“Be Thou My Vision”

It took almost 1,500 years for the hymn Be Thou My Vision to come together as we know it today.  Irish poet, scholar of Latin scripture and Christian saint Dallán Forgaill (ca. 530–598) is believed to be the author of early Irish poem “Rop tú mo baile,” the basis of the modern English hymn Be Thou My…

“Battle Hymn of the Republic”

John Brown believed he could free the slaves, and in 1859, with a small band of dedicated men, raided the arsenal at Harpers Ferry to gain weapons and supplies to help the effort.  Thirty-six hours after the raid began, most of the men were wounded or killed, and John Brown was captured.  Abolitionist Brown was…

“Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty”

They disagreed.  Some took the position that Jesus was “begotten” of God the Father from his own being and therefore had no beginning.  Others believed that Jesus was created out of nothing, therefore having a beginning.  They couldn’t agree when Easter was to be celebrated.  They couldn’t even agree how to run the church.  And…

“Brethren, We Have Met to Worship”

Brethren, We Have Met To Worship is one of the oldest published American folk hymns. George Atkins wrote the lyrics and first published them in 1819. The traditional tune, HOLY MANNA, is a pentatonic (5 tone) melody in Ionian mode originally published by William Moore in 1829. Brethren, we have met to worship And adore…

“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

The eyes are the windows to the soul.  Do you believe it?  I do.  I remember the first wonderful eye contact with my children, the bonding, the joy, the somehow instantly knowing this little person.  My focus was entirely on the baby.  At that moment, nothing else existed.  I remember the last eye contact with…

“O God, Beyond All Praising” (THAXTED)

It was during the turmoil of World War I that English composer Gustav Holst completed The Planets, arguably one of the most popular orchestral suites ever written.   The suite has seven movements, each named for a planet.  While experiencing the complete suite is certainly ideal, movements are sometimes performed individually.  In the case of…

“He Hideth My Soul”

There aren’t many songs that can be played over many generations and in various styles yet still ring true.  Maybe you will hear it on a Sunday, played as a traditional arrangement on the wonderful organ.  Maybe you will sing it as a congregation. Sit back and enjoy this version sung by Guy Penrod.  As…