Wednesday, 27 November 2019

A hymn for Thanksgiving

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing.



I did not know this hymn until I came to live and minister in the United States, but I soon learned that it is "The Hymn"  for Thanksgiving.

I suppose that it is popular because the tune is eminently singable, and easily "belted out". I learned quickly to like it.

https://youtu.be/BqQT7zY6gtc


This is the best version I can find on You Tube. The camera work is awful, but I love that the organist keeps a good pace (otherwise it can sound like a dirge).

Scroll down and read the text; and also  a bit of the history of the hymn. It was originally a semi patriotic Dutch hymn to celebrate the Protestant ascendancy over the Catholic King Phillip of Spain. 

With that in mind you will understand that the hymn has more than its fair share of polemic.  "The wicked" are Catholics who oppressed Protestants.

These days Roman Catholics sing it with joy and fervour!

And the words happily lend themselves to interfaith Thanksgiving services.


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