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  • Shawn Thornton

The Doxology

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

Sunday - June 13th

Scripture to Read Today: Romans 11:33-36


For from him and through him and for him are all things.

To him be the glory forever! Amen..

Romans 11:33-36

Every week, around the world, thousands of Christian congregations raise their voices in worship:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

Praise him, all creatures here below;

Praise him above, ye heavenly host:

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

In countless languages, this “Doxology” is treasured.

The dictionary defines doxology as “an expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service.” The word doxology comes from the Greek doxa, (“glory, splendor, grandeur”) and logos, (“word” or “speaking”). Most doxologies are short hymns of praise to God in various Christian worship services.

Thomas Ken who wrote the well known version of the Doxology was orphaned in childhood. He was raised by his older sister, Ann, and her husband. In 1651, Ken became a scholar of Winchester College and, in 1661, received his B.A. at New College, Oxford. In adulthood, Ken held various church and academic positions.

Later, Ken became chaplain to King Charles II. But he would not let his house be used to lodge the royal mistress. This time, instead of being dismissed, Ken was rewarded for his courage with a promotion to Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1684.

In 1674, Ken published A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester College. In it, he charged his readers to “be sure to sing the Morning and Evening Hymn in your chamber devoutly.” These hymns were, evidently, already in private circulation.

In the 1695 edition, the words to these hymns (and a “Midnight Hymn”) were published as an appendix. The “Doxology” we sing today was the closing stanza of each of these three hymns (“Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun,” “All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night,” and “My God, I Now from Sleep Awake”). With the publication of these hymns, the world had gained a priceless instrument of praise known as the Doxology.

CLICK HERE for a more traditional version of The Doxology.

CLICK HERE for a more contemporary version of The Doxology.

Below are the first, ninth, and last stanzas of Thomas Ken’s “Morning Hymn,” which initially had fourteen stanzas:

Awake, my soul, and with the sun,

Thy daily stage of duty run,

Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,

To pay thy morning sacrifice.

All praise to thee, who safe hast kept,

And hast refresh’d me whilst I slept,

Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake,

I may of endless light partake.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

Praise him all creatures here below,

Praise him above, ye heavenly host.

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Our Lord deserves all praise and glory. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


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