Home Equipping Leaders Asian American Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month #9

Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month #9

"O God in Heaven": Words and music by Elena G. Maquiso, 1961.

This hymn from the Philippines appears as no. 119 in The United Methodist Hymnal (1989). It was translated by D. T. Niles in 1964 for publication in the E.A.C.C. Hymnal (East Asia Christian Conference) in 1964. The harmonization in the United Methodist Hymnal was by Charles H. Webb, then Dean of the Indiana University School of Music and a member of the 1989 Hymnal Revision Committee. In its desire to use inclusive language, the Hymnal Revision Committee altered the original language: "Father in heaven" to "O God in heaven" and "sonship" to "kinship."

Elena G. Maquiso’s music first appeared as an offertory hymn in the 1962 hymnal Awitan Ta Ang Dyos with the Philippines Cebuano language text "Panalangini ang mong halad" ("Bless Our Offering"). Maquiso was educated in the Philippines and the USA, earning the Doctor of Religious Education in 1960 from the Hartford Theological Foundation. She taught at Silliman University in the Philippines.

Michael Hawn quotes I-to Loh in suggesting the text is not by Maquiso but likely by Niles.

Carlton Young, Companion to The United Methodist Hymnal, 1993

"Song’s unusual ancestry a mark of Asian hymns" by C. Michael Hawn.

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