February, 2014: O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Now that we are smack dab in the middle of flu season (and strep season, and mystery virus season, and, frankly, cabin fever season) we can find new appreciation for the origin of February's Hymn of the Month, #164, "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing".
In 1749, one year after a serious illness during which his faith was shaken, then renewed, Charles Wesley commemorated the anniversary of his renewed faith with a poem. Although the original hymn possesses eighteen stanzas, only six of them (stanzas 7-12) are commonly published today as "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing."
The music that accompanies the text in our hymnal was arranged specifically for Wesley's text, although the tune itself preceded it.
"O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" is a praise, a supplication, and an admonition: a lot to cram into a fairly short hymn! Most of the verses name who God is and what He has done (praise), then asks for assistance to proclaim His glories (supplication), and the final verse directs us to hear Him, praise Him, behold Him, and leap for joy (admonition)!
With your children, we will decode the text and learn the tune. Little ones will work on memorizing key words in verses 1 and 6, and readers will be familiar with all 6 verses.
A fun game to do with this hymn is "fill in the rhyme". A reader reads the first stanza, and then the second, without reading the last word. Children guess (or try to remember) the word that fits the rhyme. For example:
O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his__________.
More in Hymn of the Month
June 1, 2014June, 2014: O Church, Arise
May 8, 2014May, 2014: Be Thou My Vision
April 1, 2014April, 2014: I know that my Redeemer lives, Glory Hallelujah