At the front of the hymnal, Lutheran Service Book offers a calendar of commemorations, men and women from the Old and New Testaments and from the first nineteen centuries of the Church. The commemoration given for June 12th is The Ecumenical Council of Niceaea, AD 325. The Nicene Creed, written in large part to counteract the errors of Arianism, contains these familiar words, "God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made..." LSB took "O God of God, O Light of Light" and moved it from the Epiphany section of the hymnal, where it had been in Lutheran Worship, and placed it in the Praise and Adoration section of LSB, thereby offering this text for increased use beyond the Epiphany season, perhaps for...The Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, AD 325 on June 12th! The hymn text was written by John Julian, first appearing in Congregational Hymns, 1884.
1. O God of God, O Light of light,
O Prince of Peace and King of kings:
To You in heaven's glory bright
The song of praise forever rings.
To Him who sits upon the throne,
The Lamb once slain but raised again,
Be all the glory He has won,
All thanks and praise! Amen, amen.
2. For deep in prophets' sacred page,
And grand in poets' winged word,
Slowly in type, from age to age
The nations saw their coming Lord;
Till through the deep Judean night
Rang out the song, "Goodwill to men!"
Sung by the firstborn sons of light,
It echoes now, "Goodwill!" Amen.
3. That life of truth, those deeds of love,
That death so steeped in hate and scorn--
These all are past, and now above
He reigns, our king once crowned with thorn.
Lift up your heads, O mighty gates!
So sang that host beyond our ken.
Lift up your heads, your King awaits.
We lift them up. Amen, amen.
4. Then raise to Christ a mighty song,
And shout His name, His mercies tell!
Sing, heav'nly host, your praise prolong,
And all on earth, your anthem swell!
All hail, O Lamb for sinners slain!
Forever, let the song ascend!
Worthy the Lamb, enthroned to reign,
All glory, pow'r! Amen, amen.
Two words are worth noting in this text. A "type" is a person or a thing in the Old Testament era that in some way foreshadowed the coming Christ.
The word "ken" means "knowledge," so something that is beyond our "ken" means something beyond our realm of experience or knowledge.