“Hymns that Last”

An interesting little project by Christianity Today presents the hymns that have enjoyed the most widespread and enduring use in the hymnals of mainline denominations since the late 1800’s.  For some reason, I can’t reproduce the table that lists all 27 of them, but here they are:

Abide with Me
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Holy, Holy, Holy
How Firm a Foundation
In the Cross of Christ I Glory
Jesus Shall Reign
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
All Glory, Laud, and Honor
Come, Thou Almighty King
Just As I Am
Now Thank We All Our God
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
O God, Our Help in Ages Past
O Worship the King
The Church’s One Foundation
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
The Day of Resurrection
There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy

Several notes:

Out of these 27 most widespread hymns, four of them (15%) are pre-Reformation hymns: “The Day of Resurrection” (John of Damascus, c. 750), “All Glory, Laud and Honor” (Theodulph, c. 820), and “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee” and “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (both by Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th century).  That’s staying power!

The only one of the 27 hymns with which I’m not particularly familiar is “The Day of Resurrection.”

Hymnwriters represented more than once include Wesley (“Love Divine,” “Come, Thou Almighty King,” “O for a Thousand Tongues,” and “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”), Watts (“When I Survey,” “Jesus Shall Reign,” and “O God Our Help”), and Bernard of Clairvaux (“O Sacred Head” and “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee”).

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