For the Beauty of the Earth

GodTube Staff For the Beauty of the Earth
"For the Beauty of the Earth.", written by Folliot Pierpoint in 1864, praises the beautiful world that we inhabit and the many things he loved. He mentions many aspects of existence for which he is grateful, including the earth and skies, tree and flower, human love and "best gift divine." This joyous hymn is a great reminder of all the beauty that surrounds us and to not take this for granted!

1 For the beauty of the earth, 
for the glory of the skies, 
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies. 

Christ, our Lord, to you we raise 
this, our hymn of grateful praise. 

2 For the wonder of each hour 
of the day and of the night, 
hill and vale and tree and flower, 
sun and moon and stars of light, [Refrain ]

3 For the joy of human love, 
brother, sister, parent, child, 
friends on earth, and friends above, 
for all gentle thoughts and mild, [Refrain] 

4 For yourself, best gift divine, 
to the world so freely given, 
agent of God's grand design: 
peace on earth and joy in heaven. [Refrain]

Songwriters Folliot S. Pierpoint Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind For the Beauty of the Earth

The initial poem was published in eight, four-line stanzas under the title, “The Sacrifice of Praise.”  British hymnologist J. R. Watson proposes, “It is said to have been inspired by the view of Folliot Pierpoint's native city of Bath on a spring day.” The original refrain, “Christ, our God, to thee we raise/This our sacrifice of praise,” reflects the theology of the Lord’s Supper as a sharing in Christ’s sacrifice. “For the beauty of the earth” appeared in the final “Miscellaneous Hymns” section of Lyra Eucharistic.  Changes made to the hymn and accepted by the author made it suitable for a larger scope of liturgical opportunities.

Pictured Below:  Pierpoint's hometown of Bath in the spring.

Pierpoint's hometown of Bath

The detailed images of this text make it excellent for children of all ages. The metaphysical outlook of this hymn coincides with many others on this subject. For example, earlier hymns by Isaac Watts – “I sing the almighty power of God” from 1715 – and Cecil Frances Alexander – “All things bright and beautiful” from 1848 – focus on the natural created structure. These hymns were written to illustrate the first article of the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God the Father, Maker of heaven and earth,” for relevance to younger readers and listeners.  Pierpoint, writing for the Eucharist, extends the discussion beyond the natural created order to humanity, the church, and, in the original, the martyrs, prophets, and the incarnation.

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For the Beauty of the Earth

For the Beauty of the Earth - BarlowGirl

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