Monday, October 3, 2016

The hymn with only seven notes

Pastor Martin Rinkart ministered in the walled city of Eilenburg-Saxony during the horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648. As Eilenberg became a overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area, its residents suffered epidemic and famine. For example, during 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, Rinkart conducted 4,480 funerals -- between 40 and 50 each day -- including a service for his wife, who died of starvation. Surrounded by suffering and death, he wrote a prayer of gratitude for his children. Today it's a popular hymn called "Now Thank We All Our God."

The hymn has only seven notes, making it very easy to sing. Knowing its history, you may enjoy hearing it sung by the congregation of beautiful Beverly Minster (shown above), a parish church in the market village of Beverly, in Yorkshire, England. To see the church and hear the hymn (following some brief comments), visit

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