Thursday, March 12, 2009

Come Thou Font

I really enjoy singing and love to sing in choirs. The problem is that I don't have a great voice. It took me years to discover that I should sing second soprano or alto, and I do better. I never sang in school choirs, too shy, I guess. But in our church, every ward is supposed to have a choir. And so, tentatively, I started singing in them. When I moved to Minnesota, I just started singing with the choir. I even sang in several stake choirs. The leaders told me, it was fine and if nothing else, they appreciated my enthusiasm.
My sisters both have much better voices than I do. Ellen even has led choirs and really adds to one. But anyway, I persevere.
I was hesitant to join the choir in my new ward. There are some excellent voices there, both men and women, and they do an excellent job with some involved arrangements. But two weeks ago, after struggling with seven five year olds for two hours, I was ready for some spiritual refreshment. I cut across the chapel and was stopped by the choir singing Come Thou Font of Every Blessing. I meant only to sit and listen, but then found myself leaving my purse on the bench and joining them.
I grew up loving this wonderful hymn. It was in the songbook for years. I loved the beauty of the melody and the language. Then in 1985, the church removed it from the book! (Thank you very much Michael Moody). We sang it in our choir in West Saint Paul ward and I took my copy of the music and put it on my fridge where it stayed for two years.
The lyrics are so succinct and show such yearning for connection to God as well as an acknowledgment of our faults.
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 mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

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.

I Googled it, and found a wonderful recording of it done by the BYU Men's and Women's Choruses. I will try my best to link to it here. Watch this video on
We are singing it on Sunday. I will be there, adding my shaky alto voice to the choir and meaning every word of it.


Betsy Libbey said...

Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful hymn.

Boyd said...

Lovely, Anne, just lovely. This tune was familiar to me, but not the words. I think we sing the tune set to different lyrics. But this is really a beautiful hymn.


Ellen said...

Thanks for the compliment. I love this song. Our Temple Devotional Choir sang this last year and the Temple Matron used it as the basis for her talk. Look up the word "Ebeneezer" for an interesting read. I have NEVER turned down a choir member/potential choir member who wanted to sing. There is so much more to singing than a pleasant voice--the spirit has to be strong or it has no meaning. So keep going to choir, and join your spirit to those around you and enjoy yourself. Your enthusiasm will shine through everything.


Connie said...

Anne, this is a beautiful hymn. My favorite is Amazing Grace. I must have 6 different recordings on my iPOD for Amazing Grace.