Thursday, June 19, 2014

H is for Hymn Singing

Does your church or family sing hymns together? We are a part of a co-op that used to do this and I really do hope we can try it again. (We lost a family that had half of the male singers and most of the sopranos so it made it a little tricky!) We are gaining a family this next year that has lots of males and a few females too. I hope to continue learning them as we learned them in parts and wow, were they beautiful and meaningful when I did not have to struggle over the tunes! These are two we are singing this Sunday as our church sings hymns each Lord's Day.

Praise to the Lord

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

I love all the lines in this hymn, but the first line should be sung with great joy - Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of  creation! Amen and amen! It is hard not to stand in awe of our great God and Savior when you sing this hymn. I sing it loud and am so blessed to be able to praise my Lord in this song.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

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 wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

This is a particularly haunting one to me because this one always leaves me in awe of the power of God. His mercy is not earned or owed. We are completely His creation - let all mortal flesh keep silence and with fear and trembling stand. We are Coram Deo - before the face of God. Utterly at His mercy. 

I see my complete humanity in this hymn - how it is all of Him and none of me. He deserves praise and honor from my lips and from all life. 

This is, I have come to realize over time, why we sing the hymns we do. It is not that I think you can't find the glory of God in a praise song because scripture says to worship God in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. There are some newer spiritual songs I wish our church would sing, but these two hymns reach my heart. They help me to see the God of heaven for Who He really is--in His majesty and power, and how very much I need Him.

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Unknown said...

I love the old hymns! They are so deep and rich with meaning. Never heard the 2nd one you posted - will have to look it up! :-)

Beth B. said...

One of our co-op families used to host a pitch-in supper once a month and afterwords we would learn hymns in 4-part harmony. I loved those songs. Recently, my mom an I attended a "shaped-note" sing in an old country church. See if you can find one in your area--they're great!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love hymns, especially the older ones. These two are ones I have not heard so I have two new ones to learn. Thank you for sharing these hymns and for some of your personal feelings about them. - Lori H

Kate said...

Thanks, ladies! I have never heard of a "shaped-note" sing! I am going to have to find out what that is!

Erica, right underneath the words I linked to Cyber Hymnal and they have the tune. :)


Marcy @ Ben and Me said...

Praise to the Lord is one of my favorite hymns. I'll be humming in all day now. Thank you :)

Thanks for linking up with #abcblogging. We've featured this post as one of this weeks favorites! http://benandme.com/2014/06/abc-blogging-favorites-letters-g-h.html

Kate said...

Thanks, Marcy! I love these hymns and am glad you will be humming it today! :+)

<3 Kate

Unknown said...

I love hymns! These two I've never heard so I'll have to use your link to listen...thanks!