#382 O Day of Rest and Gladness

Words by Christopher Wordsworth   (1807-1885)

Music by Gesangbuch der Herzogl, Hofkapelle, 1784


O day of rest and gladness,

O day of joy and light

O balm of care sadness,

Most beautiful, most bright

On thee, the high and lowly,

Who bend before the throne,

Sing, holy, holy, holy,

To the Eternal One.


Thou art a port protected

From storms that round us rise,

A garden intersected

With streams of paradise;

Thou art a cooling fountain

In life’s dry, dreary sand;

From thee, like Pisgah’s mountain,

We view our promised land.


A day of sweet reflection

Thou art,a day of love;

A day to raise affection

From earth to things above.

New graces ever gaining

From this our day of rest

We seek the rest remaining

In mansions of the blest.

      Nephew of poet William Wordsworth, Christopher was both a scholar and athlete in his student days. Later, he served as headmaster of Harrow Boys School (1836-1850), which Winston Churchill would attend a century or so later. Wordsworth was also Vicar at Stanford-in-the-Vale, Berkshire (1850-1869), and Archdeacon of Westminster, and became Bishop of Lincoln in 1868. A recognized Greek scholar, he also wrote theological and other works. Of his hymns, he said, “It is the first duty of a hymn to teach sound doctrine and thence to save souls.”