Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed:
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His flock, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise,
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His name always,
For it is seemly so to do.

For why? The Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

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.
* * * * * * * * * *
I grew up singing this hymn both at church and sometimes at school. As a child I liked it because in third grade my teacher Mrs. Lawson had us memorize Psalm 100, and I liked being able to connect these phrases with what I had memorized.

As I grew a little older, I liked it because of the simple harmonies that opened into full chords and a fermata at the end of each line. In College Church, where I grew up, singing together as a congregation was a taste of heaven. We had several trained singers, and most people were trained simply by a life of singing in church. The result was an energy and a beauty in congregational singing that remains in my heart today as a very special treasure.

But the memory most precious to me is of singing just the last verse, the Doxology, around the table at Grandmother's house before a meal. Not so many voices, and the sound not so lovely. But knowing our own history and seeing God's goodness through it was beautiful.

May you enjoy the memories that come to you in the upcoming days and weeks. And may we all live our lives in a way to create new memories that we can treasure in the years to come.


Lisa said...

Amen and amen. I'm not sure I've made it through the Doxology without tears in several years. What beautiful memories.

Sheila said...

And thanks for your suggestion about composing separately and then pasting into the Blogger box. As you can see, it worked. One more thing to be thankful for.

Miriam said...

Thankful for you, my friend, and for the many other people who have blessed my life and helped me look up to Him and remember that I am so abuandtly blessed and grateful, full of grace.