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‘Battle Hymn’ inspired by visit to troops in Civil War

“Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” Julia Ward Howe UM Hymnal, No. 717  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword; His truth is marching on. Julia […]

‘Find the Quiet Center’ seeks calm amid chaos of life in 21st century

By Renée N. Boone, Special Contributor… “Come and Find the Quiet Center” Shirley Erena Murray The Faith We Sing, No. 2128   Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead, find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed: clear the chaos and the clutter, clear […]

Wesley not author of ‘Come, Thou Almighty King’

“Come, Thou Almighty King” Anonymous author UM Hymnal, No. 61 Come, thou almighty King, Help us thy name to sing, Help us to praise! Father all glorious, O’er all victorious, Come and reign over us, Ancient of Days! This well-known hymn, now of uncertain authorship, was attributed to Charles Wesley in Methodist hymnals published in […]

‘Wind Who Makes All Winds’ honors presence of Holy Spirit

“Wind Who Makes All Winds that Blow” Thomas Troeger UM Hymnal, No. 538 Wind who makes all winds that blow, gusts that bend the sapling low, gales that heave the sea in waves, stirrings in the mind’s deep caves: Aim your breath with steady power on your church, this day, this hour. Raise, renew the […]

German hymn rejoices in God’s eternal reign

Frances Elizabeth Cox (1812-1897) devoted herself to the translation of hymns from the German language into English. In total, she published 56 hymns in Sacred Hymns from the German(1841, 2nd edition, 1864). Though little is known about Cox’s life, her translations remain a testament to her accomplishments. Of the approximately 80 texts she translated, most […]

15th-century carol tells post-resurrection story

The author of the Latin poem “O filii et filiae, Rex coelestis, Rex gloriae,” Jean Tisserand (d. 1494, Paris), is little known to us. He was a Franciscan monk who founded a penitent order for women. Tisserand’s Latin poem was translated into English by the famous 19th-century hymnologist, John Mason Neale (1818-1866). Neale was the […]

History difficult to track for ‘Thou Once Despised Jesus’

The authorship of some hymns remains shrouded in mystery. This 18th-century hymn has remained in use, though in an adapted form, to the current day even though we have never been certain of its origins. Hymnal compilers during the 18th and 19th centuries often made it difficult to ascribe authorship. Most collections from this era […]

Nineteenth-century hymn celebrates the resurrection

“Up from the Grave He Arose” Robert Lowry UM Hymnal, No. 322 Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior, waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord! Up from the grave he arose with a mighty triumph o’er his foes; he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever with his […]

‘Death’s strong bands’ beaten in Luther hymn

“Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” Martin Luther, trans. Richard Massie UM Hymnal, No. 319 Imagine yourself in worship with Martin Luther (1483-1546) on Easter Sunday in the late 1520s, just a few years after he had posted his famous Ninety-Five Theses on the church door at Wittenburg. Luther had prepared revisions of the […]

International colleagues give us ‘Christ is Risen’

“Christ is Risen” (“Cristo Vive”) Nicolás Martínez, trans. Fred Kaan UM Hymnal, No. 313   Christ is risen, Christ is living, dry your tears, be unafraid! Death and darkness could not hold him, nor the tomb in which he lay. Do not look among the dead for one who lives forevermore; tell the world that […]