The Glorious Spirits Shine

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Instrumental Only?

SATB Choir and Organ. A splendid "All Saints" anthem, but useful other times as well. Crawford Thoburn has arranged this American folk hymn (Vermont) to be a powerful and confident affirmation. Text by Isaac Watts.

According to The Makers of the Sacred Harp, "Vermont” was composed by William Billings and published in his book, The Singing-Master’s Assistant, in 1778. From there it made its way into various hymnals of the Sacred Harp tradition.


How bright these glorious spirits shine!
whence all their white array?
How came they to the blissful seats
of everlasting day.
Lo! these are they from suff’rings great,
who came to realms of light,
And in the blood of Christ have washed
those robes which shine so bright. 

Now, with triumphal palms, they stand
before the throne on high, 
And serve the God they love,
amidst the glories of the sky.
God's presence fills each heart with joy,
tunes ev’ry voice to sing:
By day and night, the sacred courts
with glad hosannas ring.

Hunger and thirst are felt no more,
nor suns with scorching ray;
God is their sun, whose cheering beams
diffuse eternal day.
The Lamb which dwells amidst the throne
shall o’er them still preside;
Feed them with nourishment divine,
and all their footsteps guide.

In pastures green God leads the flock,
where living streams appear;
And God’s own hand from ev’ry eye
shall wipe away each tear.
How bright these glorious spirits shine
with all their white array;
together at the blissful seat
of everlasting day!