Monday, April 7, 2008

How Great Thou Art

Our choir sang this song yesterday during our morning worship service. Regardless of the arrangement it has always been a favorite of mine. It was a favorite of my mother’s as well. She loved to watch Billy Graham, and of course, one of the highlights was hearing George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows sing How Great Thou Art. The song has been sung by many contemporary artists including Elvis Presley who won a Grammy with the song for Best Sacred Performance in 1967.

The song was written by Carl Gustav Bobert, a Swed, in 1885. It was later translated into English by Stuart K. Hine. An interesting coincidence is that Bobert was the son of a carpenter. Later he was a poet, writer, and legislator.

The song actually has nine verses and was created during a walk home from church as Bobert was listening to the church bells.A sudden storm took Bobert’s attention from the bells, and he was inpired by the sudden rush and power of the storm as well as the storms’s quick exit.

In a 2001 survey Christianity Today reported How Great Thou Art ranked number two in all-time popular hymns only behind Amazing Grace.

There are certain hymns from the 16th and 17th centuries that certainly have a place in today’s world, and How Great Thou Art is one of them.

Sidebar note: I remember hearing church bells on Sunday morning at other times during the week as we traveled about our community. The church bells rang for several minutes at the beginning of my wedding in 1984. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the bells at my church, and I’m not sure if we even have any.

I think there should be bells……Why aren't there bells anymore?

Here are lyrics to How Great Thou Art if you would like to sing along with the video.

Verse 1:
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power through-out the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Verse 2:
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:
(Repeat Refrain.)

Verse 3:
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:
(Repeat Refrain.)

Verse 4:
When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!
(Repeat Refrain.)

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

I love this song too. It's definitely a favorite. Thanks!

e-Mom @ Chrysalis

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