Songs of Thankfulness and Praise

 Text by: Christopher Wordsworth 1862




St George’s Windsor


St Edward


 1 Songs of thankfulness and praise,

Jesus, Lord, to Thee we raise,

Manifested by the star

To the sages from afar;

Branch of royal David’s stem

In Thy birth at Bethlehem;

Anthems be to Thee addressed,

God in man made manifest.


2 Manifest at Jordan’s stream,

Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;

And at Cana, wedding guest,

In Thy Godhead manifest;

Manifest in power divine,

Changing water into wine;

Anthems be to Thee addressed,

God in man made manifest.


3 Manifest in making whole

Palsied limbs and fainting soul;

Manifest in valiant fight,

Quelling all the devil’s might;

Manifest in gracious will,

Ever bringing good from ill;

Anthems be to Thee addressed,

God in man made manifest.


4 Sun and moon shall darkened be,

Stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee,

Christ will then like lightning shine,

All will see His glorious sign:

All will then the trumpet hear;

All will see the Judge appear;

Thou by all wilt be confessed,

God in man made manifest.


5 Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,

Mirrored in Thy holy Word;

May we imitate Thee now,

And be pure, as pure art Thou;

That we like to Thee may be

At Thy great Epiphany;

And may praise Thee, ever blest,

God in man made manifest.


Though usually only used during Epiphany, there is no reason this wonderful hymn could not find use throughout the year. Each stanza deals with a different stage of Jesus’ life and work. Starting with his birth in the first stanza the star and “Sagas” are mentioned and then Jesus’ lineage through the Davidic line and his birth in Bethlehem. The final line introduces the recuring theme of “God in man… made manifest.”


God and his work are made manifest, or “clear to the eye or mind” in the work and life of Jesus.


The second stanza starts with His baptism in the Jordan and his role as Prophet, Priest, and King. This is followed by his changing water into wine at the Cana wedding. Each of these elements made God manifest, that is, they made God clearly visible to us.


The third stanza moves through Jesus’ public ministry of healing and the casting out of demons.  And in the sixth line he answers the age-old question: “Why does God allow evil if He is good?” “Ever bringing good from ill”


Some churches avoid the fifth stanza because it addresses the inevitable conclusion of time and sin. All will be judged, and judgement will fall upon us all. But the final stanza has the solution to our dilemma, the grace freely given.


Christopher Wordsworth was born in 1807 in Lambeth, England, and nephew to the poet William Wordsworth. He spent his entire life in academia. Matriculated from Trinity College, where he won numerous academic and athletic awards. He spent his earlier adult years teaching first at Harrow School where he became Headmaster. And then he became a lecturer at Cambridge University. In 1850 he began his work as a parish priest until his retirement. In 1869 he was elevated to Bishopric of Lincoln.


This hymn came from his book “The Holy Year” which contains poems for every season and each phase of that season. He believed hymns were invaluable in teaching theology and doctrine.


Some of his other very well-known hymns include:

·         Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven and Voices Raise

·         Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost

·         Hark! the Sound of Holy Voices[9]

·         Holy, Holy, Holy Lord

·         O Day of Rest and Gladness

·         O Lord of Heaven and Earth and Sea

·         See, the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph

·         Sing, O Sing, This Blessed Morn

·         Songs of Thankfulness and Praise

·         Thine for ever! Thine for ever!

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Here are some of my favorite Hymnals:

Presbyterian 1955 Hymnbook:

Episcopal 1940 Hymnal: 

Broadman 1940 Hymnal:

Methodist 1939 Hymnal:

Pilgrim 1935 Hymnal:

Now Sings My Soul, New Songs for the Lord by: Linda Bonney Olin:

Choice Hymns of the Faith 1945

Book of Psalms for Singing    (1912 Psalter is unavailable)

Here are my new projects:

Hymns Ancient and Modern

J S Bach Riemenschneider 371 Harmonized Chorales


Dictionary of Hymnology:

American Hymns Old and New