1 All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
2 All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine. [Refrain]
3 All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me. [Refrain]
Baptist Hymnal, 1991
|First Line:||All to Jesus I surrender|
|Title:||I Surrender All|
|Author:||Judson W. Van De Venter (1896)|
|Meter:||126.96.36.199 with refrain|
|Refrain First Line:||I surrender all, I surrender all|
|Liturgical Use:||Confession Songs|
Judson W. Van De Venter was a painter turned evangelist who wrote this hymn in 1896. He said that it was written “in memory of the time when, after a long struggle, I had surrendered and dedicated my life to active Christian service. The song was written while I was conducting a meeting at East Palestine, Ohio…” (Companion to Baptist Hymnal, William J. Reynolds, p. 33). The hymn originally had five stanzas, but the last is usually omitted (the second line is “Now I feel the sacred flame”).
The theme of the hymn is the qualities that total surrender to God requires: free choice, humility, desire for relationship, and an attitude of reception toward God’s blessings. The refrain and the first line of each stanza repeat the statement of commitment – “I surrender.”
Winfield S. Weeden was the musician who worked with Van De Venter in his evangelistic meetings. He wrote the tune SURRENDER for this text in 1896. Text and tune were first published together that same year in Gospel Songs of Grace and Glory, which was compiled by Weeden, Van De Venter, and Leonard Weaver. The original arrangement of this tune featured two-part harmony on the stanza and four-part harmony on the refrain with echoes between the men’s and women’s voices. In modern hymnals, the entire hymn is usually given in four parts.
This hymn can be used year round as a song of response or devotion. It can be sung by the congregation with simple accompaniment to allow for reflection on the seriousness of the commitment embodied in the song. If the worship leader deems it appropriate for the occasion, an instrumental setting may be used either in place of or prior to the singing as a backdrop for contemplation and silent prayer. Two examples are a handbell setting of “I Surrender All” (handchimes are listed as optional, but their different timbre adds clarity to the melody) and the arrangement of the title hymn in the piano collection “I Surrender All."
Tiffany Shomsky, Hymnary.org