Hymn Guide: O Come O Come Emmanuel

Posted on December 17, 2022
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Perhaps the most familiar hymn of Advent, O Come O Come Emmanuel has an ancient but obscure origin. Reference to the “O” verses, sometimes called the O Antiphons, are found in Latin literature as early as the 5th century. A set of Old English poems, written around 800 AD, expand upon the themes of each verse,…

Hymn Guide: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Posted on November 24, 2022
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A beloved hymn for Thanksgiving, “Come, ye thankful people, come” is also a fitting hymn for Advent. It presents a rare combination of thanks and of judgment, drawing singers into reverent awe before the Almighty. Anglican priest Henry Alford wrote the hymn in 1844 and published it under the heading, “After Harvest.” At the time…

Hymn Guide: It Is Well

Posted on September 28, 2022
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“It is well” is a hymn of sorrow and faith, written by a father grappling with natural disaster and death. Horatio Spafford was a Chicago lawyer and friend of evangelist Dwight Moody. In 1873, to visit Moody’s preaching campaign in England, he planned a trip for his family to Europe, and sent his wife Anna…

Hymn Guide: See the Conqueror (ft. an exclusive video with Jenny & Tyler!)

Posted on May 23, 2022
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“See the Conqueror” is a wonderful hymn on the Ascension of Christ. It is not widely known, but we hope to make it more popular, with God’s help!  It was written by a 19th-century English bishop named Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1855), the nephew of poet William Wordsworth. Bishop Wordsworth authored many books, including The Holy Year, a book…

Hymn Guide: Ah, Holy Jesus

Posted on April 11, 2022
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One of our deeply moving Holy Week hymns is “Ah, holy Jesus.” The text was written by Johann Heerman, a 17th century Lutheran pastor and poet, as a translation and paraphrase of a medieval Latin devotion. Anglican poet Robert Bridges, in turn, translated the hymn to English, reducing it from fourteen stanzas to five. Bridges…

Hymn Guide: The Storm Is Passing Over

Posted on August 3, 2020
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This is the fourth in a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.” – Charles Albert Tindley Every Hymn Has a Story Charles Albert…

Hymn Guide: There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood

Posted on June 22, 2020
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This is the third of a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.” ~William Cowper Every Hymn Has a Story William Cowper was…

The Story of All Creatures Of Our God And King

Posted on June 4, 2020
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This is the second of a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” – St. Francis of Assisi Every Hymn Has a Story St. Francis of Assisi was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. Although…

Hymn Guide: Abide With Me

Posted on May 22, 2020
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This is the first of a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “Many a man who has labored in obscure places, practically unnoticed and un-praised by his own generation, has achieved a fame after his death that grows in magnitude with the passing years,”…

Nine Lessons and Carols: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Posted on December 21, 2019
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The Anglican tradition has inherited many ancient pieces of liturgy, so it may be a bit surprising to learn that the Festival/Service of Nine Lessons and Carols (traditionally held on or near Christmas Eve) is a fairly recent invention, celebrating its one-hundredth birthday only last year in 2018. It was constructed out of the grief…