Sing a Song of the Saints of God

All Saints' Sunday
November 4, 2018

I sing a song of the saints of God
faithful and brave and true...

Today is All Saints' Sunday, and we will celebrate by singing several of the great hymns of faith appropriate for this day. One of those is an ever-popular and distinctly British children's hymn, "I sing a song of the saints of God."
Lesbia Scott (1898-1986) wrote a number of children's hymns during the 1920s. She was the wife of an Anglican priest and created hymns to assist in the religious education of her own children and those in the parishes her husband served. Her most famous hymn, "I sing a song," was included in The Hymnal 1940 and quickly became a part of the Episcopal Church's repertoire. The lighthearted tune, Grand Isle, was composed by John Henry Hopkins, a priest and musician who was a member of the 1940 hymnal committee. The hymn was retained in The Hymnal 1982, and it remains popular with children and adults. It was chosen as number 14 in the Anglicans Online survey, "Top 20 Desert Island Hymns." See the music from The Hymnal 1940 and hear a recording: Grand Isle

Judith Gwyn Brown has written and beautifully illustrated a children's book based on the hymn. 


To learn more about this hymn, read an excellent article by hymnologist C. Michael Hawn: I Sing A Song of the Saints of God

Reflect on the words of the great All Saints' Day hymns as we sing today. What do they teach us about the meaning of this principal feast of the Church? Who are the "saints" in your life? 

Music for All Saints' Sunday
November 4, 2018

Hymns
287, For all the saints who from their labors rest, Sine Nomine
618, Ye watchers and ye holy ones, Lasst uns erfreuen
296, We know that Christ is raised and dies no more, Engelberg
For the life that you have given, Pleading Savior
293, I sing a song of the saints of God, Grand Isle
625, Ye holy angels bright, Darwall's 148th

Psalm 24, A HymnTune Psalter, Carl P. Daw and Kevin Hackett

Service Music
Sanctus, William Mathias
Memorial Acclamation and Amen, McNeil Robinson II
Fraction Anthem, Gerald Near

Anthems
Vidi Aquam  -Marty Wheeler Burnett
Give Us the Wings of Faith  -Craig Phillips
Thee We Adore, Eternal Lord  -C.H.H. Parry, arr. Benjamin Culli

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