In 1674, an Anglican priest wrote a simple song of praise for his students at England’s Winchester College. Although the understated lyrics expressed praise to God for his wonderful blessings, he was careful to warn the boys to only sing the hymn in the privacy of their dorm rooms during their personal devotions. Why all the subterfuge? At that time the church believed hymns should only include words directly from the Bible. Using your own lyrics was like adding words to scripture itself. Blasphemy!
But what beautiful and simple words they were! The hymn shouted its praise to the source of all our blessings. It announced praise with a joy and passion for all God’s glory. Fortunately this hymn, which is today referred to as the Doxology, was soon taken from the shadows and saw its popularity quickly spread. Do you catch the irony here? This hymn, first used in secret, has become the most frequently sung piece of music used in public worship!
Just before you dive into today’s feast, consider singing these joyful words of praise as your Thanksgiving prayer:
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him, above ye Heavenly Host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!