Organ Sunday, November 18, 2018
Sunday, November 18th is Thanksgiving and Stewardship Sunday at Old First. As is customary, and certainly appropriate, our opening hymn is “Come, Ye Thankful People Come.” Since many of us have sung this hymn numerous times in our lives, I thought you may be interested to know the origin of the hopeful melody associated with it.
This tune was written by Henry Alford, born in London in 1810, and raised in that city. Like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him, Henry became an Anglican vicar. Henry was very versatile: an artist, organist, singer, composer of verses and a great literary scholar. In 1844, while serving as vicar of Wymeswold, Leicestershire, Henry composed “Come Ye Thankful People Come,” when the people of this parish decided to have a festival celebrating their abundant harvest.
“Come, ye thankful people, come. Raise the song of harvest- home. All is safely gathered in, ere the Winter storms begin; God, our maker doth provide, For our wants to be supplied: Come to God’s own temple, come, Raise the song of harvest-home.” As we all gather to sing this uplifting song on Sunday, may we sing it with renewed awareness and gratitude for all we have. Happy Thanksgiving! Blessings to you all!