Revive Us Again

 
Something to listen to while you read. Sheet music available at Sheet Music Plus.

Pentecost is my absolute favorite holiday of the church year. (It even beats out Christmas and Easter in my book!) I love celebrating the Holy Spirit’s winds and fires of change sweeping through the early church and the promise of renewal, regeneration, and revival for Christ-followers today.

A great hymn to celebrate Pentecost – Revive Us Again – echoes those themes and was created by two people who could serve as poster children for embracing the winds of significant change: Dr. William Paton Mackay (1839-1885) and John J. Husband (1760-1825).

Revive Us Again Piano Sheet Music

Penning the text to Revive Us Again in 1863 (and later recasting it in 1867), Scottish born William Mackay initially trained as a medical doctor at the University of Edinburgh. He practiced medicine for a time before having an extraordinary conversion that reignited his Christian faith. Abandoning his medical career, Mackay completely upended his life, was ordained, and became the pastor of a Presbyterian church in Scotland where he also wrote hymn texts. Before his untimely death due to an accident, seventeen of his hymns were published in W. Reid’s Praise Book in 1872 but the best known today is Revive Us Again.

John Husband, composer of the tune for Revive Us Again, grew up in Plymouth, England and served as a clerk at Surrey Chapel. At the age of 49, he uprooted his entire life and emigrated to America – not an easy task in 1809 – where he found work in Philadelphia as a clerk with St. Paul’s Pro­test­ant Epis­co­pal Church and as a music teacher.

Although not as dramatic, my life has had its share of revivals – some planned, some unplanned, some positive, some not so much. But the most musically significant one – aside from the day of my first piano lesson – happened when I was in my late twenties. I was a divorced, newly minted MBA and had just bought my first home when I chose to walk away from a secure job with benefits, resurrect my dormant piano skills, and pursue a degree in music. It was the scariest, most exhilarating time of my life and (on most days 🙂 ) I’m glad that I embraced the Holy Spirit’s winds of change that were whistling in my ears.

We praise Thee, O God!
for Thy Spirit of light,
who hath shown us our Savior,
and scattered our night.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again!