William W. How (b. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, 1823; d. Leenane, County Mayo, Ireland, 1897) studied at Wadham College, Oxford, and Durham University and was ordained in the Church of England in 1847. He served various congregations and became Suffragan Bishop in east London in 1879 and Bishop of Wakefield in 1888. Called both the "poor man's bishop" and "the children's bishop," How was known for his work among the destitute in the London slums and among the factory workers in west Yorkshire. He wrote a number of theological works about controversies surrounding the Oxford Movement and attempted to reconcile biblical creation with the theory of evolution. He was joint editor of Psalms and Hymns (1854) and Church Hymns (1871). While rec… 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.