#525 The Church’s one foundation
Words: Samuel John Stone
Music: Aurelia, written by Samuel S. Wesley
In the mid-nineteenth century, Bishop John William Colenso of Natal raised a ruckus in the Catholic Church when he challenged the historicity and authority of many of the Old Testament books. Bishop Gray of Capetown wrote a stirring response of defense, which, in 1866, inspired Samuel Stone, to write this beloved hymn, basing his text on Article 9 of the Apostle’s Creed: “The Holy Catholic (Universal) Church; the Communion of Saints; He is the Head of this Body.”
Now an affirmation of Christ as the foundation of our faith, we sing this hymn with those who have gone before us and with Christians around the world, declaring that beyond any theological differences, cultural divides, and variances in practice, we are all part of the same body, the body of Christ.
Composed by Samuel S. Wesley, AURELIA (meaning "golden") was published as a setting for “Jerusalem the Golden” in Selection of Psalms and Hymns, which was compiled by Charles Kemble and Wesley in 1864. Though opinions vary concerning the tune's merits (noted English organist and composer Henry J. Gauntlett once condemned it as "secular twaddle"), it has been firmly associated with Stone's text since tune and text first appeared together in the 1868 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern.
Enjoy this lovely a capella rendition by the Choir of Kings College, Cambridge. YOUTUBE