Once, only once, and once for all

Once, only once, and once for all. William Bright* (1824-1901). First published in Bright’s Hymns and Other Poems (1866), in six stanzas. It was then printed in the Appendix (1868) to the First Edition of A&M, with alterations approved by Bright himself, and it appeared in The Hymnary* (1872). It is based on phrases from the Prayer of Consecration at Holy Communion, with the repetition of ‘once’ emphasising the uniqueness of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross: ‘who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world;…’. Stanza 4 of Bright’s original text began: Our Priest and...

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