There is no music so beautiful and moving as HYMNS. The word “hymn” is defined in Funk & Wagnalls’ dictionary as “A song of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, etc. One sung at a religious service.”

Hymns may be composed for the time of day, such as morning and/or evening. An experience one had, a desire of one’s heart, a plea, hymns referring to nature and the earth, are only minute examples of why one composes a hymn.

One of Mama’s favorite hymns was “DAY IS DYING IN THE WEST” (“YU-HI WA OCHI TE”). It was composed by Mary Artemesia Lathbury in 1877. It is a hymn to commemorate the gathering of young Christians and adults at the site of Lake Chautauqua in western New York to have a devotional time for worship, prayer and meditation with one another.


Day is dying in the west;

Heaven is touching earth with rest;

Wait and worship while the night

Sets her evening lamps alight

Thro’ all the sky.


Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts!

Heaven and earth are full of Thee;

Heaven and earth are praising Thee,

O Lord Most High


This is a hymn seeking and/or feeling the closeness of God. The words of the hymn came to Annie Sherwood Hawks as she was going about her household chores. She submitted her composed words to her pastor, Rev. Robert Lowry, who set the music from the tune of “Need.”

I need Thee every hour

I need Thee every hour

Most gracious Lord;

No tender voice like Thine

Can peace afford.


I need Thee O I need Thee,

Every hour I need Thee,

O bless me now, my Saviour,

I come to Thee


This is a hymn of three sisters who studied music under a friend of P.O. Bliss, who wrote this famous gospel song. It is a hymn that depicts the love of Jesus.

2nd Verse

Christ, the blessed one, gives to all

Wonderful words of Life;

Sinner, list to the loving call,

Wonderful words of life.

All so freely given,

Wooing us to heaven,

Beautiful words

Wonderful words of love.


Sweetly echo the gospel call,

Wonderful words of life;

Offer pardon and peace to all,

Wonderful words of life.

Jesus, only Saviour,

Sanctify forever.

It would be impossible for me to give an example of every type of hymn, but the above are three “variations” of hymns. I learned and sang them from childhood and still love singing them.

Three of my favorite hymns are:

“HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW,” which tells how God cares so much for us and watches over us as He does the sparrow, which makes us a happy and free being.

“HE LIVES,” a hymn that reminds us that we serve and believe in a LIVING GOD who forever lives in our hearts.

”THE LOVE OF GOD,” a hymn so beautifully written with such lovely music that one feels the love of God just by singing it.

I must admit that all hymns are my favorites, but the above three sincerely touch me and reveal the true joy of the word HYMN.

May I share this laugher with you:

When the offering plate was placed on the altar, the minister noticed a $100 check in the plate. He asked the congregation whoever donated the $100 check to come forward and he/she may choose three hymns.

A sweet and elderly lady came down the aisle and turned to the congregation, pointing her finger saying, “I’ll take him, him and him.”

NOTE: Data from “CHRIST AND THE FINE ARTS” by Cynthia Pearl MAUS.

Sing them over again to me. AMEN

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist and can be reached at Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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