Great is thy faithfulness

Great is thy Faithfulness was written by Thomas Chisholm (1866_1960) with music composed by William M. Runyan (1870_1957) in America. The words attest to the changelessness of God and gained huge popularity from its association with Billy Graham. Shaun Yong 1. Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father.There is no shadow of turning withContinue reading “Great is thy faithfulness”

Be still, my soul

‘Be still, my soul’ was originally an 18th century German pietist hymn by Catharina von Schlegel. It was translated into English in 1862 by Jane Borthwick in Edinburgh. The tune we now associate the words with came from Finland by the composer Jean Sibelius, who wrote a patriotic symphonic poem called ‘Finlandia’. But it tookContinue reading “Be still, my soul”

All things bright and beautiful

‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.’ This is a hymn that celebrates the creation in which we live and which we are. It’s widely popular in churches, school chapels, and even beyond the church. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-95), of ‘OnceContinue reading “All things bright and beautiful”

Praise my soul the King of Heaven

‘Praise my soul the King of heaven’ is a paraphrase of Psalm 103 by Henry Francis Lyte, who published it in 1834. It is sung to a tune by John Goss (1800-80) which has achieved universal popularity. Unique among hymns, Goss wrote a different accompaniment to each of the four verses, each with its ownContinue reading “Praise my soul the King of Heaven”

Eternal Father, strong to save

‘Eternal Father, strong to save’ also known as the Royal Navy Hymn, is a 19th century English hymn traditionally associated with seafarers. Written by William Whiting in 1860, it is a prayer of safe passage ‘for those in peril on the sea’. The popular Victorian hymn composer John Bacchus Dykes wrote the tune to thisContinue reading “Eternal Father, strong to save”

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer ‘Guide me, O though great redeemer’ is without doubt one of the great Welsh hymns. It has a tune that is difficult to forget and a text that is personal but not sentimental. The words contemporises the Exodus from Egypt, so that the singer identifies their own ‘pilgrim’ withContinue reading “Guide me, O thou great Redeemer”

Dear Lord and Father of mankind

Dear Lord and Father of mankindThe second line runs, “Forgive our foolish ways…..”, which I’m sure we quickly forget ! Notes on the music by our organistThis is one of the hymns where music and words are so inextricably married to each other. Hubert Parry wrote the tune, but it was the director of musicContinue reading “Dear Lord and Father of mankind”

Thine be the glory

À toi la gloire Nothing shouts ‘Easter’ like this grand hymn at the end of an Easter Day service. The tune is taken from the oratorio ‘Judas Maccabaeus’ by that great German-turned-Englishman Handel. The text, however, was written in French by a Swiss minister Edmond Budry (1854-1932), and afterwards translated to English. Another twist toContinue reading “Thine be the glory”

Love divine all loves excelling

Love divine all love’s excelling – this great hymn by Charles Wesley isamong the most universally published hymns in hymnbooks of allpersuasions. And yet there was little agreement on what tune it shouldbe set to: contenders included “Beecher”, “Love divine” (by Stainer), oreven that grand Welsh tune “Hyfrydol” – but in recent decades anotherWelsh tune,Continue reading “Love divine all loves excelling”