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Well, that one is particularly tough, but when the chorus comes around each time the congregation can sing with all the more gusto for having finally found stable footing again.

I haven't heard that hymn in many years, since I ceased attending Evensong at an Anglican parish.

Some of his other hymn settings are perfectly sturdy for amateur singers though: "All Creatures of Our God and King", "For All the Saints", and (my favourite) "Come Down, O Love Divine".

And, by the way, I believe it should be Ralph Vaughan Williams...

Ha. The thought of checking that passed through my mind but I ignored the warning.

I don't know "Come Down" but if I recall "For All the Saints" has a few tricky spots, though nowhere near as bad as "Hail Thee...".

I can't say I regained my footing at the chorus, because I didn't even venture into the verses.

The music of the verses on Hail is esoteric. I think the other hymns mentioned are reasonably accessible. People in congregations that I've been in sing it with gusto.

Reasonably, yes. But as I recall there are some sort of unexpected twists. Can't remember them clearly enough to say exactly what. I do wonder if "Hail" is really just meant for choirs. It includes passages that are meant for the men and women separately. I guess some congregations can handle it.

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