Something to listen to while you read. Sheet music available at Sheet Music Plus.
Tune Name: Diademata
Alternate Hymn Titles: Soldiers of Christ, Arise; Now in the Days of Youth; Great is the Lord our God; Peace in Our Time, O Lord; Teach Me, O Lord, I Pray, Your Precious Truth Divine; Praise to the Living God, the God of Love and Light
Fun Fact: The only constant for this hymn is the tune, Diademata, written by Sir George Job Elvey (1816-1893), an organist who served at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
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Open three different hymnals to Crown Him with Many Crowns and you’ll likely see three different sets of text. Not differences like removing the “thees and thous” or changing a few gender specific words but completely different verses.
Crown Him with Many Crowns was originally written by author Matthew Bridges (1800-1894). Raised in the Church of England, Bridges converted to Roman Catholicism in 1848 and the six verses he wrote of Crown Him with Many Crowns reflect themes that, at the time, were specific to Roman Catholic teachings.
Because of those themes, clergyman and hymn writer Godfrey Thring (1823-1903) was asked to rewrite the text to be more suitable for the Anglican Church. So in 1864 Thring wrote six new verses giving us a second complete version of Crown Him with Many Crowns.
The winds of controversy in Christendom changed, however, and Bridges’ original text is no longer considered “objectionable” in Protestant churches. Today, hymnal publishers draw on the beauty of both sets of text and freely mix and match the twelve verses creating unique combinations of one majestic hymn.
Awake, my soul and sing
Of Him Who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.