Sunday, April 17, 2011
Noun: An expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service.
The Doxology, also known as Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow, was written in 1674 by Thomas Ken, an Anglican priest in England. His hymn has become one of the most widely sung songs in the world and was written to motivate his students at Winchester College in their devotions. One verse was to be sung upon awakening, one before going to bed, and one at midnight if sleeping was difficult.
In that day, writing a hymn for such a purpose was considered revolutionary because hymns were usually sung only by monks. Ken encouraged his students to use it only in their private rooms as part of their devotions. Ironically, this private hymn has become widely used in public worship.
The Doxology is actually the last verse of two longer hymns, Awake My Soul, and With the Sun, and Glory to thee, my God, this night.
Ken died in 1711 and was buried at the Church of St John the Baptist. At his request, the hymn was sung at his funeral.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.