“Liberala Himnaro”

There are those time I wonder how I ever ended up among the Unitarian Universalists. Then there are those times I go, “Oh yeah, there’s that . . . .”

The pocket Esperanto hymnal I won on eBay arrived today.

The Liberala Himnaro (Liberal Hymnal) was published in 1948 London by the Esperanto Unio de Liberalaj Religianoj (Esperanto Union of Liberal Religionists). A wonderfully optimistic out-from-the-ashes effort — remember, food rationing was still in effect in the UK — and a wise selection of hymns, as the incipits (first lines, used as titles) come in English, too. Indeed, if I get a chance, I’ll type out the hymn list.
A words-only paperback, it is keyed to three hymnals for the music, including the classic Unitarian and Free Christian Hymns of Worship. (If any readers in the UK want to send me a copy of Hymns of Worship Revised from the mythic “box in the basement”, feel free.) Note that hymn 2, Oliver Wendell Holmes’s “Ho Patro Dum Mallernas Ni” (“Our Father while out hearts unlearn”) was reprinted with the permission of the Beacon Press.

Hubby is amused by it all, and tells me he loves me. In Pig Latin.

Patro nia, kiu estas en la ĉielo,
Via nomo estu sanktigita.
Venu Via regno,
plenumiĝu Via volo,
kiel en la ĉielo, tiel ankaŭ sur la tero.
Panon nian ĉiutagan donu al ni hodiaŭ.
Kaj pardonu al ni niajn ŝuldojn,
kiel ankaŭ ni pardonas al niaj ŝuldantoj.
Kaj ne konduku nin en tenton,
sed liberigu nin de la malbono:
ĉar Viaj estas la regno, la povo kaj la gloro, eterne.


By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Are you by any chance familiar with the Esperanto hymnal Espero Internacia edited by Ann E. Beatty and published ca. 1920 by the Christian Home Orphanage of Council Bluffs, Iowa? I am currently employed in trying to compile a new American Esperanto hymnal, and since Ms. Beatty’s volume is by far the most voluminous of my predecessors (240 hymns, all with four-part settings) as well as just a flat-out odd songbook (in addition to lots of Fanny Crosby and very small quantities of Great Hymns of the Church, it has titles like “United States of Europe”, “Save United States from Rum”, and “Aim of the Corn Band”!) I am eager to find out anything I can about the volume, and to locate English originals (or versions), if they exist, of some of the really unusual items in it, which seem to partake (in Esperanto or any other language) of something of the quality of page-long stanzaic hapax legomena.

    Leland = Haruo

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