Hymn 31 See, your Hands Filled with Blossoming Flowers
Updated: Apr 10, 2021
Norwegian translation: Dine hender er fulle av Blomster; Italian
For reasons of copyright, for now, go to this link to see an English translation on the video. https://youtu.be/IwExcXps9DY
1. (I) See, your hands filled with blossoming flowers, Can you tell me who you will give them to? etc.
MEDITATION Any song that gets children singing the story of Jesus is precious! The Christian faith is based on accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is best passed on through these stories, not abstract theologies. Telling people about Jesus is by far the best missionary strategy. Stories are easy for children to hear and remember. This hymn allows them to be the characters in the story, something like a Christmas pageant, in this case, the disciples and Mary Magdalene who has just come to the disciples after seeing the risen Lord.
Luther urged his followers to read the Bible with their families, learn the catechism, and sing during daily devotions. In fact, the early pioneers who did not have pastors or congregations when they first arrived knew it was their job to do this in their homes. Small groups might gather on Sunday. The records of early congregations on the frontier show Bible reading occurred more frequently than regular services. They were usually in a home, led by a member of the congregation.
My great uncle, one of eight children, told me once about sitting around the table while my great-grandfather, Haakon, led them in devotions using Luther’s recommended form, in addition to reading sermons (postils) by Martin Luther on Sunday. “I tell you,” he said, with tears welling up in his eyes, “It makes a real impression on you when your Pa does this. It shows you what kind of people they are. And what is important.”
The tradition took. One of my earliest memories is waking up in their home on the family farm in Western Minnesota, early, hearing him and my great aunt reading their daily devotions and praying after breakfast. It makes an impression on you.
The Christian songs that have been written for children are best when they tell the story and when they are sung together as a family, or in a group. There is always the right time to sing, with all the gestures, “Zaccheus was a Wee Little Man” to a toddler. It is the vocation of parents and grandparents and others to teach the children songs and Bible stories so that when they are grown, they will remember them and teach their children.
There is nothing sweeter than hearing it again from a child. When my niece was three- years old, she told me the Easter gospel with such joy I will never forget it. She ended with wonder: “When Mary Magdalene and the women got to the tomb to put perfume on Jesus’ body, it was empty.” She raised her arms in joy. “And, Gracia, he was alive again!” He is risen indeed!
This song, with its question and answer form, delights children (and adults) with its vivid imagery and narrative. It was written by Marcello Giombini (1928-2003), a prolific Italian compo
ser, who wrote music for film soundtracks for “spaghetti westerns,” liturgical music, along with writing hymns and hymn tunes. He worked to renew Italian church music and conducted the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma. This hymn became popular in Scandinavia through the work of the late 20th century hymnal commissions in Sweden and Norway who were looking to update the language of hymnody. They shrewdly realized that the hymns had to tell the stories of Jesus because people no longer knew them. Lars Åke Lundberg translated it into Swedish, Svein Ellingsen into Norwegian.
Children’s choir https://youtu.be/IwExcXps9DY
Children’s choir https://youtu.be/-YVhOKpTi-8
Bedehus choir https://youtu.be/6OxGMQc0kUE
Italian version https://youtu.be/we8581wjt8U