Sunday, July 5, 2020
Although we aren’t together at Little Harbor Chapel this summer I wanted to keep in touch with a series about our chapel hymnal and the stories behind the hymns we sing every summer.
The hymnal was published in 1925 and reprinted in 1934 when it became the chapel hymnal. The inscription on the inside of each cover was handwritten by Louise Pridham, a neighbor and friend of the Carey family. I hope to discover more about the editor of the hymnal and how it came to be the chapel hymnal.
The chapel summer season always begins around the Fourth of July. The late Rev. David Kerr, a long-time guest preacher, often included O beautiful for spacious skies (hymn tune Materna below) as part of his Sunday service. This familiar tune is one of nine hymns in The Nation section of the hymnal. The text ( Katherine Bates) and music ( Samuel Ward) were written separately in the late 1800’s and put together in 1910. The composer and lyricist never met yet both were inspired by the beauty of nature. This NPR article about the hymn includes a classic performance by the legendary Ray Charles. Click here for an opportunity to sing the hymn yourself this holiday weekend. Enjoy a safe and pleasant Sunday!