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Updated 05/31/2013

 

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee


Edward Hodges
Henry 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.


Henry 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 above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
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 divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.