At the end of our deacon meeting last year, one of the men reminisced about the days we used to sing the Doxology in the church.
“We should sing that once in a while,” he said.
That got my attention because I was the person who selected all the music and led our congregational singing every Sunday. We hadn’t sung that for a long time; in fact, I don’t remember singing it at all for probably well over 30 years.
So what happened? I don’t know. When I was growing up, the Doxology was standard fare for the closing of our services. We sang it often and without the aid of hymnbooks (you know, those dusty, antiquated things we used to read before Power Point projections) because we all had the words memorized.
Well, that has been on my mind since that meeting. I realized then, that I had two daughters who may not even know the song. Furthermore, I have eight grandchildren who have never heard it.
That is a shame, not just because of the song’s antiquity or tradition but because it is truly a great hymn of grateful praise, which is appropriate whenever the people of God meet together. I don’t want to lose it; I want my grandchildren to learn and love the Doxology.
So I thought about how to reintroduce it into our worship times. One practical challenge with the Doxology is its brevity; one very short verse and it is over. It seems awkward to weave that into a triad of purposefully selected songs to support the sermon.
Well, the following Sunday we closed our service with “Doxology,” but we linked it to another brief song of thankful praise, “We Give Thee But Thine Own.” The two songs are written in the same key and can move seamlessly, from one to the other without the need of a transitional interlude. And the texts are complimentary:
We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be.
All that we have is Thine Alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.
May we Thy bounties thus,
As stewards true, receive,
And gladly as Thou blessest us,
To Thee our firstfruits give.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Ask your pastor or song leader to try this. I think you’ll like it.
(PUB. NOTE: Readers may follow Ralph’s blog at hymnsthatpreach.blogspot.com, or contact him by email at email@example.com. He and his wife, Kathy, Olde Towne Emporium, at 212 E. Main Street, in downtown Rogersville.)