Just in time for Christmas I requested the special edition of THEN SINGS MY SOUL by Robert J. Morgan from Thomas Nelson Books to review. Of course, I’m not finished reading it from front to back, but already I know that I will be using this book constantly. It is an excellent resource and I'm so excited to be able to use it right away! I already have volumes 1 & 2 of Then Sings My Soul, and now have added this special edition.
I confess, I LOVE old time hymns! In the long-term care centre where I work we sing our hearts out on Tuesday at Singspiration, Wednesday Chapel, and Sunday Worship Services – and small groups on days in between.
During the festive seasons of each year we sing even more. These hymns “reveal the faith of those who lived throughout history. Rev. Robert Morgan explored the stories behind some of the best-loved hymns and was fascinated by the accounts of tribulations, triumphs, struggles and hope – ordinary people who connected with God in amazing ways, sharing their experiences through song.”
This book has 150 devotional style stories of hymns for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and many more favorites.The music is on the left side and the devotional write-up on the right. To actually be able to play from this book, however, it would be better if it was coiled and could stand open.
I really like that there are complete indices by hymn title, first line and songwriter at the back of the book. This is very valuable when doing a quick search for a particular hymn or carol. I like the special softcover, French flap cover design, jagged edged paper, which gives it a classic feel. I loved the write-ups on each hymn whether about the writer of the lyrics or the composer of the melody. There are helpful teaching illustrations and introductory remarks for song leaders, music ministers, volunteers and lay leaders. These hymns have stood the test of time!
“So the mystery endures. Who wrote, “Away in a Manger”? There were apparently two unknown writers: a German Lutheran in Pennsylvania who wrote the first two stanzas, with another unknown author adding a third verse that first appeared in an 1892 songbook published by Charles H. Gabriel.
Well, who cares? Certainly not the generations of children (and seniors I might add!!) around the world who have come to love and know Jesus through this sweet carol, and who have gone to sleep praying;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.”
I heartily recommend this book even as a personal or family devotional.
One hymn and its story for each new day!