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Wednesday Worship - November 25, 2015

I have many fond memories of spending Thanksgiving Eve services at a 1700's country church.  My favorite hymn to sing at Thanksgiving is Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, especially when attending that 1700s country church...   Looking around the church, I would imagine scenes from 200 years ago, sisters in the Lord clothed in their long dresses, bonnets perfectly placed atop their heads; the men in their finest, gathered together to worship in the very same pews where I was sitting, kindred though we have not yet met...

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Henry Alford, 1810-1871

1. 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. 

2. All the world is God's own field, 
fruit as praise to God we yield; 
wheat and tares together sown 
are to joy or sorrow grown; 
first the blade and then the ear, 
then the full corn shall appear; 
Lord of harvest, grant that we 
wholesome grain and pure may be. 

3. For the Lord our God shall come, 
and shall take the harvest home; 
from the field shall in that day 
all offenses purge away, 
giving angels charge at last 
in the fire the tares to cast; 
but the fruitful ears to store 
in the garner evermore. 

4. Even so, Lord, quickly come, 
bring thy final harvest home; 
gather thou thy people in, 
free from sorrow, free from sin, 
there, forever purified, 
in thy presence to abide; 
come, with all thine angels, come, 
raise the glorious harvest home. 

"Henry Alford (b. London, England, 1810; d. Canterbury, England, 1871) wrote this text and published it in seven stanzas in his Psalms and Hymns (1844). He revised and shortened it for publication in his Poetical Works (1865) and made final changes for his Year of Praise (1867). The latter version is the source of the further revised Psalter Hymnal text.

Written for village harvest festivals in England, the text uses imagery found in two gospel parables: the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29) and the wheat and the weeds (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43). However, the initial agricultural harvest theme becomes an eschatological metaphor for the final judgment when the angels will gather God's chosen people into the "glorious harvest home" and cast the evil "weeds" into the "fire." Thus the text provocatively combines language and imagery that represent annual harvests as well as the ultimate consummation of history.

Alford was born into a family of clergy. He received his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, and was ordained in the Church of England in 1833. He became dean of Canterbury Cathedral in 1857, a position he held until his death. A renowned scholar, Alford wrote a four-volume commentary on the Greek New Testament, which became a standard work in its field. He was also a voluminous poet and hymn writer and published Poetical Works (2 vols, 1845) and Hymns for the Sundays and Festivals Throughout the Year (1836)."

{Above history found on}

Please enjoy this absolutely beautiful rendition by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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  1. What a wonderful post, Karen! So great to visit with you today, Love! GOD bless you, beautiful friend! :-)

    1. Tai, Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. :-)

      May God bless you dear friend. :-)


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