Author: Carolina Sandell (1855)
Translator: Ernst W. Olson;
Tune: TRYGGARE KAN INGEN VARA
This hymn promises amazing life and hope from a woman who lived in great pain and anguish. Much like Horatio Spafford’s timeless hymn, “When Peace like a River,” Lina Sandell-Berg’s “Children of the Heavenly Father” was written under the influence of incredible grace amidst heart-wrenching pain. The gorgeous tune is just as comforting as the lyrics, lifting the soul and calming the spirit. Christ’s words in Matthew 6:26 perfectly match the hymn when he says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
The text of this hymn was written by written by Lina Sandell-Berg, a Swedish Gospel hymn writer. Sandell-Berg found inspiration for many of her hymns in the tragic death of her father, which she was unfortunate enough to witness. There seems to be little doubt that “Children of the Heavenly Father,” was one of these tragedy-inspired hymns. It reassures the people that there is an eternal father who can never be taken from us in life or death—a father that comforts, protects, tends and nourishes unceasingly.
The tune for this hymn is called TRYGGARE KAN INGEN VARA. The exact composer is unknown, but the tune is probably a Swedish folk song— although variations on the tune are known to have been in Germany in the early 1800’s. One nice feature of this tune is that it requires little or no accompaniment, and it works well for part-singing.
Although this hymn fits well into many occasions, it might especially be suited funerals due to its comforting and reassuring words. This is a gentle, flowing hymn meant to soothe and provide comfort. It should not be rushed through, but it should instead focus on the words.
Suggested music for this hymn: