Sunday, March 04, 2018

Vespers: To God Be The Glory

The Royal Albert Hall audience and stage choirs sing "To God Be The Glory," Billy Graham's favorite hymn.
The final hymn of the Billy Graham funeral had special meaning for the evangelist, his friends and loved ones. The audience sang "To God Be the Glory," which was also the closing hymn at the 2007 dedication of his library in Charlotte. Graham's late music director Cliff Barrows, who helped Graham plan the funeral service starting a decade ago, has said it was his favorite hymn.
Billy Graham and Gliff Barrows.
This hymn appears to have been written around 1872 but was first published in 1875 . It was already popular in Great Britain before publication. 
Ira Sankey had introduced it there during Dwight Moody's 1873-1874 evangelistic campaigns. Despite this, the song failed to achieve wide usage in the United States and was included in very few hymnals. In 1954 Cliff Barrows, song leader for Billy Graham, was handed a copy with the suggestion that it be added to the song book for the London Crusade.
It was so popular that he included it again later that year in the Crusade in Nashville, Tennessee. The audience responded enthusiastically and from that time on, he used it regularly. With this exposure, the song rapidly became familiar to a Christians worldwide and is included in most modern hymnals.
Frances Jane van Alstyne (née Crosby1820 – 1915), more commonly known as Fanny Crosby, wrote this hymn. She was an American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing more than 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with more than 100 million copies printed, despite being blind from shortly after birth.

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