How, William Walsham, D.D., son of William Wybergh How, Solicitor, Shrewsbury, was born Dec. 13, 1823, at Shrewsbury, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A. 1845). Taking Holy Orders in 1846, he became successively Curate of St. George's, Kidderminster, 1846; and of Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, 1848. In 1851 he was preferred to the Rectory of Whittington, Diocese of St. Asaph, becoming Rural Dean in 1853, and Hon. Canon of the Cathedral in 1860. In 1879 he was appointed Rector of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, and was consecrated Suffragan Bishop for East London, under the title of the Bishop of Bedford, and in 1888 Bishop of Wakefield. Bishop How is the author of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Commen… Go to person page >
Great and glorious Father, humbly we adore Thee. Bp. W. W. How. [Holy Communion.] The note to this hymn in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, folio edition, p. xlix., is:—
“Written in 1869 with a view of setting forth each of the various aspects of the Holy Communion ,—Our unworthiness to draw near (1); the Memorial before God (2); the Memorial before Man (3); Christ pleading His Passion for us above, yet present in His Sacrament (4); the receiving of the Heavenly Food (5); the offering of ourselves (6); the Angelic worship (7); adoration of the glorified Saviour (8).”
In 1871 it was included in the Church Hymns, with the tune "Oswestry," composed for it by Dr. Dykes. Since 1871 it has passed into several hymn-books in Great Britain, and into one or two in America.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)