Hymn Sung at Consecration

August 1, 2014

For the Consecration Ceremony for the Cemetery in 1831, Reverend John Pierpont, Unitarian minister and Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard,  wrote a new hymn just for the occasion.  The crowd of over 2,000 spectators joined him in singing it (to the tune of “Old Hundred”).


To thee, O God, in humble trust,
Our hearts their cheerful incense burn,
For this thy word, “Thou art of dust,
And unto dust shalt thou return,”

For what were life, life’s work all done,
The hopes, joys, loves, that cling to clay,
All, all, departed, one by one,
And yet life’s load borne on for aye!

Decay! Decay! ’tis stamped on all!
All bloom, in flower and flesh, shall fade;
Ye whispering trees, when we shall fall,
Be our long sleep beneath your shade!

Here to thy bosom, mother Earth,
Take back, in peace, what thou hast given;
And all that is of heavenly birth,
O God in peace, recall to heaven!


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