Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rock of Ages

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:19 (KJV)

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Safe from wrath and make me pure

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgement throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee. 

"Rock of Ages" is a popular Christian hymn by the Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady written in 1763 and first published in The Gospel Magazine in 1775.  Traditionally, it is held that Toplady drew his inspiration from an incident in the gorge of Burrington Combe in the Mendip Hills in England. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was traveling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics on a playing card.

This morning, I will be the song leader at church.  Our usual song leader has a slight case of laryngitis and is unable to conduct the service.  I was the song leader before I moved away for graduate school, but I was never very good at it.  I'm just not a loud enough and confident enough of a singer to lead a congregation, let alone a small congregation where every singer counts, and there is no musical accompaniment since it is a Church of Christ. However, "Rock of Ages" is one of those tried and true songs that everyone knows, which makes it an easy song to lead.  I tend to use traditional songs because they are the ones that I know best.  If you follow my Sunday posts, you will see that occasionally I do post the lyrics to hymns, and the past songs that I have listed will most likely make up my song service for today.


silvereagle said...


And I am sure you will be able to do that!!!

Michael Dodd said...

The first (and I think maybe last?) song I led at the Church of Christ was when I was about fourteen. The song was "Onward, Christian Soldiers" -- pretty easy to keep the beat and a song people tended to sing vigorously anyway. They were trying to get young guys to learn how to lead the singing, but only two of us agreed to do it. I only did it once. My friend may have done it again -- his father was a music professor and one of the regular song leaders -- but he certainly didn't do it until we were out of high school and I wasn't there to see it.

Other favorites: "Master, the Tempest is Raging" (Mary Baker) and "I Know Whom I have Believed" (Daniel Whittle).

Anonymous said...

Another of my favorites. Yes, the old standards always stand up and sing themselves, good choice!

Peace <3