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When I was a child, through to my early teens, I felt a strong leaning toward the Christian Church. I attended, and later taught Sunday School, and -- a thing that gave me great pleasure -- I sang in the choir. First as a soprano, soaring up to the eaves with the descant, later as an alto, constantly bewailing the lack of good alto parts, but underpinning and adding richness nonetheless.

Over time, and for various personal reasons, I found my faith crumbling and by my early twenties, it was gone. I find, now, that I can't go into a church, even for a wedding, and sing hymns or carols without feeling like a hypocrite -- which makes me very sad, since it cuts me off from something I've always loved to do.

This particular hymn is one of the things that most makes me regret my lack of faith. The tune is thunderous and full of glory, the words celebratory, resonant and expressing everything that a God ought to be.

O worship the King,
All glorious above;
And gratefully sing
His power and His love. 1
Our shield and defender,
The Ancient of Days;
Pavilioned in splendor
And girded with praise.

O tell of His might,
O sing of His grace;
Whose robe is the light,
Whose canopy, space.
His chariots of wrath
The deep thunderclouds form;
And dark is His path
On the wings of the storm.

The earth with its store
Of wonders untold;
Almighty Thy power
Hath founded of old.
Hath established it fast
By a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast
Like a mantel the sea.

Thy bountiful care,
what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air;
It shines in the light.
It streams from the hills,
It descends to the plain;
And sweetly distills,
In the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust,
And feeble as frail.
In Thee do we trust,
Nor find Thee to fail.
Thy mercies, how tender,
How firm to the end;
Our Maker, Defender,
Redeemer and Friend.

1dann informs me that in some hymnals this line is rendered "His wonderful love"

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