By the dim and flaring lamps

by chuckofish

Today is Memorial Day and also John Wayne’s birthday!

You can watch war movies all day on TCM. Twelve O’Clock High (1949)–one of my favorites is on tonight, followed by another great one, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).

Or you can choose to watch John Wayne movies.

mustache_bigEither way, have a good day and take some time to remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces.

Here is a great rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861 to the tune of “John Brown’s Body”:

Have you ever read all the lyrics to this wonderful hymn? Well, here they are:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:

His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,

They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;

I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:

His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:

“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal”;

Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,

Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;

He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!

Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.

As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,

While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,

He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,

So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,

Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah.

Our God is marching on.

And here is a special prayer from the BCP for today:

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.