I Sing A Song Of The Saints Of God

Sunday, November 6th promises to be an important day. In addition to being one of the four times in the Church Year that we celebrate Baptism, we will begin with singing Hymn 293, a Sunday school song for All Saints, "I sing a song of the saints of God." The text of this hymn was written by Lesbia Scott, a mother of three, for use in her own nursery. While the text may not seem very serious to some of us adults, it was intended to be a celebratory response for All Saints day in child-friendly and endearing terminology. The tune was written by John Henry Hopkins, a grandson of the first Bishop of Vermont and first published in 1940 in Layman's Magazine of the Living Church. The tune was named after the island community in Lake Champlain where Hopkins later retired.

I sing a song of the saints of God, patient and brave and true, who toiled and fought and lived and died for the Lord they loved and knew. And one was a doctor, and one was a queen, and one was a shepherdess on the green: they were all of them saints of God and I mean, God helping, to be one too.

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear, and his love made them strong; and they followed the right, for Jesus' sake, the whole of their good lives long. And one was a soldier, and one was a priest, and one was slain by a fierce wild beast; and there's not any reason no, not the least, why I shouldn't be one too.

They lived not only in ages past, there are hundreds of thousands still, the world is bright with the joyous saints who love to do Jesus' will. You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea, in church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea, for the saints of God are just folk like me, and I mean to be one too.

Derek E. Nickels, DMA