In Humility, Our Savior

My current favorite hymn is In Humility, Our Savior. It is a song that resonates sincere worshipfulness of and reverence to the Lord. The melody used in the LDS Hymnal was written by Rowland Pritchard, a Welsh musician. The tune name is Hyfrydol (the Welsh “y” is roughly pronounced as an English “u”; the “f” is a “v”; the whole word sounds something like: huv’rudol), which means “cheerful”. This tune is used for a number of different hymns, one of the most famous is called Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

These lyrics provide the joyful hopefulness the Hyfrydol tune name implies. The text is by Charles Wesley.

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling;
all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.

Here is the Mormon Tabernacle performing Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

However, I think the lyrics of In Humility, Our Savior have a special power when coupled with the melody Hyfrydol. Keep in mind that In Humility, Our Savior is written as a sacrament hymn – a hymn that helps us focus on Jesus and His Atonement as we prepare to partake of the Sacrament. The sacrament is an ordinance designed for us to show our devotion to God. With the sacrament we covenant with God. We covenant to strive for holiness so that the Lord may sanctify us and make us sacred (note that sacrament and sacred have the same root). The bread and water of the sacrament are blessed and made sacred, that is sanctified and set apart unto God, and in turn as we keep the covenants we make with God we are made sacred.

In Humility, Our Savior is a sacrament hymn. It is particularly worshipful of the Lord.

In humility, our Savior,
Grant thy Spirit here, we pray,
As we bless the bread and water
In thy name this holy day.
Let me not forget, O Savior,
Thou didst bleed and die for me
When thy heart was stilled and broken
On the cross at Calvary.

Fill our hearts with sweet forgiving;
Teach us tolerance and love.
Let our prayers find access to thee
In thy holy courts above.
Then, when we have proven worthy
Of thy sacrifice divine,
Lord, let us regain they presence;
Let thy glory round us shine.

I love the last words of the first verse: “Let me not forget, O Savior,/ Thou didst bleed and die for me/ When thy heart was stilled and broken/ On the cross at Calvary.” “Let me not forget, O Savior” we plead as we sing the song. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never, never forget!” The Book of Mormon prophet Helaman pleaded with his sons to always remember Christ:

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” (Helaman 5:12)

The next time you hear or sing In Humility, Our Savior, focus not only¬†on the beautiful melody and moving harmonies but also on the words and meaning of the words. Let us never forget the Lord’s sacrifice for us and let us hope with faith for the day when we, having proved ourselves worthy, might regain the Lord’s presence and dwell forevermore with Him.

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