Caroline Maria Noel suffered ill-health much of her life, as, it seems, did many of the women hymn-writers—and indeed many women—of her day. She wrote hymns to encourage others who were ill, but this is a hymn for Ascension Day, celebrating the triumph of the return of Jesus to heaven and the promise of his coming again. It is closely based on Philippians 2:5–11. Monk wrote this tune for these words for inclusion in the second edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1875). It carries these triumphant words forward in a practical and satisfying manner.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2001