O day of radiant gladness

#48 O day of radiant gladness     

Text:      Christopher Wordsworth


‘O day of radiant gladness,” a six-stanza text, is the first hymn in Christopher Wordsworth’s Holy Year (London, 1862).   Wordsworth--nephew of the great lake-poet, William Wordsworth--was born in 1807. He was educated at Winchester, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A., with high honors, in 1830; M.A. in 1833; D.D. in 1839. He was elected Fellow of his College in 1830, and public orator of the University in 1836; received Priest's Orders in 1835; head master of Harrow School in 1836; Canon of Westminster Abbey in 1844; Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge in 1847-48; Vicar of Stanford-in-the-Vale, Berks, in 1850; Archdeacon of Westminster, in 1865; Bishop of Lincoln, in 1868. His writings are numerous, and some of them very valuable. Most of his works are in prose. His "Holy Year; or, Hymns for Sundays, Holidays, and other occasions throughout the Year," contains 127 hymns.

Because of the confusion created by the poet in the association of biblical events of the first day of the week with those of the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, many changes have been made in the text by the Text Committee. For example, Christians celebrate the first day of the week the day of resurrection, instead of the seventh day, the day of rest. Therefore, the original first line of the text has been altered from “O day of rest and gladness” to “O day of radiant gladness.”

The tune name means “There flew a little woodbird,” the opening line of the secular words with which this music was originally associated.

Here's a nice rendition to enjoy: YOUTUBE