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Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.
Author: Reginald Heber (1826)
Tune: NICAEA (Dykes)
Published in 1412 hymnals
The words of this hymn evoke a sense of awe at the majesty of God, and call on all of creation – humans, saints and angels, and all living things – to praise the Godhead three-in-one.
Glorious things of thee are spoken
Author: John Newton (1779)
Tune: AUSTRIAN HYMN
Published in 1159 hymnals
This hymn is written on Isaiah 33:20-21, but there are plenty of clear references to other Scriptures, which Newton cited in footnotes, such as Psalm 87 (the first two lines of the hymn are nearly a direct quote of Ps. 87:3) and Isaiah 4:5-6 (which is closely paraphrased in the third stanza). This hymn has been called one of Newton’s finest hymns, and it is certainly one of his most popular, along with “Amazing Grace” and “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.”
For the beauty of the earth
Author: Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1864)
Tune: DIX (Kocher)
Published in 525 hymnalsGreg Scheer, 1995
Folliett Sandford Pierpoint originally wrote this hymn for use during the Communion of the High Anglican Church. The original chorus read, “Christ, our God, to thee we raise this, our sacrifice of praise.” This hymn was meant not only as a song of thanksgiving, but as the only thing we could give Christ in return for his mercy and love: a hymn of praise laid upon the altar as a sacrifice.
Come, ye thankful people, come
Author: Henry Alford (1844)
Tune: ST. GEORGE’S WINDSOR (Elvey)
Published in 611 hymnals
This hymn is commonly sung as a song of rejoicing over a bountiful harvest, which it appears to be from the first stanza. However, it is really a more sobering text and may have been intended to provoke Christians to consider whether they are truly people of God (represented by the wheat in Jesus’ parable of Matthew 13), or merely lookalikes (represented by the weeds – also called “tares” in some translations).
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Author: Fanny Crosby
Tune: [Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine]
Songs of Response
Published in 899 hymnals
This is a powerful hymn of assurance, or it could be sung as a response to a sermon about God’s providence and salvation of His people. It would also work as a closing hymn to end a service that moves from an acknowledgement of pain and struggle to an assurance of the hope we have in Christ.
Abide with me: fast falls the eventide
Author: Henry Francis Lyte (1847)
Tune: EVENTIDE (Monk)
Published in 1417 hymnals
This hymn is an acknowledgement that though our lives are always changing, sometimes in joy and sometimes in sorrow, God remains steadfast. It is thus a perfect hymn of response to an assurance of this steadfastness, and would also be a good song with which to end a service.