God’s Daily Care #306

Hymns for Every Time of Day!

Many of our favourite hymns are based on a certain time of day.  The time of day generally provides a metaphor for the message, or helps set a mood.

Simple clock or watch on white tile wall displaying one o'clock

  • Mid-Day Hymns

Some of our hymns speak of the middle of the day such as I Have Work Enough to Do, Improve the Shining Moments, There is Sunshine in My Soul Today and I Need Thee Every Hour.  I Have Work Enough to Do presents a to-do list of all we need to accomplish each day “ere the sun goes down.” Improve the Shining Moments and There is Sunshine in My Soul Today are rousing motivator songs.  They have a lot of energy and encourage us onward in our day.  Let’s get that work done!  I Need Thee Every Hour is a gentler song that recognizes the need for God to be with us every day in every hour, whether things are going well  or not.

  • Evening Hymns

Many hymns speak of evening: Abide With Me;  Abide With Me, ‘Tis Eventide;  As the Shadows Fall;  Now the Day is Over;  Come, Let Us Sing an Evening Hymn;  The Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close; Away in a Manger.  These are generally prayer-like songs.  “As the shadows fall,” our fears grow and we cling a little more tightly to the faith we have in our Heavenly Father to keep us safe through the night.  Some, such as Abide with Me! are speaking of not just the end of day, but the end of life.

  • Night-Time Hymns

There are hymns that speak of night time, not just evening.  Come Unto Him is set in “the still of night.” The stars are up and God is very near as the author receives answers to his prayers.  Most of our Christmas carols also describe an intense spiritual experience that happened in the night time as angels, shepherds and wise men bear record of that most holy event… the birth of the Savior of the world.

  • Morning Hymns

Then there are the morning hymns.  Oh, what hope we have then!  We have a new day, a fresh start, a time to accomplish all that we didn’t do yesterday and to do it so much better than we would have done it yesterday.  Some of these morning hymns are: The Day Dawn is Breaking; Hail to the Brightness of Zion’s Glad Morning; The Morning Breaks; Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning; That Easter Morn; Come Away to the Sunday School.  “The morning breaks, the shadows flee…”  We are ready and eager for the day.

That Easter Morn gives us not only a new day, but resurrection… a new life for all of us after death.  Several of the other morning hymns present the morning as a metaphor for the restoration of the gospel.  Such a fresh start!

  • God’s Daily Care

God’s Daily Care is another morning hymn.  However, in its very simple way, it is also a hymn that encompasses the entire day.  “As I watch the rising sun when the day has just begun, I am thinking of the love that comes daily from above.”  The second verse is a prayer of gratitude for the care our Father in Heaven takes of each of his children each day.  We are so thankful to be in His loving embrace.

Not much is known of the author of this hymn text, Marie C. Turk.  She lived in Arizona and wrote many poems for Lutheran publications.  She died sometime in the 1950’s.

  • God’s Daily Care – Music

The composer of the music for this hymn was Willy Reske (1897-1991).  Brother Reske was born in Germany and joined the church there in 1922.  He emigrated to America in 1926.  For thirty-three years, he was the resident organist/composer/conductor for St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Manhattan, NY.  During that time, he composed hundreds of hymns, anthems and organ pieces.  He also accompanied silent movies in the 1920’s and wrote many theatre pieces as well as popular music in the 1920’s/ 1930’s genre.  Thy Servants are Prepared is another of his hymns included in our hymnbook.

God’s Daily Care is a very simple eight-bar children’s song, much like a folk song in nature.  The last four bars are simply a descending scale, with one small variation.  Brother Reske said of this song, “It is just a ‘little ditty,’ but if people love it and sing it, that is all that matters.” (Our Latter-day Hymns: Davidson)

  • Suggested Uses of Our Arrangements of God’s Daily Care

Our Congregation Choir arrangements add a beautiful alternate accompaniment to the original SATB found in the hymnbook.  This alternate accompaniment could be used with the SATB for a piano/organ duet accompaniment for the entire congregation or for a large choir.  It could also be used alone as a more embellished accompaniment for a solo singer or group, or just to enjoy as a piano solo.

This short hymn could be extended nicely with our very pretty countermelody.  It might be performed as follows:

Verse 1: Congregation (or choir) sings melody, as indicated in the hymnbook.

Verse 2: Soloist or small group performs countermelody only.

Verse 2 (2nd time): Melody and countermelody are performed together.

Another option would be:

Verse 1: Congregation (or choir) sings melody, as indicated in hymnbook.

Verse 1 (again): Soloist or small group performs countermelody only.

Verse 1 (third time): Melody and countermelody are performed together.

Verse 2: Congregation (or choir) sings melody, as indicated in hymnbook.

Verse 2 (again): Soloist or small group performs countermelody only.

Verse 2 (third time): Melody and countermelody are performed together.

Listen to our arrangements below.  You will first hear just the organ doing the introduction.  Then the piano will join in for one verse.  The organ and piano are joined by the countermelody (either voice or violin) for the second verse.

PURCHASE the arrangement with vocal countermelody here.

PURCHASE the arrangement with flute/violin countermelody here.

 

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Comments

  1. I dearly love the historical write ups. It puts humanity into spiritual teaching tool perspective.

    • Elinor Hamilton says

      Thanks, Mary. I’ll keep ’em coming then! I love knowing the history of the hymns too. It does make them more meaningful.

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