Hyperion Records

Ellers
Though his output as a hymn writer was not great, John Ellerton was highly influential in the preparation of hymn books. He will be remembered for this and for his other great evening hymn ‘The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended’.

This is a hymn for one place only in one service, that is at the end of an evening service. At Anglican Evensong the dismissal has often been borrowed from the Communion Service: ‘The Peace of God which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.’ This hymn, which has so often been sung after those words, is a meditation on that prayer. It reflects first on the worship now ending, then on the night ahead. Then it turns to the deep need for peace in all aspects of our life, and, in the final verse, peace at the end of our life. ‘Peace’ is the word that ends the hymn.

The composer was the organist of The Temple Church, London. The tune is beautifully suited to the mood of the hymn, with its gentle climb upwards in the first two lines, its meditative third line hovering about that upper range, and its descent to repeated notes at the end.

from notes by Alan Luff 2004

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