Favorite hymns

Haruo  — whose blog blends two of my interests: hymnology and Esperanto — notes a poll of favorite hymns at Semicolon. It ends tonight so I spent some time sorting my favorites so to add my favorites. (She was only asking for the top ten, but this includes everything on my short list.)

  1. Guide me thou, O great Jehovah
  2. Eternal ruler of the ceaseless round
  3. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the king of creation
  4. O strength and stay, upholding all creation
  5. God of grace and God of glory
  6. O God of earth and altar
  7. Let all mortal flesh keep silence
  8. Earth and all stars
  9. King of glory, king of peace
  10. God that madest earth and heaven
  11. What wond’rous love
  12. Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands
  13. Unto thy temple, Lord we come
  14. Come my way, my truth, my life

What are some of yours?

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. BBC Radio 4 did a poll of the nation’s favourite hymns about a year ago and I think the top one was “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (quite univeralist, I suppose). People also voted on their least favourite hymn and that came out as “Shine Jesus, Shine” which to me means the Radio 4 audience are quite stuffy. I understand that a lot of churches will over-use that one if they have a service once a month where they try to be a bit charismatic and praise-y. It probably doesn’t stand up that well to that kind of unimaginative repetition; but nevertheless I quite like it.

    Favourites off the top of my head might be “I the Lord of Sea and Sky” “We’ll Build a Land” “Bring Many Names” and “This is my song, O God of all the nations.”

  2. For all the Saints
    The King of Love my Shepherd is
    Joyful, Joyful We are Adore Thee
    Immortal, Invisible, God only wise
    All Souls, O Lord, are thine
    Unto Thy Temple, Lord we come
    Abide with Me
    Jesus Loves Me
    Jesus Loves the Little Children
    Must Jesus bear the Cross Alone?
    Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?
    Hail to the Lord’s Anointed
    Go now in Peace
    Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen
    Follow the Drinking Gourd
    Oh Freedom
    Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
    Enter, Rejoice and Come in
    Wade in the Water
    We’re Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table
    Nuct Dimittis
    Shall We Gather at the River
    Every Night When the Sun Goes In
    I Don’ Feel No Ways Tired
    Let everything that Hath Breath
    I want Jesus to Walk with Me
    Precious Lord, take my hand
    O Come, you longing, thirsty souls
    Will the Circle be unbroken?
    Panis Angelicus
    Be thou my Vision
    Great is thy Faithfulness
    Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
    Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ my Name
    Forward through the Ages
    Lift High the Cross
    Guide my Feet
    He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
    His Eye is on the Sparrow
    We Shall Overcome
    For the Beauty of the Earth
    Holy, Holy, Holy
    Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
    Tis a Gift to be Simple
    We’ll Build a Land
    Bring Many Names
    God be with you til we meet again
    Take, O take me as I am
    Praise to the Lord the Almighty
    Hail to the Lord’s Anointed
    Oh Freedom
    Blest be the Tie that Binds
    I’m on my way to the Freedom Land
    Go down Moses

  3. Stephen, I think, misrepresents the position of British radio listeners on “Shine, Jesus, Shine”. At least according to the summary published at christiantoday.com, “Shine, Jesus, Shine” was ranked not “least favourite” among all hymns, but “tenth most favourite” of all, hence “least favourite among the top ten”.

    And Shawn, that’s way more than ten. Are they in order, i.e. are “For all the saints” through “Must Jesus bear the cross alone” your top ten picks? (I know it’s impossible to whittle that deeply, but it must be done.)

  4. The original list reduced to my top ten are:
    1.Abide with Me
    2. Precious Lord, take my hand
    3. Great is thy Faithfulness
    4. Be thou My Vision
    5. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
    6. I want Jesus to Walk with Me
    7. Wade in the Water
    8. Shall we Gather at the River?
    9. Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?
    10. The King of Love my Shepherd is

  5. My favorites:

    1. Be Thou My Vision
    2. We’ll Build a Land
    3. God Be with You Till We Meet Again (Vaughan Williams version)
    4. For All the Saints
    5. O God Our Help in Ages Past
    6. Come My Way, My Truth, My Light
    7. Immortal Love (set to Dundee–sounds really great if sung a capella in a New England meeting house)
    8. God of Grace and God of Glory
    9. Jerusalem — Parry (English, purely English)
    10. Sweet Hour of Prayer (an elderly Universalist woman once sang this to me and I’ve loved it ever since)
    11. Though I May Speak with Bravest Fire

  6. Some interesting lists of favourite hymns! I have several on my blog, Wordwise Hymns (click on the Topics tab). There you can find the “Top 10 Hymns” of 1953, of 1990, and the results of a recent poll taken on my blog.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.