This Blest Cup, My Heart’s Delight: 4 Pentecostal Songs for the Breaking of Bread (by D.P. Williams)

The Breaking of Bread was at the very heart of early Pentecostal piety here in the UK. If you really want to understand the spirituality of the early British Pentecostals, you need to observe them gathered around the Lord's Table. Like Charles Spurgeon before them, they considered the Lord's Supper to be 'the Holy of Holies ... the most sacred meeting-place between our souls and God.' At the Breaking of Bread, they expected to know and enjoy the closest and richest fellowship with Christ.

Of course we don't have a time machine to go back to early Pentecostal Breaking of Bread services. But what we do have are what they've left us written down about the Breaking of Bread, in their teaching, their testimonies, and their hymns.

The great pioneer of the academic study of Pentecostalism, Walter Hollenweger, famously observed that much of Pentecostal theology is passed on not by 'the summa theologica but the song'. 'Hymns,' Hollenweger wrote, 'are more decisive in their influence on the religious belief and practice of Pentecostals than is the literature of the Pentecostal movement. A Pentecostal lives with his hymns. He knows fifty or a hundred hymns, with several verses, by heart, as well as innumerable choruses ... The Pentecostal movement teaches people to sing who would otherwise remain dumb.'

So, where better to get a proper idea of early Pentecostal eucharistic piety than in their own Communion hymns!

D.P. Williams was one of the most prolific hymnwriters of early British Pentecostalism, and certainly the most prolific hymnwriter of the Apostolic Church. That so few of his hymns are known today is down to the fact that nearly all of them were written in Welsh. So, in order to retrieve a glimpse of an authentic Pentecostal piety centred on the Breaking of Bread, I've translated a few of D.P. Williams' Communion hymns.

Below you can find the translated words and links to Youtube lyric videos with the translated songs sung to the original tunes suggested in our Welsh hymnbook. But, of course, they would all work well to new tunes as well, if anyone ever wanted to give that a go! (I've put the videos together as a Playlist on YouTube here.)

With Reverence Lord

(If you can't see the video, click here.)

1. With reverence, Lord, to You in love Bowed at Your feet, I come; Though there’s no merit found in me I trust what Christ has done. 2. I know I’ll true acceptance find, The Cross is on my side! No law can ever turn away Calvary’s crimson tide. 3. Christ our Beloved Great High Priest Bring us to Heaven’s Throne; And for our pilgrimage on earth We trust Your grace alone. 4. Now once again, as oft before O Christ, I seek Your face; With You, my Shepherd, I’ll not lack Yours is abundant grace. 5. Fullness of Heaven’s peace I find, Here, as with You I meet, Riches of earth, with such a feast Never can they compete! 6. This Gracious Grape, my soul’s delight Will feed me with the Son; Here grace shows forth through this dark night, Your death until You come.

You Call Us, Lord, to Hear

(If you can't see the video, click here.)

1. You call us, Lord, to hear The gracious Word You’ve giv’n, Your heav’nly purpose now, To Break the Bread of Heav’n, Beneath the Cross this Table stands, You bid us come, with nail-pierced hands. 2. Betrayed unto the Cross, The Cov’nant ratified; You call us now to gaze On God’s wrath satisfied. From that wine Judas turned his feet – Heav’n and earth at this Table meet. 3. Good Jesus, I know not, In what way it could be, That You your body give, To us here from the Tree; Blessing is found in the cursed Cross, And Heaven through Your pain and loss. 4. Here at Your Table Lord, Through Your feast we draw near, Pour out Your Spirit now, To know Your presence dear; From this dark world, our eyes lift up, As we drink from redemption’s cup.

Jesus, My Heart's One True Desire!

(If you can't see the video, click here.)

1. Jesus, my heart’s one true desire! Longs, my soul, to see Your face; Joy in fullness, in Your presence, There enjoying richest grace: Sweet communion with my Saviour, Fellowship with Christ, ‘tis bliss! Here You feed me with Your body, Wonder of the Cross is this! 2. Here to gaze upon my Saviour, Sinless Lamb, for sinners slain; Love and mercy, deep compassion, Pard’ning Sin, for us You came: As I gaze upon Your glory, As I gaze upon Your Cross, You transform me to your image, All but Christ, I count but loss. 3. Here I see my Saviour’s merit, In His blood shed on the Tree; His blood’s glory has more beauty Than all this world offers me: Jesus! Only You my Saviour! None but You can satisfy! Jesus! My delight, My treasure! I rejoice for You are nigh! 4. Fading are all this world’s splendours, Nothing can with You compare. The slain Lamb is all my glory; Never let me roam elsewhere. Your smile shines with light of Heaven, To see Your face, bliss divine. Feasting ever at Your Table, I delight to call You mine.

O Lord Jesus, to You I come

(If you can't see the video, click here.)

1. O Lord Jesus, to You I come, In prayer, now your presence crave; Humbly I bow down to confess O Lord, none but You can save! Here in Your blood I’ve communion – This blest cup, my heart’s delight; Clinging to Your feet here in love, Your grace keeps me, day and night. 2. Here by grace, I look upon You, See the beauty of Your face; To the wretched You show Your love To the lowly, here, Your grace. In the Garden and Golgotha, Crown of thorns and piercèd side, Through Your agony and merit, Peace with God, and healing tide. 3. Here the substance of salvation, Here I feed from Calv’ry’s Cross, Here I taste a full salvation, By Life’s Author’s death and loss; All our enemies defeated: Christ has conquered death and hell! On my knees, I’ll join Your vict’ry, By Your merit, in You dwell. 4. Breathe Your Spirit now upon me, Draw me to Your heart in prayer; Grant me peace and sweet communion, To enjoy Your presence there. Purify my heart with Your love, By Your grace, perfect my ways; May I glorify my Saviour And obey Him all my days.