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Hymn of the Week: “I Sing the Mighty Power of God”

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The 12th Sunday in ordinary time.

“I Sing the Mighty Power of God” is a 17th-century hymn written by English minister Isaac Watts. Isaac was highly educated and spent his time writing sermons, treatises, poems and hymns when he was not otherwise occupied as pastor of the Independent Church in London. Watts wrote thousands of hymns, many of which were meant to be sung after a particular sermon.

This hymn is set to the tune “ELLACOMBE.” The melody is German in origin, originally accompanying a Catholic Marian hymn, but it is not attributed to any specific composer. It is also a popular setting for hymns like “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna,” “Fill Thou My Life,” and “The Day of Resurrection.”

This recording was made by The Couriers, a mid-20th century Christian vocal group. The three men, Dave, Duane, and Neil, arranged this version of the hymn themselves, alternating between singing together and breaking into tight harmonies throughout the whole piece.

They’re still an active band today. When asked how long they intended to continue performing together, they said, “As long as God leads and opens the door.”

The brass is nice, but we were also quite impressed with this a cappella version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x___DwbznbY

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