Author: Francis H. Rowley (1886)
Tune: [I will sing the wondrous story] (Bilhorn)
In Psalm 66, the psalmist says, “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16 ESV). In this hymn, we declare the goodness of God in calling us to Himself and in continuing to guide us until the end of our lives.
Over the next couple of years Hymnary.org will be undergoing a new strategic planning process, and to prepare we have been thinking about the future of congregational song. What are the long-term trends? Where will we be in ten years? As one way of approaching these questions, we looked at trends in hymnal publishing. Hymnary.org indexes nearly 6,000 hymnals that have been published in the United States and Canada.
This hymn expounds on the theme of the beauty of Christ and the Creation in an overflowing expression of praise, similar to King David's statement: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord …” (Psalm 27:4 ESV).
Our History of Hymnary video is now up on the Calvin College YouTube page. Check it out if you have not yet seen it and share the link with anyone and everyone you think should know about Hymnary! Thanks.
You can find the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Pw9WHgNV0k&feature=youtu.be
~Harry Plantinga, for the entire Hymnary team
The much-loved hymn, “Creator spirit, by whose aid,” is a free paraphrase of the famous Latin hymn, “Veni Creator Spiritus” (“Come, Creator Spirit”), ascribed to Rabanus Maurus in the 9th century. The paraphrase was made in 1693 by John Dryden, England’s first Poet Laureate. The hymn is a prayer for the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
Miles Mark Fisher, in Negro Slave Songs in the United States, writes that this African American spiritual could have been written in Virginia in the 1750s based on a story from Hanover, Virginia, 1756: “A black slave asked Presbyterian preacher William Davies, ‘I come to you, sir, that you may tell me some good things concerning Jesus Christ and my duty to God, for I am resolved not to live any more as I have done…Lord [Sir], I want to be a Christian’” (PHH).
For Anna Brink there is never a dull moment when it comes to Hymnary.org. Though she is one of the site's more recent employees (having started in the fall of 2018 after having previously been a student intern), Brink's typical day includes everything from developing new features for the site to reviewing peer's code.
A Calvin grad who majored in math education with a minor in computer science, Brink says she enjoys both the problem solving and the opportunity to learn as she works at Hymnary.
The song on Hymnary.org that is viewed more often than any other is Reginald Heber’s "Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!" Published in 1826, this hymn of praise to the Trinity is set to the tune Nicaea, written for this hymn and named after the council at Nicaea where the doctrine of the Trinity was established and the Nicene Creed formulated.