My Favorite Hymn

Listen to it here, traditionally arranged by Mack Wilberg, or listen to it here, for a lovely version by Sufjan Stevens… Either way, I can’t listen to this song without crying.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

17 thoughts on “My Favorite Hymn

  1. The imagery for me is so powerful.

    I also love the versions by Jessie Clark Funk and the group Fiddlesticks. Dh thinks I’ve made it my mission to get my hands on every version of this hymn ever recorded. 🙂

    Not that you asked, but one of my favorite hymns over the past few months (as I have struggled with a number of trials) has been “How Firm a Foundation,” especially verses 3, 4, and 5. I love the effect that sacred music has on my spirit.

  2. It was, but it’s no not anymore. Someone told me it was supposed to be, but there was a glitch and it got left out. The Tab Choir sings it all the time, and it will probably be in the next edition of the hymnal.

  3. When the Tab Choir sings this hymn I am a weeping fool. Absolutely love it.

    I didn’t realize the 2nd verse started with, “Here I raise my Ebenezer.” Not being a biblical scholar; I looked it up in Wikipedia. I suppose this is referring to Samuel’s raising a stone in memorial after winning a battle against the Philistines.

    Yeah that Ebenezer mention isn’t about Scrooge! Does anyone know more about this?

  4. The word “Ebenezer” comes from Hebrew and is actually two words pronounced together: Even Haazer. It literally means *stone of help*

    I still think of someone holding up Charles Dickens.

  5. Oh how I love this hymn. I miss it so. There is not a time where it is not appropriate, or welcomed. Thank you Tracy, for printing the verses, and the Sufjan Stevens version is so good.

  6. I love it too. I listen to the arrangement by Wilberg almost every day on my way to work, as well as Wilberg’s incredible arrangement of Redeemer of Israel. “Fear not, and be just, for the Kingdom is ours; the hour of redemption is here!”

  7. I was in the Men’s Choir at BYU and was lucky enough to be singing in the performance that you linked to on You-Tube. It was truly a moving experience. I’m pretty sure that this was the first time that this arrangement from Mac Wilberg was performed. What is missing from the video is that there were so many singers that we couldn’t all fit on the stage. There were pockets of singers in the aisles and up in the balcony. Everyone was just enveloped in music from all sides, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the concert hall. Since we were recording this for the TV production, the audience was instructed to not applaud after the song concluded. As we finished the number, there was complete silence as people, including me, tried to absorb the last echos of the most beautiful music we had ever heard. The silence was broken a few seconds later as a sound engineer walked up to Mac Wilberg on stage and told him that the production people needed us to do another ‘take’. There was a collective groan as we all had been so spiritually/emotionally fatigued from the first performance, but once the orchester started playing again we felt strenthened and the second performance was equal to the first.

    We sang many beautiful songs that night, but the last verse of this song danced in my mind as a constant companion for months afterward, and even now, years later I still get a tear in my eye whenever I hear it.

  8. Wow- Wiz DH- thank you for sharing that- what a wonderful thing to have been a part of- I cry every time I listen, so your voices are still moving people. I’m going to look for you now!

  9. This one always makes me weep. I was part of that recording as well, one of the violins. Singing or playing, it is like riding a huge wave. I love this song.

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