SATB and Organ with optional cello. Text by John Mason. The music is the famous "Third Tune" from Archbishop Parker's Psalter (the theme from Vaughan Williams' Tallis Fantasia). Ethereal and stirring piece that will work anytime during Lent or when a somber piece is called for.
Thou wast, O God, and Thou wast blest,
Before the World began,
Of thine eternity possessed,
Before time's hourglass ran.
Thou needest none Thy praise to sing,
As if thy joy could fade;
Could'st Thou have needed anything,
Thou could'st have nothing made.
Great and good God it pleased Thee
Thy Godhead to declare;
And what Thy goodness did decree
Thy greatness did prepare
Thou spak'st and heav'n and earth appeared,
And answered to Thy call;
As if their maker's voice they heard,
which is the creature's all.
To whom, Lord, should I sing, but Thee,
The maker of my tongue?
Lord, other lords would seize on me,
But I to Thee belong,
As waters haste into the sea,
And earth into its earth,
So let my soul return to Thee,
From whom it had its birth.