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  • Marianne Vanderbeke

Joyfully head into the new year

Walking into the new year joyfully...this song could be an anthem for walking this way. This original hymn is a story of one man's fight against the darkness rising in the world prior to WWI. It can help us fight against dark days today.

Henry Van Dyke was a Presbyterian minister serving as a guest pastor at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts when he was inspired by the beauty of the mountains surrounding the town he was serving in.

It has been said that Van Dyke handed the poem to the president of the college, saying: “Here is a hymn for you. Your mountains were my inspiration. It must be sung to the music of Beethoven’s ‘Hymn to Joy.’”

Some people have lost touch with the words and music of our rich heritage. But there are contemporary artists who are stepping back and bringing some of this music to a new generation. Casting Crowns is among those groups.

Lead singer Mark Hall felt that the band's arrangement brought out the message of the song. He feels that sometimes we get so familiar with our heritage music that we gloss over the deep meaning they convey.



The words still ring true today. They may have an old-fashioned flavor and feel, but the message and beauty ring true today.



Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Text: Henry Van Dyke Music: Ludwig van Beethoven; Arr. by Edward Hodges 1. Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love; hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away. Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

2. All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays, stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea, chanting bird and flowing fountain, call us to rejoice in thee.

3. Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest, well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are thine; teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

4. Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began; love divine is reigning o'er us, binding all within its span. Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife; joyful music leads us sunward, in the triumph song of life


Copyright Marianne Vanderbeke 2020. Video used under Vimeo licensing.

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