Songs My Soul Desperately Needs to Sing

The wind is whipping, the cold rain is drizzling, the russet leaves are falling, the sweaters are worn. It is November, the season of gratitude . . . and I’m thankful for the reminder.

With all the talk of Thanksgiving and new cultural traditions like fb-posting or tweeting a statement of gratitude each day, November has become a time when we all pause to say thank you. And so it may seem obvious, but this month on my blog we’ll focus on what it means to live a grateful life.

Yet gratitude isn’t as easy as it sounds. It doesn’t come naturally to us, especially when life is humming along smoothly. Often for me it’s when something knocks me off course — a visit to the hospital, a word of bad news, a worrisome current event — when suddenly I pause to say thank you. And when I realize how woefully I’ve done at this discipline — this giving and giving and giving again of thanks.

We need to say thanks. Our souls need it desperately and it’s not until we’ve paused to wade into gratitude and splash around a bit that we realize how lacking and pitiful our thanks-giving-habits have been.

When I’m intentional about gratitude — about expressing thanks and appreciation to God for all God does and all God is doing — I always circle back to music. To the theology-rich, soul-full words saints before me have penned to lead congregations in singing a liturgy of gratitude.

And so begin this month’s exploration with me by singing, speaking, praying, cherishing, meditating on these two beautiful hymns of thanks. These are two that I return to again and again to reorient my soul into proper posture. (You can click on the titles to go to a site where you can hear the melody.)

Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

For the Beauty of the Earth
For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

(Both hymns public domain)

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4 responses to “Songs My Soul Desperately Needs to Sing

  1. Kel..How do I make the music play on the link? Love from your technically challenged mom…

    • If you click on the song title, it will take you to a web site that has hymns and automatically plays the music. (Make sure your volume on your computer is on — not muted.) Does that work?

  2. The more I practice gratitude the more I am convinced that it is one of key ways to open my heart to God and see Him clearer. I too find myself saying at times, Oh yeah, I should be saying thanks for this – even when I don’t want to. Yet when I do, new perspectives come into view. I do agree with you music does help. Another means of grace. good post

  3. Praise to God! I am His and He is mine. I love to sing his praises. Thanks for these beautiful words which now I can’t get out of my head! Hallelujah!

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