Sunday, April 7, 2013

Old Fashioned Sunday Hymn Sing #7

I miss the old hymns that I remember from my childhood - there were no drums, no electric guitar and no mind numbing beat. It was just voices and maybe a piano or an organ. The choir led the congregation in singing - and the words of these hymns are poetic. I realize that there is a need for the modern "seeker oriented" worship music - but it is also necessary to have deeper songs (no offense intended to anyone who prefers the newer church songs).

I decided to have an "Old Fashion Sunday Hymn Sing" once a month on this blog.
I personally do NOT have a great singing voice - I used to play the guitar & piano but my voice is NOT an instrument. That's the great thing about this digital hymn sing you can warble along without being embarrassed or without offending anyone else.

The hymns that we will be studying are taken from an old hymnal from a Baptist church that is no longer in existence - "The North American Hymnal" published in 1956 by "THE ROGER WILLIAMS PRESS"

I will also try to find a version of the featured hymn on "YouTube" to share with you each month.

Today's feature song is "Onward, Christian Soldiers" by hymnist Sabine Baring-Gould, (1834-1924) and composed by Arthur S. Sullivan, (1842-1900).  The words were written in 1865 and the inspiration was taken from:
II Timothy 2:3 "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus."
Then the music was composed in 1871.  This hymn later became the theme song for The Salvation Army.
Another very interesting historical fact about this powerful hymn has to do with the start of WWII.  In 1941 there was a secret meeting between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt aboard the battleship "HMS Prince of Wales".  A church service was held on this ship & Prime minister Churchill chose the hymns for this service.  Later being interviewed on the radio Mr. Churchill said: 

"We sang "Onward, Christian Soldiers" indeed, and I felt that this was no vain presumption, but that we had the right to feel that we serving a cause for the sake of which a trumpet has sounded from on high. When I looked upon that densely packed congregation of fighting men of the same language, of the same faith, of the same fundamental laws, of the same ideals ... it swept across me that here was the only hope, but also the sure hope, of saving the world from measureless degradation."
—Winston Churchill
Below the typed lyrics I have included a YouTube video of this wonderful hymn.
Also, if you have a chance please watch the YouTube documentary below the hymn video - it is very interesting.

Turn with me to number 485 in your hymnals and let's sing:

Onward Christian Soldiers
by Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) composed by Arthur S. Sullivan (1842-1900)
1. Onward Christian soldiers!  Marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus Going on before.  Christ, the royal Master, Leads against the foe;  Forward into battle, See His banners go!
2.   Like a mighty army Moves the Church of God;  Brothers, we are treading Where the saints have trod;  We are not divided, All one body we, One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.
3.  Crowns and thrones may perish, Kingdoms rise and wane, But the Church of Jesus Constant will remain;  Gates of hell can never 'Gainst that Church prevail;  We have Christ's own promise, And that cannot fail.

4.  Onward, then ye people, Join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices In the triumph song;  Glory, laud, and honor Unto Christ the King; This thro' count-less ages Men and angels sing.

Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus Going on before.
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Linked to:
Adorned From Above


  1. Onward Christian Soldiers happens to be my favorite hymn. I don't think I've sang it in a church setting in probably 20+ years... it's just not used anymore. :(

  2. I love the old hymns! Fortunately, our church mixes the old with the new, but there are still a lot of the great hymns we don't sing. This new monthly series will be a treat!


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