Musical Musings~ Reflections on Sunday’s Music

March 22 2015
  1. Hymn History: God of Grace And God Of Glory
This hymn text was composed in 1930 by Harry E. Fosdick as an opening hymn for a worship service.  The theme centers around the Church's role in the world. Fosdick was a controversial preacher as he refused certain church positions because he thought they were more concerned with their wealth than with worshiping Christ. Tiffany Shomsky states, "This hymn is a prayer for God's help for the church to live in God's power and love. Each stanza concludes with a two-line petition for wisdom and courage that was originally meant to be sung to one musical phrase." In fact, the original tune set to Fosdick's text was "Regent Square" and as the librettist, he was not pleased when churches began to select "Cwm Rhondda" as the tune instead. Maybe that is due to the fact that hymnal editiors considered it to have too much vigor to be a "proper hymn tune." Nevertheless, the tune and text remain today as a bold prayer asking for God's wisdom and courage to face the problems of the everyday.

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