158. Song of Hannah

Text Information
First Line: My soul is filled with joy in God my Savior
Title: Song of Hannah
Versifier: Emily R. Brink (1986)
Meter: 11 10 11 10
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ;
Topic: Comfort & Encouragement; Christmas; Humility (3 more...)
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: Hughes M. Huffman (1976)
Meter: 11 10 11 10
Key: A♭ Major
Copyright: Tune © 1976, Hughes M. Huffman, assigned to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of the USA. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = 1 Sam. 2:1-2
st. 2 = 1 Sam. 2:3-4
st. 3 = 1 Sam. 2:4-8a
st. 4 = 1 Sam. 2:8b-l0

The "Song of Hannah," based on 1 Samuel 2:1-10, is another of the "lesser" Old Testament canticles. Hannah sang this prayer of praise and thanksgiving when she brought her son, Samuel, to the tabernacle to serve the LORD. Several of the themes in Hannah's song reappear in the Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55): both women exalt the LORD for his saving power, for raising the poor from the dust and humbling the proud, and for answering the prayers of his people. (The similarity between Hannah's and Mary's songs is all the more striking when one considers that Hannah first couldn't conceive, whereas Mary, being unmarried, wasn't supposed to!) Initially the term "anointed one" (st. 4) referred to the king of Israel, but later it acquired messianic meaning. New Testament Christians therefore find profound relevance in the Song of Hannah.

Emily Ruth Brink (b. Grand Rapids, MI, 1940) versified this song in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal. Brink studied at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, and the University of Michigan and received a Ph.D. in music theory from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. She taught music at Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois (1967-74), and the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (1974-83). Since 1983 she has served as music and liturgy editor for CRC Publications and in that capacity was editor of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal and Songs for LiFE (1994). She is also editor of the journal Reformed Worship and adjunct professor of worship and church music at Calvin Seminary. Throughout her career she has been active as a church organist and choir director, at Ebenezer CRC in Berwyn, Illinois (1967-1971); at Orland Park (IL) CRC (1972-1974); Hessel Park CRC in Champaign-Urbana (1975-1983); and currently at Eastern Avenue CRC in Grand Rapids.

Liturgical Use:
Occasions of praise to God, whose saving strength guards the "anointed one."

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Hughes M. Huffman (PHH 123) composed VIOLA in 1976. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship first published the tune in Hymns II (1976) and used it widely at the 1976 IVCF Urbana Conference as a setting for E. Margaret Clarkson's text "Our God Is Mighty." A strong tune with a bold harmonization that suits the "Song of Hannah" well, VIOLA is published in the Psalter Hymnal without its original refrain. Sing in unison with much joy and with bright, full organ registration, but keep a sustained tempo.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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