English Selection of "Siionin virret" (Hymns of Zion)

Nr 1

1.
We gather in your portals,
O God, our help before.
Have mercy on us mortals
and let us in the door.
Can you, Lord, hear us knocking,
us, lowest of the low?
Can you hear us beseeching?
Please, Lord, your grace bestow!

2.
You promise all who ask you:
You surely shall receive!
And your great door will open
for those who do believe.
You gave us, Lord, your own word.
We trust it and your grace.
Your guidance never has erred,
it shows us every pace.

3.
We all are sorely lacking,
just like an empty bowl
whose sides are sadly cracking,
whose base is but a hole.
Have mercy on us, Father!
Please mould us all anew.
With hope eternal fill us,
and keep us close to you.


Martti Rautanen in Ndonga 1921,K. Pispa in Finnish 2005,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

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Nr 2

1.
All pilgrims on the narrow way
they journey homeward ever;
and though they in this world must stay,
they know it’s not forever.
For them no permanent abode
on this, their long and dusty road,
where all hearts yearn for heaven.

2-3.
Our path is lined with rock and thorn,
and strait the gate that leads there.
Its anguish, trials, pain and scorn
sojourners here must all bear.
Temptations seek to lead astray
and weariness to turn away
these pilgrims from their journey.

6.
Oh, precious Jesus, Saviour sweet,
provide us with direction.
We who are weak kneel at your feet
requesting your protection.
We cannot take a single stride
without your strength to stem the tide
of sin that would engulf us.

8.
Forgive the sins that bear us down,
release us from their power.
Cleanse us of filth, our grime dark brown,
the shame that makes us cower.
Our cuts and bruises heal by grace,
renew us, Lord, reveal your face.
Strike down the adversaries.


Probably Henrik Renqvist 1827, W. Malmivaara 1893,
Finnish Hymn Book 1938, 1986, J. Löytty 2011,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

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Nr 5

1.
In search of your great grace to be,
to yet believe though I don’t see –
oh, God, almighty Lord, teach me!
To you I bring my anxious plea.

2.
Give me true courage to believe
that on your shoulders I can leave
my failures, sins and lack of love
and place my hope in God above.

4.
Though poor and blind and lame and numb,
to you, Lord, help me yet to come.
Of good I lived in ignorance,
but you are my deliverance.

5.
Oh, help me, Lord, to stay awake,
your promises in faith to take.
Your blood will cleanse me, make me whole
so peace can fill my restless soul.

7.
When all I trusted falls away,
your grace with me will surely stay.
In grace my refuge I have found.
It is my only solid ground.


Johan Holmberg 1743, E. Lagus in Finnish 1790, ren. W. Malmivaara 1893, J. Haavio 1971, H. Lipiäinen 2013,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

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Nr 9

1.
As a stranger on earth I wander
on the way to my home up yonder.
I see people in crowds rushing past –
none I know in the surge gushing fast,
roving by streams of Babylon.

2.
Holy Zion is there my fair goal,
but my hardships have taken their toll:
I no longer have one clear intent,
as I am I may well be content –
roving by streams of Babylon.

3.
How could one such as I once be yours,
enter in, as I hope, through free doors,
when in sin I am wand’ring astray,
and my path winds from God far away,
roving by streams of Babylon?

6.
Gracious Lord, we all call for your aid
as in sin’s ways we see vigour fade.
Rescue us from grim death and its sting
so to you we can joyfully sing
resting by lovely Zion’s stream.


Albert Johan Soveri 1911, ren. J. Haavio 1971,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

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Nr 13

1.
Just as I am, Lord, teach me
that I may come to you.
In weakness I can there flee
and find a refuge true.
When sin has me confounded,
by your love I’m surrounded.
You are the sinner’s friend.

2.
My faith is not sufficient
to constantly believe.
My hope, too is deficient –
I fear it will deceive.
True comfort in times dreary,
strength for my soul so weary
in you, Lord, I would find.

4.
As guide upon my passage,
dear Holy Spirit, come!
Please keep me safe from damage
and help when I succumb.
You make the dark as bright day,
and keep me in the right way,
you lighten every load.

5.
On sure and strong foundation
I rest my glad belief.
The cross of our salvation
is where I find relief.
Though seas and waves are swelling,
they cannot shake my dwelling,
nor can death’s vanquished rage.


Lars T. Nyberg 1743, E. Lagus in Finnish 1790,
ren. W. Malmivaara 1891, J. Haavio 1971, J. Ikola 2016
in English Erja Kuhalampi

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Nr 62

1.
Jesus Christ, our Saviour, champion,
Lion strong of Judah’s clan,
draw now your victorious saber,
come, fulfill your saving plan.
To you every angel sings,
source of all created things.

