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Joyful, We Adore Thee
Van Dyke (1852 – 1933)
wrote the hymn, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" while
staying at the home of Harry A. Garfield at Williams
College, Massachusetts. Van Dyke attended Princeton
University, and then served as pastor of the Brick
Presbyterian Church in New York City. Seventeen years
later, he returned to Princeton as a professor of English
literature. Afterward, he held a number of eminent
posts: American ambassador to the Netherlands and
Luxembourg, moderator of the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church, Commander of the Legion of Honor, and
President of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
He chaired the committee that compiled the Presbyterian
Book of Common Worship in 1905, and
helped prepare the revised in edition in 1932.
The music is the
“Hymn to Joy,” from the 9th Symphony of Ludwig van
Beethoven; adapted by Edward Hodges. Hodges’ musical gift
showed itself at an early age; by 1819, he was playing the
organ at St. James’ Church in Bristol, and at St. Nicholas’,
1821-1838. He also had an interesting mechanical bent,
and spurred several technical improvements in organ
design. He composed a number of services and anthem
pieces, and Cambridge University awarded him a
doctorate in music in 1825.
J. van Dyke
Hodges eventually emigrated,
accepting a post at the cathedral in Toronto, Canada, in 1838.
The next year, he became music director at Trinity Parish in New
York City. He became the organist at Trinity Church when it opened
in 1846 (the church had its organ built to his specifications). He
retired for health reasons in 1859, and returned to his native
England in 1863.
Lyrics by Henry van Dyke
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!
Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.
giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in
love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy
join the happy chorus, which the morning stars
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds
man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of