countryside in the late Spring caused his heart to well up with emotion and inspired this hymn.

Each verse thanks God for a different kind of beauty. In its original form, “For the Beauty of the Earth” was a Communion hymn of 8 verses. Each verse concluded with the words, “Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this, our sacrifice of praise”… alluding to Hebrews 13:15.

The Song

Read this hymn, then – today – take a 20-minute walk, trying to focus on nothing but the incredible beauty of nature God created.

For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies,

for the Love which from our birth over and around us lies:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,

hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and brain’s delight,

for the mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,

friends on earth, and friends above; for all gentle thoughts and mild:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For each perfect Gift of Thine to our race so freely given,

graces human and Divine, flowers of earth, and buds of Heaven:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For Thy Bride that evermore lifteth holy hands above,

offering up on every shore this Pure Sacrifice of Love:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For Thy Martyrs’ crown of light, for Thy Prophets’ eagle eye,

for Thy bold Confessors’ might, for the lips of Infancy:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For Thy Virgins’ robes of snow, for Thy Maiden Mother mild,

for Thyself, with hearts aglow, Jesu, Victim undefiled,

Offer we at Thine own Shrine Thyself, sweet Sacrament Divine.

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