Through the Universe, a Story
Words: F. Richard Garland, 2014
Music: tune, HYFRYDOL, Rowland H. Prichard, 1811-1887; harm. The New English Hymnal, 1906
Scriptures: Psalm 19; Psalm 8; John 1:1-14 Themes: Christmas; Bethlehem; Immanuel; nativity; creation; the universe; God's glory; God's call
Retired United Methodist pastor and hymn writer F. Richard Garland writes in his essay, "The Gift of the Universe" of the profound impact on him as a child of an evening spent star gazing with his mother. He writes, "'Through the Universe, a Story' looks at the birth of Jesus as a gift of the universe that has echoed through creation from the very beginning. It is rooted in my essay and my experiences of the timeless beauty of the night sky, with references to Psalms 19 and 8." The music tune HYFRYDOL is by Rowland Prichard, an amateur precentor who composed and published a number of tunes in Welsh periodicals. In the Welsh language, "hyfrydol" literally means pleasant, melodious. With the exception of only one note, the entire tune falls compactly within an interval of a fifth. The single note outside the fifth contains each stanza's climactic words: "good will," "glory" and "born."