Hymns seem to be the most natural expression of my heart in worship before God, so making three hymn-related discoveries in one week (and on nearly the same day) made last week memorable.
- Discovery #1: It would take too long to describe how I made the first discovery, which was the existence of a website called the Open Hymnal Project. (Suffice it to say it had something to do with my Xiphos Bible study software. If you need a good, free, open-source Bible program, explore the possibilities that Xiphos provides at http://xiphos.org.) The Open Hymnal Project is a labor of love by Brian J. Dumont, providing not only the lyrics of hymns (like we do in the Powerful Poetry section over at FinestOfTheWheat.org), but free, copyright-free musical scores, in addition to MP3 and Midi music files. There is a lot to explore, and I feel like I've only scratched the surface.
- Discovery #2: In perusing the Open Hymnal Project hymns, I came across a wonderful, lengthy poem by Thomas Ken entitled Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun, which is equal parts spiritual self-exhoration, worship of the living God, and loving, moment-by-moment submission to His will. I intend to sing it every morning for the next four weeks until I have it memorized.
- Discovery #3: Much to my surprise, when I got to the final verse of the hymn, there was The Doxology. I capitalize both words because it's so well-known in Protestant worship that it is the Doxology. When you read the words, you'll no doubt “hear” the tune in your mind (known as “Old 100th”):
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!
So that's where it came from! I had no idea! Thank you, Thomas Ken. I hope you passed your audition for the heavenly choir three centuries ago. And thank you, Brian Dumont, for your labor of love. I hope your site realizes a few more visitors as a result of this blog post. Let us know what we can do to help with Open Hymnal Project.