Evening Hymns

November 2, 2008

The hymn my wife are learning this week is a Thanksgiving hymn. Even though we have already celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving we still have American Thanksgiving to celebrate later this month. The words are by  Henry Alford and the music is called St. George’s Windsor by George J. Elvey. These are wonderful words of thankfulness expressed to the sovereign God of the universe!

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.


Evening Hymns

October 23, 2008

My wife and I, as part of our nightly devotions, are taking each  week to sing and learn a new hymn. This is our first week of doing this. We want to learn more hymns and when we have children to learn them too along with us. The hymn we started with is one that was sung at our wedding. It is a paraphrase of Psalm 23 by Isaac Watts called My Shepherd will Supply my Need. Perhaps you would learn it too as part of your devotions? Hymns teach us so much rich theology and are excellent tools especially for teaching children.

My shepherd will supply my need,
Jehovah is his name;
In pastures fresh he makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wand’ring spirit back
When I forsake his ways;
And leads me, for his mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread,
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days:
O may thy house be mine abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger or a guest,
But like a child at home.


Another Old Christmas Hymn

December 19, 2007

“The Sussex Carol” appeared in 1684 in a collection called A Small Garland of Pious and Godly Songs.  The author is unknown, but may have been a Catholic Bishop in Ireland in the 1500s or 1600s.  The version we sing today was harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams, one of Britain’s most prominent serious composers of more resent days (1872-1958).

On Christmas Night All Christians Sing
On Christmas night all Christians sing,
To hear the news the angels bring;
On Christmas night all Christians sing,
To hear the news the angels bring;
News of great joy, news of great mirth,
News of our merciful King’s birth.

Then why should men on earth be sad,
Since our Redeemer made us glad:
Then why should we on earth be sad,
Since our Redeemer made us glad:
When from our sin He set us free,
All for to gain our liberty.

When sin departs before Your grace,
Then life and health come in its place;
When sin departs before Your grace,
Then life and health come in its place;
Angels and men with joy may sing,
All for to see the newborn King.

All out of darkness we have light
Which made the angels sing this night;
All out of darkness we have light
Which made the angels sing this night:
“Glory to God and peace to men,
Now and forevermore. Amen.”


Another Ancient Christmas Hymn

December 13, 2007

Here is another favourite ancient Christmas hymn of my fiance’s. Enjoy!

Of The Father’s Love Begotten

Of the Father’s love begotten, Ere the world began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been, And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore.

 

O that birth for ever blessed, When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, Bare the Saviour of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer, First revealed his sacred face,
Evermore and evermore.

 

This is he whom seers in old time Chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the prophets Promised in their faithful word;
Now he shines, the long-expected; Let creation praise its Lord,
Evermore and evermore.

 

O ye heights of heaven, adore him; Angel hosts, his praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before him, And extol our God and King;
Let no tongue on earth be silent, Every voice in concert ring,
Evermore and evermore.

 

Christ, to thee, with God the Father, And, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving, And unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory, and dominion, And eternal victory,
Evermore and evermore. Amen.

 

Words: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, 348-413
Music: 13th Century Plainsong Melody


Ancient Christmas Hymn

December 13, 2007

My fiance Tracy is quite a talented pianist. In an e-mail she sent me she included the following hymn as one of her favourites. It is old and therefore hardly sung or played today but if you read through the words you will be challenged and encouraged by the Scriptural truth found therein. It is about time to resurrect some of these wonderful ancient hymns of the faith! I will leave it with you so that you can enjoy it this Christmas season!

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth, Our full homage to demand.

 

King of kings, yet born of Mary, As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture, In the Body and the Blood
He will give to all the faithful, His own self for heavenly food.

 

Rank on rank the host of heaven, Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth, From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish, As the darkness clears away.

 

At his feet the six-winged seraph; Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence, As with ceaseless voice they cry,
“Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, Lord most high!” Amen.

Words: From the Liturgy of St. James, 5th Century
Music: Traditional French Carol


Rules for Hymn Singing

September 24, 2007

 

In the introduction to the hymnal Christian Hymns put out by the Evangelical Movement of Wales, they include John Wesley’s rules for hymn singing. I do not know the original source of these but I thought they were interesting. Enjoy!

 

1. Learn the tunes.

2. Sing them as printed.

3. Sing all. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find it as blessing.

4. Sing lustily and with good courage.

5. Sing modestly. Do not bowl.

6. Sing in time. Do not run before or stay behind.

7. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually.