531. How Shall They Hear the Word of God

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Text Information
First Line: How shall they hear the word of God
Title: How Shall They Hear the Word of God
Author: Michael A. Perry (1980)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 86 86 88
Scripture: ;
Topic: Preaching; Church and Mission; Ministry & Service (2 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1982, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Name: O JESU
Meter: 86 86 88
Key: F Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1-2 = Rom. 10:14
st. 3 = Rom. 10:15

In 1980 Michael A. Perry (PHH 299) wrote this text in Southhampton, England, for use at a tenth anniversary service for "Radio Solent," a celebration held in Winchester Cathedral in 1981. The text was first published in Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Inspired by Romans 10:14-17, “How Shall They Hear” is a missions text. The first line of each stanza poses a question in the manner of the Pauline passage, and the final line a prayer that continues a personal commitment to be witnesses for Christ "with life and voice." That personal commitment is our answer to the questions posed earlier.

Liturgical Use
Services that promote missions and evangelism (during Epiphany and Pentecost seasons); ordination/ commissioning of missionaries; prayer meetings prior to evangelistic campaigns.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

O JESU first appeared in an organ collection, Sammlung alter und neuer Melodien evangelischen Lieder (1747), compiled by Johann B. Reimann for use with texts found in the Hirschberger evangelischen Gesangbuch (1741). Often attributed to Reimann, the tune was set to "O Jesu, warum legst du mir so viele Lasten auf." O JESU originally had half notes at the beginning and end of each line.

This simple bar form (AAB) tune invites part singing. For a more dramatic performance, try having one or several soloists sing the questions in each stanza with the entire congregation singing the prayer responses.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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