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. 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, pastor and hymn writer Godfrey Thring 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 (again) 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.
Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne.
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless king
through all eternity.
In the spirit of mixing and matching, Crown Him with Many Crowns (hymn tune: DIADEMATA by Sir George Job Elvey) appears in the piano arrangement Christ the King Medley along with three other regal hymns: O for a Thousand Tongues, Jesus Shall Reign, and All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name. A robust piano medley – but not too difficult to play – it’s great for any occasion in the church year to celebrate Jesus’ majesty. Enjoy!