Saturday, August 25, 2018

Smiling at Vespers

My favorite evening hymn is "The Day You Gave Us, Lord, Has Ended" (LBW #274) partly because the fourth stanza always makes me smile:
The sun, here having set, is waking
Your children under western skies,...
You see, I grew up in Southern California, 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. From childhood, when the Sun was setting for us, I've imagined it rising over Japan. But Japan ("The Land of the Rising Sun") is in the east, so (at least in my mind) the setting sun is waking children under eastern skies.

One evening I finally realized that the hymnwriter John Ellerton was from England, not California. And as a little boy he likely never thought he should be able to see the Sun setting behind Japan.
And hour by hour, as day is breaking,
Fresh hymns of thankful praise arise.

From a post of mine of a couple of years ago at ALPB Forum Online.