2.
Look to us, eternal Sower!
Crops are dry and gone their yield.
Through our tears for rainfall pleading,
as the thistles fill the field.
Drought rules here and all’s amiss –
Jesus will you allow this?

3.
Jesus Christ, you came to earth once
on a mission all to save.
You must in me see some worth still –
Come, release now sin’s poor slave.
In our midst, Lord, take your place,
heal your people by your grace.

4.
You once vanquished evil’s power,
Love’s sword smote it, caused its loss.
You show strength by bearing torment –
This is why we love your cross.
Jesus’ wounds from sin release,
through them there can now be peace.


Lars T. Nyberg 1745, E. Lagus in Finnish 1790,
ren. W. Malmivaara 1893, J. Haavio 1971, J. Julkunen 2015,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

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Nr 175

1.
Father, bless our precious homes
bless those who are dearest.
Keep us far from what we fear.
We would have you nearest.
Close to you I long to stay.
Be with me both night and day,
Jesus, God and Saviour.

2.
Tiresome, dreary everyday -
In its grey we’re wading.
Happy and joy come anyway
when we have you aiding.
Close to you I long to stay.
Be with me both night and day,
Jesus, God and Saviour.

3.
Help us who are weak and bare
so we do not flounder.
Teach us that we need to share,
make our friendships sounder.
Close to you I long to stay.
Be with me both night and day,
Jesus, God and Saviour.

4.
God, we pray that deeper love
in our homes might flourish.
Give us guidance from above –
our frail faith now nourish.
Close to you I long to stay.
Be with me bot night and day,
Jesus, God and Saviour.


Jaakko Löytty 1988, ren. 2010,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission of Warner/Chappell Music Finland

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Nr 181

1.
Winds will push the traveller,
causing one to stagger.
Jeers and insults often bring
pain that’s like a dagger.

Chorus:
Please, O gracious Lord, guide me
who without you cannot see.

2.
If I cannot get a taste
for my life, its savour,
as a salt I go to waste –
I can give no flavour.

3.
Show me where I ought to be;
I am lost without you.
I would like to really help,
not just be about to.

4.
If your guidance for me does
not become much clearer,
how can I then be a friend
who draws others nearer?

5.
Lack of justice in our world
causes disaffection.
God of heaven, be the one
giving us direction!

Jaakko Löytty 1988,in English Erja Kuhalampi

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission of Warner/Chappell Music Finland

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Nr 227

1.
Lord Jesus, give me shelter,
hide me beneath your wings.
You are my safe protection;
to you my spirit sings.
Lord, be my light and wisdom,
my guide in paths unknown.
Fill every day and let me
live by your grace alone.

2.
Forgive my sins and make me
as clean as whitest snow.
Your Spirit send, renew me
so you in me can grow.
Now we both great and smaller
all ask with one accord:
a night of peaceful slumber
grant us, o gracious Lord.

Lina Sandell 1865, in Finnish 1900,
ren. in Finnish Hymn Book 1938,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

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Nr 241

1.
Even though the path
ever upward rises,
I must needs go on –
stopping brings no prizes.
I will get there still,
feasting on the hill.

2.
I am weary, weak,
but I must not falter.
I must reach the peak.
Straining, I won’t alter,
though amidst the pain,
all may seem in vain.

3.
On the path to bliss
we may have much sorrow.
Rather that than miss
what waits in the morrow.
Jesus, please help me
always this to see.

John Bunyan 1678, Jakob Johan Malmberg in Finnish 1809,
ren. W. Malmivaara 1893, J. Haavio 1971, SV 2016,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

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Nr 243

1.
An unknown pathway winds away before our eyes,
where we cannot brave the howling winds unaided.
You promise, Lord, to guide us over lows and highs.
Come and help us now, we will not be dissuaded.

Chorus:
Though I trip and stumble, hardly cope,
Yet my heart still clings on to this hope:
I have found a home in two countries.

2.
Beyond the desert and the thirsty mountain range,
and the swell of mighty waters flooding round me,
in blackest night a prayer I whisper faint, estranged:
If I live or die, you rule the fate that’s bound me.

Chorus

3.
A garden, too, may flourish in the desert sand;
tender sprouts of faith you raise up in the meek dew.
Have mercy, Lord, and let us see to heaven’s land,
cover not your face from those of us who seek you.

Chorus

4.
I see my life sketched out upon the wayside sand.
Praise the Lord, for he has given first, then taken.
At journey’s end my longing I do understand:
it’s a dream of home I never have forsaken.

Chorus

Kaija Pispa 1995,
in English Erja Kuhalampi

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission of Warner/Chappell Music Finland

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